Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball

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Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball
Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball
Cover art
Developer(s)Iguana Entertainment
Iguana Entertainment UK
Realtime Associates
Publisher(s)Acclaim Entertainment
Designer(s)Brett Gow[1]
Composer(s)Greg Turner
Eric Swanson
Darren Mitchell (SNES)
Platform(s)Genesis, Super NES, Game Gear, Game Boy, Saturn, PlayStation, MS-DOS
ReleaseSuper NES:
Sega Genesis:
  • EU: 1995
  • NA: September 4, 1995
Game Boy:
  • NA: December 1995
  • EU: 1996
PC:
  • NA: May 31, 1996
Sony PlayStation:
  • NA: June 5, 1996
  • JP: September 13, 1996
  • EU: October 1996
Sega Saturn:
  • JP: August 2, 1996
  • NA: June 7, 1996
  • EU: 1996
Game Gear:
Genre(s)Traditional baseball simulation
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball is a multiplatform baseball simulation game that was licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association, featuring the likeness, motion captured movements, and "Big Hurt" branding of player Frank Thomas.

All the teams, statistics, and players are meant to simulate the 1995 Major League Baseball season.[3] Acclaim released a successor to the game also featuring Thomas and now featuring actual major league teams, All-Star Baseball '97 featuring Frank Thomas.

Gameplay[edit]

In this screenshot, the batter sends the ball flying far away. On the scoreboard, there is also an endorsement for the athletic shoe company Reebok.

Featuring realistic pitching, realistic batting, and a realistic likeness of Frank Thomas himself for the game's era, there are also regular season and exhibition modes.[1]

Pitching and batting can be done either in a high, medium, or low direction (in addition to slow, medium, or fast pitching) for greater realism.[1] Greater emphasis was placed on defense and pitching, as opposed to more offense-oriented baseball video games like World Series Baseball '95. Games often take place at night; especially at Wrigley Field.[4]

Games can be played to a minimum of two innings and a maximum of nine innings (plus any extra innings that occur in a tied game). All the teams in the game can be edited through a special edit screen; this allows players to replace teams that they don't like with their home towns (that don't have Major League Baseball teams).[5]

More than 700 players with Major League Baseball contracts appeared in the game.

Development[edit]

Frank Thomas's animations in the game were created from several days of motion capture filming Thomas at Acclaim's in-house studio during Spring 1995.[6]

Release[edit]

A conversion of the game was in development for the Atari Jaguar CD after Atari Corporation and Acclaim announced their partnership in March 1995 that included plans to release three titles for the system, including Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball.[7][8][9][10][11][12] The port was originally slated to be release around the fourth quarter of 1995 and was later slated for an April/Q2 1996 release,[7][13][14][15] but work on the port was discontinued sometime in 1995 and was never released.[16]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
EGM7.5/10 (PS1)[17]
GameSpot6/10 (PC)[18]
Next Generation2/5 stars (SNES)[19]
3/5 stars (SAT)[20]
Sega Saturn Magazine58% (SAT)[21]

Reviewing the Genesis version, Videohead of GamePro said the game has "nothing awful", but is also short on exceptional features. He praised the animation but criticized the slow-moving fielders, inauthentic representations of real world ballparks, "jagged" voice tracks, and graphical glitches.[22] Air Hendrix reviewed the Super NES version and was more negative: "Watching Little League players would be more exciting than struggling with Big Hurt's shoddy controls, scant features, and no-brainer action." He also criticized how tightly the camera follows the ball during fielding.[23] Next Generation's brief review of the Super NES version stated, "Combing simulation aspects with a traditional baseball game, Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball shows signs of innovative but flawed thinking. Most of the simulation aspects are in the pitching, which quickly becomes a tiresome chore. The rest of the game is a sub-par replica of several other baseball titles."[19]

The two sports reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly both gave the PlayStation version a 7.5 out of 10. They remarked that the attention to detail in the stadium sounds and visuals make the game very realistic, and that while the control is somewhat "sluggish", it works well once learned.[17] GamePro's Scary Larry said that the motion-captured animation is excellent, but that against other PlayStation baseball games such as Triple Play 97, Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball doesn't hold up well due to the lack of key options such as changing the batter's stance and speed bursts while running.[24] He gave a more positive recommendation for the Saturn version, while noting that he only did so because the Saturn did not have as many outstanding baseball games as the PlayStation yet.[25] Both GamePro and Next Generation found the Saturn version a major improvement over the Super NES version, with Next Generation calling it "an extremely solid game with little flaws that keep it from being great." The reviewer called the graphics "extraordinary", while his criticisms included the somewhat difficult interface and the delay in the batting controls.[20] Rob Allsetter of the British Sega Saturn Magazine chiefly commented on baseball's lack of mass appeal in Britain, and argued that though Big Hurt is good by the standards of a baseball video game it would only appeal to those who are fans of the sport.[21]

GamePro gave the Game Boy version a brief negative review, commenting that "The graphics make hitting a nightmare. When the ball is on its way, it gets lost in the green background. Every swing of the bat sounds like a skier slushing down the slopes." They were much more approving of the Game Gear version, saying it "offer smooth gameplay and excellent control along with such options as Season and All Star games."[26]

Legacy[edit]

In October of 2018, the game's rights were acquired by Canadian production company Liquid Media Group along with other titles originally owned by Acclaim Entertainment.[27]

See also[edit]

Frank Thomas' Big Hurt - a pinball game

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Overview of Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball". MobyGames. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  2. ^ a b c "Release date". GameFAQs. Archived from the original on 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  3. ^ "Basic game summary". allgame. Archived from the original on 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  4. ^ "Defense/pitching/aesthetics information". 34th Dimension. Archived from the original on 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  5. ^ ""Edit team name" mode information". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  6. ^ "Hooray for Hollywood! Acclaim Studios". GamePro. IDG (82): 28–29. July 1995.
  7. ^ a b "ATARI AND ACCLAIM JOIN FORCES IN MAJOR SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT". Nine Lives. March 22, 1995. Archived from the original on December 14, 2004. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  8. ^ "CVG News - Atari's Cat Gets The CD Cream - Big Cat Claws EA Deal". Computer and Video Games. No. 163. Future Publishing. June 1995. pp. 12–13. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  9. ^ "ProNews: At the Deadline". GamePro. No. 71. IDG. June 1995. p. 149.
  10. ^ "Acclaim join Atari for a bit of a Jag 'n' Jam". Ultimate Future Games. No. 7. Future Publishing. June 1995. p. 23.
  11. ^ "Jaguar: mass market machine". Edge (supplement). No. 22. Future Publishing. July 1995. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-08-29. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  12. ^ Vendel, Curt (August 26, 1995). "Payment Schedule for Jaguar games to Developers" (PDF). atarimuseum.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  13. ^ "Feature - XT Generation Report - Atari Jaguar". MAN!AC (in German). No. 20. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. June 1995. p. 40.
  14. ^ "Release Liste". Video Games (in German). No. 46. Future-Verlag. August 1995. p. 43. Archived from the original on 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  15. ^ Gore, Chris (August 1995). "The Gorescore - Industry News You Can - Upcoming Jaguar Software Titles". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 79. L.F.P., Inc. p. 14.
  16. ^ Dragon, Lost (July 5, 2017). "The Ultimate Jaguar Unreleased/Beta/Source/Dev Master List! - Page 5". atari.io. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  17. ^ a b "Big Hurt Baseball". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 85. Ziff Davis. August 1996. p. 100.
  18. ^ Foster, Hugo (July 25, 1996). "Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2014-12-27. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball". Next Generation. No. 13. Imagine Media. January 1996. p. 170.
  20. ^ a b "Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball". Next Generation. No. 21. Imagine Media. September 1996. p. 150.
  21. ^ a b Allsetter, Rob (July 1996). "Review: Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 9. Emap International Limited. pp. 68–69.
  22. ^ "Frank Thomas 'Big Hurt' Baseball Faces Big Injury". GamePro. No. 88. IDG. January 1996. p. 122.
  23. ^ "Frank Thomas 'Big Hurt' Baseball". GamePro. No. 89. IDG. February 1996. p. 86.
  24. ^ "Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball". GamePro. No. 96. IDG. September 1996. p. 84.
  25. ^ "Big Hurt Makes Big Dent on Saturn". GamePro. No. 96. IDG. September 1996. p. 80.
  26. ^ "ProReview: Frank Thomas "Big Hurt" Baseball". GamePro. No. 91. IDG. April 1996. p. 86.
  27. ^ Orselli, Brandon (2018-10-02). "Liquid Media Acquires Rights to 65 Classic Acclaim Entertainment IPs". nichegamer.com. Retrieved 2019-02-04.

External links[edit]