Innovative but dated baseball sim
Standing alongside other early examples of the baseball genre like Hardball
and Micro League Baseball
, this is a game which while it may once have been revolutionary, unfortunately looks distinctly second rate now. Earl Weaver Baseball eschews the management aspects of other sims like Pro League Baseball
and instead focuses on a traditional action-oriented approach similar to pretty much every other game in the genre out there. However, there are several innovations which were unique for the time and which have are now standard in similar games, including the ability to play full seasons, the choice of arcade- or coach-style controls (where the player issues commands instead of directly controlling the players and licensed players that accurately represented their real-life counterparts. While these innovations are undoubtedly important in historical terms, the game today lacks the sophistication and playability that modern gamers demand. Baseball games are rarely going to the most spectacular in terms of visuals, and while Earl Weaver does depict various real stadiums, there is little difference between them and overall the game does lack graphical impact. Moreover, the controls are less than intuitive or responsive and give the game a steeper learning curve than it should have, making early matches overly frustrating when they should be enjoyable. The lack of control over fielders is a minor annoyance but when coupled with other similar niggles, they all add up to a less than enthralling sports sim, that is only likely to be enjoyed by die-hard fans of the sport.
Revolutionary for its time but almost unplayable today
Earl Weaver Baseball was quite ahead of its time when it first appeared. It introduced many more simulation items that other, older baseball sims couldn't do, and for its time, late in the 80s it was a better game than, say, the Atari 2600 or even the 5200 baseball games. The game, while being mostly a playing filed sim also tried to include a lot more statistical information on the players and on their strategies. Thus, the feeling that you were in control was a lot higher, and certainly it went beyond an arcade experience. However, by today's standards, the game feels almost unplayable. The playing field, while relatively ok in portraying vital match information, is by no means an enticing visual experience. That coupled with controls spread over dozen of buttons will make the learning curve too steep to make it worthwhile playing this game. Rather try the later game in the series, Earl Weaver Baseball 2, which feels a bit more clean graphically, also offering you a better, more contained control scheme.