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Mlb Slugfest 2003 PS2 PlayStation2 Playstation 2 PStwo

Mlb Slugfest 2003

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Review of Mlb Slugfest 2003

Taking a cue from their NFL Blitz and NHL Hitz franchises, Midway has just brought home the baseball version of these enjoyable games called MLB Slugfest 20-03. As the name suggests, get ready for some high scoring, no holds barred baseball that only Midway can deliver.

To start things off, Slugfest is actually quite a complete baseball title in its own right. All of the official teams, and ballparks are in the game…but alas not all of the players have made the cut. There is a Quick Game Challenge and Full Season mode as well as a sweet multi-player Tournament mode. There is a very simple pitcher/batter interface that works well and you have your 9 fielders/batters, etc. It is here though that any semblance to real life baseball begins to tail off rapidly…

You can pretty much throw the rules out the window and consider this the way baseball really should be played (hey, ya gotta change with the time!). Connecting with the ball is simple. Press “x” for contact, “square” for a power hit of “o” for a bunt. The ballplayers “stats” are displayed as he walks up to the plate so you know if you have a good contact hitter or a powerhouse at the plate. Pick your swings accordingly. There is also a turbo meter that gets filled up during play (mostly useful while running the bases) and pressing certain highlighted directional buttons as you swing will ensure a more successful at bat by positioning the ball where you want it to go.

Once on base, feel free to attack and clobber the baseman holding the ball. If you connect with a good shot, he may drop the ball and enable the player to advance a base if your quick enough. If it looks like the play is going to be close, try to slide (i.e. ram) into the person protecting the base and take him out.

Beaning a batter also has its rewards. Clocking a person at the plate is a sure way to lower their stats in any particular area. Beware though, if you bean someone that is flaming (or could possibly flame up…more on that in a moment), he is more likely to run to the mound and put a serious hurting on the pitcher. His attribute will also go up instead of down!

Each time a player gets a hit, their attributes go up. This is represented at first by a player beginning to smoke. Get another hit and the player ignites like Johnny Torch from the Fantastic Four. Once in this mode, the player becomes extremely dangerous. He is more likely to be able to knock balls lose from the opposing players when on base, he can much more easily steal bases successfully, he runs faster in the field and can track balls better, etc. Get a couple of players “ignited” on the team at the same time and look out…

Of course in an arcade title of this sort, high scoring games are the norm. Getting 40 or 50 plus runs is not unusual, but it is certainly a blast doing it. I never found the game to be boring due to the fact that there were so many unpredictable things that could happen at any given moment.

Games can be customized whatever amount of innings you want to play (between 4 and 9), various skill levels and turning balls on or off. I found the AI to actually play a darn good game of baseball at the higher settings (Veteran and All-Star). While the scores were still astronomical, the fielding was tighter and the computer applied much more pressure. Carefully balancing the bean and turbo options make all of the difference between winning and losing a game by a mile.

For lasting appeal, there are the now famous Midway icon selections at the start of each game. Three icons appear that can be changed by pressing a certain series of buttons on the controller to unlock all kinds of sweet little options like unique stadiums, animal players, big head mode, etc. It’s a good thing this is in there because even though this is a fun game to play, the novelty wears off quickly and things could get stale after a spell.

The few drawbacks of the game are the fact that gamers can only play 52 game seasons (not adjustable) and there is no create-a-player in there. Other than that, Slugfest is a real blast to play especially with a friend over. Set the game for 4 or 5 innings and get ready to laugh your asses off.

Graphically, the game is extremely pleasing to the eye. The player models are very well done. They feature high poly counts, nice smooth character design and silky animations. The player faces look eerily like their real life counterparts, and even the bodies closely resemble the actual players. I would go as far as to say these are some of the best character models in a baseball title ever.

The animations are truly a delight with a generous amount of crotch adjusting, butt grabbing, bat twirling and 1,500 other comedic actions to keep a smile on a gamers face throughout.

The stadiums are also impeccably recreated and look gorgeous. Even the crowds appear to be fully rendered 3D models instead of the cardboard cutouts we normally get.

The special effects are quite notable as well. The flames on the players are incredibly done and the red trail that follows a hit ball is also eye catching. The lighting and shadowing is also sweet.

Things get even better in the sound department. The commentary is incredibly humorous (how they finagle a story about hemorrhoids into a sportscast is beyond me…but it works) and original. It was funny to hear them talking about a batter coming up to the plate, only to go off on a tangent moments later about something completely off topic. The banter is definitely fresh and held my interest far longer than most “normal” announcers.

The rest of the sounds are typical noises you would expect to hear at a baseball game and they are all done very well and right on cue.

OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Mlb Slugfest 2003' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

This review was written by Tom Rooney © Absolute PlayStation


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MLB SLUGFEST 2003

88/100

Review Summary:

"MLB Slugfest 2002 is in its first year in what I hope will become a repeating franchise much like Midways other over the top sports titles, Blitz and Hitz. Even though it is in its first year, it is a wonderful upstart title and incredibly fun to play.

This is actually how real baseball should be played. The sport has grown so stale and boring to me over the years, that this was like a breath of fresh air. IT certainly made the sport fun again.

The game plays very tight and there is a good amount of strategy that can be employed by properly using the “bean the batter” tactic and knowing when to exercise the turbo option.

The graphics are some of the finest yet seen in a baseball title and the announcers are absolutely hilarious. If you can only pick up one baseball title this year, get High Heat. If you really want to have a great time playing a baseball title this year though, you will want to pick up Slugfest."

Score Breakdown:

Graphics  18/20
Playability  45/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  15/20

Our Recommendation:

This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

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MLB SLUGFEST 2003

Mlb Slugfest 2003 was created by Midway and is a Baseball Sports game.

MLB SLUGFEST 2003 FEATURES:

Adrenaline-style Gameplay

Fast-Action Batter/Pitcher Interface

Outrageous Animations

MLB and MLBPA Licensed

Real teams, players, stadiums, stats and player attributes combined with fantasy players and stadiums

MLB SLUGFEST 2003 OPTIONS:

• DVD Media
• 165 KBytes required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap2)
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Vibration facility

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