Released in 1988, Pete Rose Pennant Fever is the first PC baseball game to feature a full career mode. Participants (one or two players) can build expansion teams in Eugene or Menlo Park, place them in any division, and play through ten full seasons against the rest of the league. As team manager, players deal with injuries (up to a season long) and retirements. Using money earned from successful seasons, players acquire expensive but proven free agents between seasons, or draft less costly untried rookies who may or may not develop.
The pitching and batting interfaces use five-option menus. Pressing the fire button without designating a direction produces a pitchout or regular swing option for pitchers and batters respectively. Choosing one of the four direction options corresponds to a type of swing for batters and a pitch type for pitchers. A strength meter determines how fast a ball is thrown on fielding plays, and is controlled by how long the fire button is held before release.
The career mode is the best aspect of the game and requires long-term strategy considerations to replace your most dependable and productive players as they retire. Free agents are an effective short-term solution but are expensive and have a tendency to retire after a few seasons. Only by drafting rookies and developing them over several seasons will you be able to permanently replace your stars.
Graphics and sound effects contribute to the overall enjoyment. Instead of an overhead fielding view, a variety of on the field camera angles let you feel you're a part of the game. The remarkably clear digitized crowd and umpire voices also provide subtle immersion effects.
Pete Rose Pennant Fever's core baseball gameplay is solid, though not particularly noteworthy. The introduction of the throwing meter requires a bit of skill, but the game isn't appreciably different from others released in the same time frame. With all things considered, though, the graphics, digitized voices, and career mode add up to a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
OVERALL RATING: 6
This baseball game licenses former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose. It allows the player to play every position on the field. Different batting and pitching styles are available.
It has digitized voice and sound, and provides a variety of play options including One or Two-player action, season play or exhibition. In a somewhat ahead-of-its-time move, eight different perspectives are offered.
There are also some team management capabilities, as you select and order your team, and hire new players. This can run over ten seasons, making for one of the first Career modes.
Perhaps the most obscure Dynamix game ever, Pete Rose Pennant Fever is a ground-breaking baseball simulation that sets the stage for the likes of EA's Earl Weaver Baseball series.
Endorsed by the Cincinnati Reds' famous baseball player and manager Pete Rose, the innovations in Pete Rose Pennant Fever are numerous. Among other things, the game was the first baseball game to feature excellent digitized sounds from PC speaker (using a technique similar to Access' "RealSound" technology). The graphics are also outstanding for its time, with very fluid player movements that push hardware limitations of that time (and remember, this was 1988). The game's most important innovation is the career mode- baseball historians will recall that Pete Rose is the very FIRST baseball game to offer full-fledged career mode, and in so doing, deserve mention as one of the first baseball simulations for the PC. The graphics may look dated today, and the gameplay may lose some of its luster compared to the superior Earl Weaver Baseball 2, but make no mistake: Pete Rose Pennant Fever is one of the true pioneers in the genre that deserve to be forever played, and not forgotten.
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