All-Star Baseball 2003 by Acclaim just might be the most realistic baseball game made today. But it’s not without flaws.
Look: Jeter, the spokesman for All-Star Baseball, looks like a chubby faced mafia henchman. The facial animation isn’t on par with say NBA 2k2 or a few other games. The crowd, although quite interesting, are really jagged. On close ups of the crowd you can see the images are real video from a real crowd, but distorted and ragged.
Feel: Batting is hard. But do you think you’d walk up to a major league plate and hit it out of the park? Think again, this game brings that realism home. Pitching is as much mental as it is skillful. You have to think about your pitches, sometimes thinking yourself into a homer. Ouch.
Somehow my outfielder catches the ball although you swear it landed five feet in front of him. It takes an instant replay for you to realize that yes indeed he caught it, but still the ball is five feet away and then, oops, its in your glove. Minor error and takes away from the realism.
The added features like Home Run Derby and Batting Practice help you adjust your swing, one for sheer fun and the other for skill. The expansion pack is great and the season is even better. Nothing is better than bringing back your old hometown team from the bottom of the barrel only to come on at the end and bring them to the play offs.
Hear: There is nothing really interesting. Give me some umps to yell at or to call me out with some enthusiasm. There is none of that. Just some stiff announcer telling me what the strike count is, it was as boring as watching a real game. So you can take it as you like, its real, but its also real boring. The crowd seems too involved in their hot dogs and cracker jacks than to cheer when the home team is trying to come back from one down in the ninth.
Frankly: Add a few ump animations, add some more fun to the sounds like with the crowds or the umps, and maybe speed up the game a bit and we have a perfect game, well that is if you make Jeter look like Jeter. Aside from that if you’ve got a friend over this game is more fun than, well its almost as much fun as playing a real game out back. As a single season play its endless, days and days of fun. You can rent it, but you’re only going to end up buying it.