Review by WxSHAYNExW
"WSB2K2, disgracing Pedro fans everywhere"
Three fourths of the way through the MLB season (wahoo for delays) WSB2K2 has finally hit my Dreamcast, and I feel like charging the mound to start a bench-clearing brawl. This game had me so hyped up for some pixilated baseball fun, but left me more sour then a Red Sox fan watching the Yankees pound on Boston. Blah anyways on with the review.
Don't expect great visuals in WSB2K2. Right from the start, the menus are just plain junk. A lot of the time you won't pick the right mode or whatever. Like when your in season mode you'll accidently exit to the main menu. The player models won't catch your eyes either, their no where near as good as last years NFL/NBA2K1 games.
The sound is okay but it could have been better. I hate the way the ball sounds coming off of the bat. A soft grounded has the same sound as a 3 run blast to center field. The announcer isn't too bad but he often says the wrong line for the situation, like the frequent ''that will score atleast one run'' when there is nobody on base to score. There are some cool things such as fans that yell to batters coming up to bat.
The controls are fairly easy to master although I don't get the whole A/B/X/Y to throw to the base thing. They should have had it like most other games, hold the directional pad in the direction of the base and press A. Other than that the controls are good.
The options offered threw me a bit off, but after a good 3 hours of playing I saw right through them. While there are just as many options as NBA/NFL2K1 had, WSB2K2's options are done a bit half-assed.
First off, I couldn't wait to play the franchise mode. HA! the franchise mode in this game is done terribly. After so many years players are thrown out onto the free agent market and you have a minimal chance to keep the player. And signing free agents is basically non-existent as it's more of a draft than a signing. There are no salaries and you don't have the option of signing a player for your desired length of years...the computer decides the contract terms (no trade clauses and number of years). Signing free agents during the season is also bad, you have to give up a player in order to ''sign'' a free agent, more of a trade really.
Don't get me started on trades. The only way you can trade is a 1 for 1 deal, and 90% of the time the computer rejects the trade. Why wouldn't they just add improvements to the NBA/NFL2K1 systems for trading/signing players?
Beyond the franchise mode, the Homerun Derby seemed like a welcome addition. You are given a choice of pitches (5, 10, or 20) and players (up to 8). So far so good right? After what seemed to be a good start turned ugly. Rather than using the official homerun derby rules of 10 (or however many you selected) outs or swings that do not result in a homerun, the developers opted for a set amount of pitches, meaning the maximum homeruns you can hit is equal to the number of pitches selected. To top that off there are only 2 rounds of play. Ken Griffey Jr. baseball for SNES had a better Homerun Derby mode.
Another seemingly welcome mode was the create a player. And sadly WSB2K2 strikes out again. You are only allowed 3 players per VMU. To add to that you have no control over the batting/pitching movements or the appearance of your player. You also should have been able to assign your creation to a team rather than having him thrown in the free agency pool.
Overall this game could have been the best baseball game out there, but too many things where left out. Like I said salaries would have been nice, along with uneven trades rather than boring 1 for 1 trades, player awards (other than Player of the Game) and a half-assed franchise mode. If you're a baseball sim fan then this game is not for you, but if you plan on sitting around with a buddy or playing online then WSB2K2 is an okay game.
Buy or Rent?
I would definitely rent this game first. I might return my copy before the end of the week. It takes a step back from the advances NBA/NFL2K1 made, more of a NFL/NBA2K type of game. After all it is VC first swing at baseball. (I know that VC wasn't solely responsible for this heep of junk)
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 08/15/01, Updated 08/15/01
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