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Little League World Series Baseball is another game in Activision's Fun4All series. Although packaged in a similar fashion, these games fluctuate in their best audience. Here we have a surprisingly well rendered and thorough version of kids baseball. This is the most involved game in the series providing even more proper game play than Pitfall The Big Adventure Wii or Pirates Hunt for Blackbeard's Booty Wii.
Sports games recreate a wide variety of real life competitive activities. Depending on the sport, these will either have an action or strategy focus. Popular sports games are often released on an annual basis, each year the game receives new player rosters and game improvements.
Little League World Series Baseball provides a full version of baseball rendered in Japanese cartoon style and tacking in the world of Little League. Although something of an alien concept on European shores, this started baseball program is the backbone of many American sporting curriculum. The lack of recognition over here perhaps explains its appearance in the Fun4All range, and as such is a hidden gem - particularly while we wait for the arrive of Mario Super Sluggers Wii.
Players are first taken through a set of tutorials that introduce the nuanced pitching, fielding and batting mechanics. Each of these make good use of the Wii's gesture controls along with some sensible use of buttons. The play is by its nature turn based, something that offsets the complexity of the game for younger players.
As an introduction to the sport of baseball Little League World Series Baseball provides coverage of pretty much every aspect. Tactics as well as pitching and hitting skills are key and players soon develop their own approach and understanding.
Players may first think this is a baseball minigame along the lines of Wii-Sports Baseball. But even in the first half hour of play there is clearly a lot more on offer here. It was great to see my kids get a taste of Baseball for themselves, a racket and ball sport so much more compelling than rounders or softball.
Because this is a proper sports title it will take longer to get into than the other Fun4All titles. Once a good hour or so has been spent in the tutorial you are ready to play proper. Game sessions then last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, although it is possible to pause and save at various points through the innings.
Very young players will find the various elements of the game a challenge in their own right. Bringing these together is likely to be a bridge too far for those where this sport doesn't already feature in their psyche.
Intermediates and those a little older will enjoy improving the various aspects of their baseball skills. Brining these together to then work through a season with your team makes for a lot of fun - even for those of us that are new to the world of Baseball.
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