Review by dizzyjay2
"Best Sports Simulation Game, Period."
Most people have not played this title, and if they saw it on the shelves they would not even look twice at it, because its not a huge title made by a huge company. But this is anything but a small game. Picture this... its NFL Head Coach, only about baseball and actually good. And more than good, its an absolute blast when you really get into it.
Basically you start out as any team you want, any time you want. You can go all the way back to 1901 and play as the Boston Beaneaters (who later are called the Braves), and play through time. Real players come in, when they are supposed to come in, and you draft accordingly. You can start with any team, for example maybe you want to play with the 1919 White Sox and keep the team together through the scandal. Maybe you want to make the Cubs draft Babe Ruth and change his history. Whatever the case may be, you can probably do it. As you pass through time, the league shapes as it is today with teams expanding and what not. Also, as you progress into the future, their will be woman who become players.
You are the GM and manager of the team you control. You control trades, signings, and lineups. You can build a new stadium if things are booming and you have money, but you also will have to reduce the pay roll if things get ugly. You decide how much to charge for a hot dog, beer, tickets and more.
As you progress, one of the neat features is a newspaper article that appears after each 'big' event. A tight game, a world series game, a big trade, a big signing, whatever it might be. They are improved from last year, but sometimes still do not make logical sense (for example you could trade a pitcher for a pitcher, and the article will state how many errors your team has this year.)
You can also now play this year, though it is not a live action game. Pitching is basically: select a pitch and wear it goes and see what happens. Same with hitting. Kind of fun, but I couldn't really see anyone doing it. Even if you play of not, you can view the box score and scoring summary of any game if you like to stay on top of things.
A few of the player ratings a really bad for guys who come into the league who are normally good players. Jackie Robinson is AWFUL (I don't remember exactly what he is rated but its in the 60's or 70s). Most of the current ratings are okay but Victor Zambrano is an 88 for some reason. Some of the trading is awful, as teams will undermine veterans, but it is not as bad as it used to be.
Money is pretty unrealistic too. Old timers like Ruth get many millions in the 1930s. Players want money based on rating instead of on performance which is inaccurate. Some guys who do not even play will as for multi-million dollar deals sometimes and its frustrating if you are trying to stay under a cap. Some players who are rated poorly have terrific seasons, and some guys who are rated really well have terrible seasons, and there ratings will move around because of this. Its far better than any other baseball game I have played.
However, if you played last years version, not enough has been added to really make it worth getting again. It is better, but not too much better. If you loved last years version though, this would not be bad to pick up, as its fairly cheap.
This game is worth taking a look at if you are a baseball nut like I am. If you do not really enjoy the sport, its not the game for you, and in fact you probably know that by this point in the review. This game is really fun and in depth, and needs to be played more.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/31/07
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