Of all the popular American sports, ice hockey is probably my favourite. I know other countries (including the UK) play ice hockey and have domestic leagues, but for me the NHL is the go-to for fast, ice-based violence/fun; and the similarities it shares with soccer make it quite easy for me to enjoy. There are two teams, two goals, two goalkeepers, and a thing that needs to be put past said 'keeper to score a point. Simple.
This waffle is about baseball, a largely American pastime, but with a Japanese spin. Am I making any sense here at all? I doubt it. Baseball is very popular in Japan and so it's only natural that a baseball game based on the Japanese league would be released on the Dreamcast...and it was. Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu Dreamcast Edition is one such example of this (I know other games of this ilk exist) and represents Konami's solitary flirtation with the sport on Sega's console. Konami's support of the Dreamcast in the West was spotty at best (The Grinch, Deadly Skies and International Track & Field are the only games that spring to mind without going to look at Wikipedia) but in Japan Konami actually acted like at least one fuck was given and so there are plenty of text-heavy NTSC-J titles floating around eBay covered in pictures of super-deformed cartoon characters.
As a complete n00b when it comes to baseball games (OK, I've played All Star Baseball on N64 and MLB 2K1 on Dreamcast) I was totally surprised by just how much fun Jikkyou turned out to be. I must confess that I've not really investigated any of the modes other than 'exhibition match,' but it looks as if there are plenty of league and career type modes available if you can actually read Japanese. On the surface, it looks like a cartoony baseball game but if you have the inclination to dig a little deeper (and again, can read Japanese), I suspect there is probably a fantastic sports game here.
That said, even if you can't get full use out of it, it's worth picking up if you see it cheap as there's a lot of fun to be had simply from the exhibition mode and I'd wager it's also great fun with two players. Maybe one day I'll be able to manufacture a friend from all of the broken Dreamcast parts laying around the house and experience local multiplayer fun with Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu.