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The first thing to ask in a last gen PSone game is how are the graphics? I have to say they are really good. Compared to other titles on PSone, EA continues to do a really good job rendering the players and the stadiums. There are noticeable polygons seams on the players and the fans in the stands are all static 2D bitmaps, but individual player movements are good and realistic. All the players are proportional to their real-life counterparts and to the size of the field. The stadiums that have grass show the mow paths and even show the little areas where dirt gets kicked onto the field from the base paths. The stadiums are all very true to their real-life dimensions. I can\'\'\'\'t vouch for Pittsburgh\'\'\'\'s new field, but they do a nice job of putting that into the game.
This game plays VERY well. It is very easy to get started and used to the controls. The pitches are easy to choose from since there are four to pick from and the appropriate button presses come up on the screen. Gamers can adjust the power of that pitch by pressing and holding the X button to the level of power you desire. Unfortunately there\'\'\'\'s no resetting this, if one chooses too little power—tough luck. When fielding, the game has a helper arrow from the player under your control to get to the target area to make the play. If that player can\'\'\'\'t get to the ball, the next nearer player comes under your control for fielding. I found that to be a little odd on the choice of the nearest fielder, and you have to change that player with the triangle button quickly to make the catch. On offense, the game automatically does the base running for you. There are times that you can override that feature when on the status screen (a base path representation with dots where the players are, much like MLB TV broadcasts show) the player dot turns from red to yellow. When it changes, you can force the player to the next base. That is not advisable unless you\'\'\'\'re sure the player can make it to the next base. It works better against another player than against the console. There is much to learn and master, but you\'\'\'\'ll at least make a quick start to winning some games as a rookie. In the games, there\'\'\'\'s the option to play 3, 5, 7, or 9 innings in the games. Rewards are unlocked if the player does something good like power a HR over the fence.
In the home-run derby, you can practice your big hits. The method is right on the screen where you have to press the circle button and the d-stick at the same time to power the ball over the fence. Mastering this will help you hit home runs in the season or quick start games. If you play against the computer, be prepared for the computer to beat you handily until you master the hitting stroke. Also, the opposing player\'\'\'\'s score only shows up. You can\'\'\'\'t opt to watch the computer as it does its hitting. This area is good to practice batting, but each foul ball or strike is an \'\'out\'\' in this game. In this as in the normal gameplay, there are three views of the action to choose from. All are focused behind the plate, but the camera can be low medium or high.
The sounds are very good and realistic to boot. The game adds some nice features to the crowd noises and ambient background PA announcing to give the feel of really \'\'being there.\'\' This is in surround sound and it fills the room nicely. The play-by-play announcer is the same guy that announces almost all of EA sports games. He\'\'\'\'s solid, but is a bit monotone. The color announcer, Buck Martinez, has good comments that you will hear recycled throughout, but has some stadium-specific comments such as mentioning the scoreboard in Wrigley Field is completely manual.
· MLB Player facial expressions are keyed into the game\'\'\'\'s engine. Watch your favorite players\'\'\'\' emotions as they strike out or send one over the fence.
· Exclusive rights to the MLBPA Big League Challenge, set in Las Vegas\'\'\'\' Cashman Field where today\'\'\'\'s greats see who can go the furthest most often. Big League Challenge Mode includes all 12 MLB participants in an Extreme Target Mode where you can hit targets and build up points for added excitement and competition in the home run hitting contest.
· The game includes signature pitching and batting styles of players such as El Duque, Nomar Garciaparra, Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown and others.
· Scripted animations include umpire arguments, high-fives and end-of-game celebrations.
· Rewards and codes based on in-game feats including power-ups, special hidden players, bonus teams and mystery stadiums.
· All 30 MLB stadiums.
· Multi-season play offers users the ability to draft their own team and play with a Points Cap to test their roster management skills.
· End of season World Tournament - Win the World Series and qualify for the World Tournament. Defeat all-star teams from around the world and unlock them for use in regular gameplay.
· Season Mode Points Play - Earn points during Season Play by accumulating stats. Use points to \'\'purchase\'\' items such as cheat stadiums or power-ups to enhance your players\'\'\'\' abilities.
· 2001 team schedules and rosters
· Two Man Booth - color commentary by Buck Martinez with Jim Hughson doing play-by-play.
1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility
REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:
We promise that we have fully played 'Triple Play Baseball' 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.
SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)
00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.
60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.
70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.
80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.
90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.
A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.
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