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A.P.I Review: Triple Play 2000
Developer: EA Sports OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Electronic Arts 1-2 Player
Game Type: Baseball Memory Card
Review Date: April 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

EA Sports' award-winning Triple Play Baseball series is back for another big season. Improvements include a more-responsive striking system giving you the control to hit for placement or power lift a bloop single over the shortstop’s head, drive a double into the gap, or jack a monster home run into another time zone.

Triple Play 2000’s variety of game modes and styles provide you with the perfect platform for playing a game with ultimate Major League realism... all the situations and intensity of the big leagues. Or, you can set up and play an Arcade mode game with more hits and more home runs. It's a hitter’s dream. From the first pitch to the final out, Triple Play 2000 promises big league gameplay.
Let's find out if all promises are fulfilled.

Sound & Vision

The curtain rises and it's 'cue FMV footage' for a now customary EA Sports welcome to Triple Play 2000. A carefully edited, non-stop, rip-roaring selection of live baseball league action draped with demanding promises such as 'it can hit what can't be seen' and 'it will pitch fire that cannot be extinguished'. Brave words indeed!

Comparing the original Triple Play game with the 2000 version it becomes obvious how far the Playstation's boundaries have been stretched. The motion captured players seem to have their individual mannerisms programmed in to the game. The batsman don't just stand there like lame targets... they fidget around home base, tapping the soles of their shoes with the bat and then swinging it around in a circular motion loosing up before strike.

The camera angles are ideal for batting and bowling. The viewing angle can be switched between the three settings, aerial, box seat and ground level, all of which are highly usable.

Codemasters could well take time out to study the fielding and catching system implemented in Triple Play 2000 as their lame attempt in Brian Lara Cricket made that section of the game almost unplayable. Triple Play keeps this method so simple. As soon as the batsman strikes the ball in the air an enormous yellow arrows appear on the field pointing towards the direction of travel. A large red target box appears with a central cross which highlights the landing point. The nearest fielder is then positioned on the estimated drop spot preparing to catch the ball. A giant shadow of the ball gradually reduces in size until it eventually reaches the players hands. So visually effective and highly playable.

The realistic field and stadium settings are immaculately presented as lighting switches between day, twilight, and night games. Although the crowds remain fairly static during the game the same cannot be said of the atmosphere. A few chords from the stadium organ is all that is needed to get the crowd chanting along and setting the mood of the game (always reminds me of Homer in that episode). Meanwhile commentators ramble on and on with an endless stream of useless trivia.


If truth be known in the past I have found baseball games a little... err... boring. To make matters worse a confusing control system usually ended up with me slothfully pressing the the X button each time, meaning all the player ever did was strike the ball out of bounds or whack it straight up in the air to be caught by the nearest fielder. Triple Play 2000 has worked it's way around this problem. Batting or bowling, the wide combinations of strikes and actions are always displayed on the screen finally making the sport accessible to everyone... even lazy old me.

When fielding there are two different kinds of throw, aggressive, and normal. That's one for the 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 batsman has three swings, contact, power, and bunt, he can also customize his stance by using the shoulder buttons.

Game modes include Single game, Season and Playoffs, each with four difficulty settings. There is also a Home Run Challenge which involves head to head challenges between the biggest hitters in the game to decide who is the greatest striker of the bat.

Of course no sporting game would be complete without the option to create players, sign agents, adjust line up, switch tactics and generally mess around with the entire construction of your favorite baseball team.

GRAPHICS: 18/20 A pick-up-and-play baseball game with splendid sound and visuals. There are ample game options and tons of stats to twiddle with.

I suppose opinion on the gameplay depends on how much you enjoy the real sport. On the positive side there isn't much hanging around because the player is thrust straight into the action, even turnovers are almost instant.
On the negative side a short bunt usually ends with a run out at first base while an attempt at a home run will probably get caught out on the wall which kind of suppresses the instinct to really 'have a go'.
SOUND: 7/10
VALUE: 16/20


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