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1-2 Player

Game Type

Sports sim

Mem. Card

Review Date

July 1996

Setting the Scene

First, here's a disclaimer: "I do not watch, nor do I enjoy baseball", but after playing Triple Play'97, I make sure I read the USA Today's section on baseball daily, I even watched part of the all-star game.




The introduction is pure quality, not a bunch of flashy drama trying to make up for a substandard game. The Virtual Stadium technology proves why they keep cramming this phrase down our throats. Every game starts off with a fly by of the stadium and the closing of the National Anthem (USA's or Canada's depending on the stadium). This feature alone will inspire you to visit every stadium. As an engineer, I found myself admiring the little intricacies like cars driving on the freeway, or the little old man (I think) pulling on what looks like a crank at Milwaukee, or the overcast at 3Comm stadium in San Francisco (right near my hometown), even the different singer at each stadium.

I like drama, so I was able to appreciate the background animation of the umpires and how two fielders can run into each other. TP97 also gives you numerous views to play from, but be warned! When playing from the fielder's view (behind the pitcher) all of the buttons mirror their function, and as an added glitch, the players who are right-handed throw with their left, and vice versa (except the pitcher).

Sounds and Effects

The voice of Mr. Houston is ever present, doing timely commentary on every play. Not the 5 second delayed 'here's the pitch....... its a hit........ out.... nice play by the outfielder. But more like "Next up at bat, Albert Belle, here's the pitch, ball one, the pitcher's falling behind, he tied the game last inning, etc., etc."


Statistically, TP97 holds stats on each player in seven categories, and contrary to what you will read in newsgroups, it even tracks saves. Since I'm not a baseball enthusiast, the stats were fine by me, I have heard that some are upset that there aren't more categories, I have no complaint in this area.

The playability is concise, a shadow tracks the vicinity of where the ball will land so as long as you stand inside the shadow, you should catch the ball. You also have the option of auto-fielding, although I'm not a baseball enthusiast, I chose to get used to the controls by manual fielding.

You have two different kinds of throws, aggressive, and normal, one for that panic moment when the third baseman drops the ball and has to beat out the runner at first, and one for when the shortstop is two paces from second and has to throw the ball to second cause he's too lazy to run to the base.

The batter has three swings, contact, power, and bunt, he can also customize his stance by using the R1 and L1 buttons. When on base, you have a new set of options. You can either control the runner, the batter, neither, or both (depending on your skill level). I've had the game for two weeks, and I still haven't mastered controlling both.

The main area that I've grown to appreciate as far as stats, is the fact that people go on hot or cold streaks. You can view whether a player is hot or cold in his stats. I also like the fact that players can get injured for miscellaneous reasons, and because you've worked them like a dog.

When pitching, you no longer have to worry about your opponent guessing your pitch based on which menu you are on (like Triple Play for the Genesis). Instead, you just have to memorize the pitches, roughly about 8 - 10 in all. I hope this is employed in John Madden '97. Don't you hate it when somebody learns your favorite move, not by instinct but by guessing because they saw the menu?

Value for Money

Every stadium is rendered originally, not the same stadium template with different colors and billboards. All of the players are in this one, even Ken Griffey Jr., and Frank Thomas. You can even create players. Pitches need to be memorized, so that your opponent cant see which one you have chosen. If you overlook the glitch of righties vs. lefty, (I can, some can't) then you will have days of enjoyment playing this game.





Still Play this game regularly








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