RealSports Baseball

RealSports Baseball

Company: Atari
Model #:
Year: 1988
The only RealSports title released for the Atari 7800


After the Intellivision had shown just how weak many Atari's sports games were, it was decided that Atari needed a real sports lineup.  Atari's answer fittingly enough was the creation of the RealSports series.  The RealSports series attempted to update Atari's aging sports games with new graphics and computer opponents.  Several RealSports titles were made for the Atari 2600, 5200, and 8-Bit computer lines, but only one made it to the Atari 7800.  That game was RealSports Baseball.


The Atari 7800 version of RealSports Baseball doesn't really do much to change up the formula first used in the Atari 2600 version.  The player who is pitching can select one of eight different pitches by pushing the joystick in one of the directions and pressing the right fire button.  If the ball is hit the fielding player can then use the left joystick button and a direction to throw the ball to the appropriate base.  The batting player can select the type of swing they wish to make in a similar fashion by holding the joystick either up, down, or neutral (middle) and pushing the left button.  The player can also bunt by pressing left or right during a swing.  Once the ball is hit the batting player then uses the right button to either advance the player (hold up) or retreat to the last base (hold down).


Playing RealSports Baseball on the 7800 is a fairly dismal experience.  While the graphics look ok, they're not really much of an improvement over the Atari 5200 version.  Due to the 7800 not having a Pokey chip, the sounds are sparse rough with only some crowd noise and various ball noises being present.  However the most disappointing aspect of the game is the gameplay itself.  While the control scheme is fairly intuitive (the 7800 automatically selects what it thinks is the correct player for you to control which is nice), the ball is too large, moves too fast, and moves in a choppy manner making it hard to field.  The outfield also feels very cramped due to the large players and small playfield.  The gameplay is very basic and is missing standard plays like stealing bases and sacrifice flies.  Even the Atari 2600 version allowed for stealing bases!


While RealSports Baseball was Atari's only attempt to bring the RealSports series to the 7800, that didn't stop them from licensing sports games from other companies.  Touchdown Football, Mean 18, and One on One were all ported to the 7800 along with some more arcade style sports games like Basketbrawl, Ninja Golf, and Hat Trick.  While RealSports Baseball may have been a disappointment, Absolute Software ported their excellent Pete Rose Baseball to the 7800 as well making it the good alternative to Atari's poor attempt.  While the 7800 had some real potential, games like RealSports Baseball didn't help Atari's cause. 

Version Cart Text Description
7/1/88 C300050-0344 7800 7/1/88 F8D1
Different Title Screen


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