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Reviewed: Baseball Edition 2000
Publisher: Interplay Sports
Developer: Interplay Sports
Genre Type: Sports Simulation
Price: $39.95
Required System: P200, 32mb Ram, 80mb HD, 3D-Accelerator (D3D or OGL), Win95+
Related Games: Triple Play 2000, High Heat 2000
Overall Rating:
Author: Chris Kim       Date: July 20th 1999
Page: 2

As in any old baseball game, it consists of the typical three categories in gameplay: exhibition, season, and homerun derby. If you have any knowledge of how a baseball game works, you should know how these terms of play are, and should know what to expect from a typical baseball game right? As with any old baseball game as well you come across the fully licenced MLB and MLBPA baseball products, this being one of them has full licences to add the authentic MLB stadiums, logos, teams and the MLBPA licence allows the game to add each individual player. Each of the teams, stadiums, and players all here in this game (unless they were brought up from the minors since the beginning of the season). As with the rosters, the rosters are upto date as of the opening day of the 1999 season with 1998 stats and ratings. So providing that the stats and ratings are correct, we'll expect a pretty good simulation correct? Yes, Baseball Edition 2000 provides a very good simulation of what a baseball game should be.

The pitcher/batter interface
What every player does when they swing

Exactly how good of a simulation does the game provide? Well, I'd say it is pretty close to a real baseball game and plays and feels like one as well. There are; however, several flaws in the mechanics of the game there no matter what you do, just feel terribly flawed. The main flaw is in the batter and pitcher interface. What is wrong with it? Well, pretty much the whole system. You are left with a catcher eye view, so you get the view from right behind the plate, only problem is, this is the only camera angle you can bat from. This may not provide any challenge to some people, but I certain would have liked to have other camera angles to bat from. So, once you get past the camera angles, you have the pitching and hitting. The batting isn't the hardest thing in the world, which can be said of many games. There are three settings of "difficulty" that the computer can set, Rookie, Pro, or All-Star. Each of these influence how well you can hit the ball. On rookie, you don't have to worry about location of the ball, just timing. So you can just sit there and hit the swing button and get a hit. In Pro, the location of the ball becomes important. Only problem is, there is no cursor or anything to tell where you can hit to. If the ball is high, you press the up button and swing or if it's low press down and swing. Sure this isn't a problem, but this becomes a challenge after a while swinging blindly. This especially holds true for the All-Star difficulty where the ball comes faster at the batter, which might possibly be the timing of real baseball pitchers. The pitching as well is quite a challenge, you don't get any cursor to where you will pitch, the user will just press a direction on the keypad (or joypad) and the ball will be pitched that way. It's extremely hard to tell where the ball will go depending on the pitch and pitcher. What I really liked was the batter/pitcher interface from the Ken Griffy Baseball/Slugfest games for the Nintedo64 console system.

Get off the floor!
TV Style presentation

Once you learn how the batter/pitcher interface works, you can actually start playing now. Inside the game is four different game modes, exhibition, season, tournament, and homerun derby. Personally, I really enjoy season game modes because they let you fully customize your game and allows you to see your growth of your players. One of the coolest features of the season mode is the statistic tracking engine. The stats engine in the game is truly impressive. Not only does it have the most comprehensive set of stats, but they also have an All-Star Voting tracking system that allows the computer to simulate fan accumilated votes for the All-Star game based on performance of your players. It really makes you want to improve your game just so you can see your players at the top of that list. The come to expect features of the season play are here: league leaders, calendar schedule, varied game/season length, etc. Simulating a season and other games however is way too time consuming in the way that it is setup.

Just got struck out
Going, Going...

Homerun derby is always a lot of fun to play in baseball games, especially if you have friends or other opponents to play against. Not only does the Homerun Derby feature help you improve your batting skills in the game, but it also helps out in your ability to better understand how the physics of the game are set. Still, the physics are a bit on the arcade side... the ball movement and hit ability are too high. A ball will be hit at the ground, then you will see the ball bounce an incredible 100 feet in the sky after it hit the dirt near home plate. Or other times, the ball will bounce off of a score board or hard surface with no cushions, and the ball will stop dead right at the warning track and not bounce hard. Some other things I thought that should have been in the game, but were missing as well are features like collisions between fielders, walls, and other things like that. There are collisions between base running and catchers. The only thing that is weird about running to home when the ball isn't anywhere near home plate, the running will still ram the catcher over even if they don't have the ball.

After hitting a homerun
Swing batter, swing!

The AI is absolutely terrific in the game. The computer doesn't actually cheat in this game, which is very good. The opponent will play you fair, like in a real baseball game. The computer doesn't act robotically like it does in some games, but acts very human. They will make the same mistakes a lot of regular baseball players make and do the same great things players make. One thing that is often mistaken and often left dead in most baseball games are pickles. In many games you can easily con the computer into getting a free base or getting safe in pickles. Well, that will all change with this game, the opponent will actually chase you down and get you out like in a real game (getting safe during a pickle is very rare in real life). The computer can exploit all your weaknesses and take advantage of all your mistkes. If you make a pitch straight down the middle, the computer will obviously blast the ball somewhere and make you pay for the bad pitch. The computer can also strike out! The opponent is not some superstar that can hit everything, the computer is often fooled as well. The computer plays extremely smart and defensive. They don't take many chances, but in the late innings they will if they are down. They won't take out a star pitcher in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and Larry Walker at the plate and put in some junky pitcher, when their team is up by one with two outs (talk about a tense situation! :-).

Easy play
Get the cutoff man!

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Added:  Tuesday, July 20, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 2/4

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