Sunday, June 6, 2010

Play Ball, Ya Cark Wholes!

I recently spent a little time playing the Japanese baseball title Power League II for the PC Engine.  It's not a particularly remarkable game -- the original Power League came to the US as World Class Baseball for the TurboGrafx-16, and the improvements in this second edition are minor.  It's competent, standard stuff typical of the era.

Gameplay is straightforward -- swing with a button, pitch with D-pad and buttons, field and throw the ball to one of the four bases using the D-pad.  Joysticks and D-pads have always mapped well to the baseball diamond, so there's nothing new here.

The only thing halfway remarkable about Power League II is that much of the game is in English, and the fictional teams are given invented English names and logos that are... um... rather interesting.  They're definitely not Japanese, but they're not quite English either.

The logos don't always give the full names away -- we don't see those until we get to the setup screens and the scoreboards.  The general impression is that these teams are sponsored like Little League, by local manufacturers with very limited product lines:

And while it's one thing to see a game pitting the Buffers against the Litons, or the G-Jans versus the Straws... this pairing is altogether more evocative:

I like to think that the Japanese development team happened across a jovial Englishman in a Tokyo bar late one night and pressed him for assistance in naming the teams.  And perhaps after a few drinks, he decided to have a little fun at their expense.

It's an honorable enough joke.

After all, the Carks and the Wholes have been banging away at each other for millennia.

No comments:

Post a Comment