Ninja Baseball Bat Man's storyline involved the theft of several golden pieces of equipment from the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Commissioner (of baseball, not Gotham City) has asked the titular quartet to recover them before they are lost forever. The journey takes players from Seattle to New York and many cities in between. Along the way, a truly bizarre horde of enemies must be struck down. Enemies vary from city to city, but include evil catcher's mitts, walking playing cards, and humanoid baseballs of many different colors and varieties, including punk rock.
Bosses are equally as trippy, ranging from an anthropomorphic biplane (fought in the huge interior of another airplane), a cyborg alligator with a tail that fights on it's own when cut off, and the "Ghost Buffalo", a collection of haunted house decorations animated by a poltergeist into a bull-like form. It's easily the strangest set of enemies in any brawler I can remember; think the dream sequence level in The Simpsons, but for an entire game, and it's Honus Wagner who's having the dream.
I have played many co-op brawler through the years, many of them in the past decade or so. Time has not been kind to many of these games, perhaps even most of them. But I didn't feel this way about playing Ninja Baseball Bat Man at all. It was a sheer delight from start to finish. The incredibly creative imagination behind the game is second to none. Who would have thought that ninjas and baseball would combine together so effectively? I loved the heroes, with their traditional ninja powers and almost magical abilities. And, in truth, literally batting around man-sized baseball creatures is a unadulterated hoot. I can't really say enough good things about Ninja Baseball Bat Man; it's become one of my favorite old school brawlers, and I can't wait to try it again.
I owe a special thanks to Gameroom magazine for publishing an interview with Ninja Baseball Bat Man's primary creator, Drew Maniscalco in the September 2010 issue. It was this interview that made me aware of teh epic awesomeness that is Ninja Baseball Bat Man. Maniscalco now has a website, where you can check out an interesting image gallery filled with concept art, and read the entire Gameroom interview. It's definitely worth checking out for any fan of classic gaming. I hope to have a gameplay video for you to check out in the next video edition of Co-Op Classics!