Backyard Baseball '09 Review
Wii | PS2 | PC
Backyard Baseball '09 box art
System: Wii, PS2, PC, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Humongous Entertainment / Farsight 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 10, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

There are a lot of players to choose from in this virtual sand lot. Professional players such as A-Rod, Jeter, Pujols, Ortiz, Ordonez, and Ichiro are all selectable. Some pros, like Babe Ruth and Alfonso Soriano, are locked and can't be used until opened through the Season Game. In addition to MLB stars, a host of Backyard Baseball veterans can also be used. All these players have varying abilities in skill areas such as power, pitching, catching, fielding, contact, stamina, etc. Finding a good mix of players, positioning them well on the field, and coming up with a solid batting order is crucial for success at the higher difficulty levels.

Backyard Baseball '09 screenshot

Most of the game is a straightforward and scaled down version of baseball. But, the use of power-ups in the title affects both pitching and batting in interesting ways. If you string together a few solid plays, your power-up meter will fill and enable you to pitch freeze-balls and splitters (literally) or whack the ball into orbit when at bat. Power-ups are not infallible though. In fact, it's pretty easy to give up a hit or strike out if you strictly rely on them. However, if you mix the power-ups into your normal routine, they can be game-breakers.

The overall presentation is standard, discount title fare. Nothing is crisp and it all seems to be hurried. The player likenesses are not good at all; skin tone and height are about the only things that differentiate Ortiz and A-Rod. The eight different venues available (two must be unlocked) are the visual bright spots of the title. The designs of each diamond are distinct and interesting. Conversely, the sounds and voice acting are devoid of any redeeming qualities. The canned commentary and sparse effects are definitely mute-worthy.

When all is said and done, Backyard Baseball '09 is a forgettable title that may go over with very young gamers. Though the title is not all bad, mature gamers are better off saving the time and money!

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

The game features uninspired cartoon visuals that gamers have grown to expect from budget titles.
Controls are very simple and functional, though you're bound to yawn before the end of the first game.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Run-of-the-mill effects and poor voice acting throughout are pitiful.

Play Value
The game has only slightly more to offer than the original Baseball for NES. Young children may actually enjoy it.

Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • All current MLB teams' uniforms and logos.
  • Pro player from every MLB team - David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro, and more.
  • 11 Backyard Teams and your favorite Backyard Kids - Pablo Sanchez, Joey MacAdoo, Ernie Steele, Tony Delvecchio, and more.
  • New power-ups with meter and new player capabilities.
  • Custom team and player options.
  • Enhanced hitting and fielding controls.
  • Unlockable fields and players including the great Babe Ruth!
  • Multiple levels of difficulty.

  • Screenshots / Images

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