Tony La Russa's Ultimate Baseball
Copyright/Publisher: SSI, Produced By: Beyond Software Inc., Designed By:
Don Daglow, Programmed By: Mark Buchignani, Graphics By: David Bunnett &
Arturo Sinclair, Music By: The Fat Man & Linwood Taylor,
Release Year: 1989, Genre: Baseball, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Just as you'd expect from strategy masters SSI, this is packed fatter than my lunch box with statistics and tactical options (Don't exaggerate! - Ed). In fact, you can choose to play a purely managerial game, leaving the computer to control your players.

As well as selecting the starting line-up and batting order, pinch hitters and runners can be substituted at any time, plus pitchers who must first warm up in the bullpen (you can even see them doing this on the fielding screen!). Comprehensive fielding options enable the alteration of infield and outfield positions to cover certain tactical situations.

Of course the pitcher has several types of pitch to select from and the batter also a choice of normal, power, contact and bunt shots. The aim of the pitch is determined by how long a joystick direction is held, while swinging the bat is accomplished by pressing fire.

As with Hardball, hitting the ball takes a lot of practice, so matches tend to be tense, low-scoring affairs. When a good shot is hit, the ball crawls along the fielding screen at a leisurely pace, chased by equally sluggish fielders.

True baseball fans will appreciate the tactical realism, but playability is definitely lacking.