Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 108: Bo Jackson Hit & Run

Talk about adding insult to injury. First Bo Jackson's football career is ended by a hip injury. Then his baseball career almost comes to an end as he is released by the Kansas City Royals (the Chicago White Sox would sign him a month later, but he missed most of the 1991 season and all of the 1992 season due to that injury). Then THQ plasters his name and face all over Bo Jackson Hit & Run, an ambitious game that managed to desecrate two sports at once.

Since the game was licensed by neither the NFL nor MLB, no actual professional athletes or teams appear. Even Bo Jackson, whose name is on the box, shows up only briefly and rarely to give players "helpful" tips.

Thanks, Bo, but if I want advice on avoiding strikeouts, I'll ask someone other than the guy who K'ed in over a third of his major league at bats.

It looks like a little more effort was put into the baseball half of Hit & Run. There are 12 teams to choose from and the players actually have names. That doesn't really do much to improve the play though. The fielders are difficult to move and any pitch that doesn't go pretty much right over the middle of the plate is called a ball. Also, the second baseman refuses to field anything, leaving the pitcher to run after anything hit to the right side of the infield.

About the only touch of realism the programmers added to the football side of Hit & Run was apparently incorporating Bo's debilitating hip injury. Every player on the filed moves like he has an artificial hip. The game is not only slow, but ugly. Players are nothing more than stick figures. There are just a few basic plays to choose from, and no teams to pick from.

Thankfully, the poor reception given to Bo Jackson Hit & Run led to the cancellation of the planned follow up, Deion Sanders Strut & Blab.

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