As a video game fanatic (I grew up with the original Atari 2600 before it was even referred to as a "2600", just to date things), I have always yearned for the great baseball game. And as interesting and sophisticated as consoles have become, I have still never gravitated towards or been convinced by the replication of baseball on video game systems. Perhaps it is the lack of a continuous pace, the starts and stops, the restful pauses and the build-up of tension, that prevents baseball from being properly translated. A fluidity of action in something like soccer lends itself to virtual gaming for me (the recent version of FIFA '10 is a truly brilliant sports simulation), far more than something like baseball, or even American football (despite the popularity of the Madden franchise). The most memorable hardball video simulation I ever played was RBI Baseball, quite famously amongst my friends, in fact. And that wasn't because it was graphically compelling or anything like real baseball. Rather, during college I was able to replicate and actually exceed Orel Hershiser's record-setting scoreless inning streak; I am willing to be that several college classmates remember the moment I broke the record in our dorm's common room, even more vividly than they remember what they learned in Art History 301, sadly.
But this game has piqued my curiosity, as a gamer, a baseball fan, and also as an architect. The ability to play games in fields of yore, on diamonds long since demolished, is a deft touch and a nostalgic feature that has me wondering if I should purchase this game and explore the worlds it reproduces. If the game marries classic lineups with classic fields and supplements those with solid gameplay, I may finally (after two decades of continued searching and high hopes) have found a baseball game that I can accept as a reasonable facsimile of the real thing, one which imbues what is really just a bunch of code with romance and nostalgia, characteristics hardly synonymous with video games.