Review by wraymike

Reviewed: 05/30/01 | Updated: 05/30/01

I would not call this game the total baseball package, but it does bring some new ideas to the table and it is a solid start for Acclaim on the PS2.

All-Star baseball is a good game turned bad by a few problems.
Some would like to call these problems glitches, but they are just mistakes made by the company. One of the biggest is the graphical error when the ball is going to a fielder. The ball just disapears and the guy still catches it when it appears to go 2 feet wide of the glove. Sometimes, the ball will go to the left side of the guy and his glove will be on his right side. The other problem is the baserunning. I have yet to see a triple and the running is very unresponsive and the computer timing is unrealistic. The ball will be hit down the line and the fielder will get to it before you can round first. This makes it hard to get a good inning going.
In the graphics department, the game is good. The overall look of this game is far superior to High Heat and I don’t know about Triple Play. The character models are lifelike and the stadiums are nice. Some added things are the mascots (could of had more), more lifelike stands, and working bullpens and dugouts. It’s cool to have a play go into the bullpen when the pitcher is warming up. The animations are okay, but the throwing animations are jerky at times. The batting and pitching movements are clean and smooth. I would give the graphics of this game an 8.
The control is the meat of this game. First off, the batting is controlled by a batting cursor. I liked that they made it smaller depending on the batting and contact ability of the hitter. You can also change the direction of each swing. I would not call batting in this game an easy task, but it is a very innovative idea. The pitching is the basic pick a pitch and location. I didn’t feel the simulation in pitching that I did while playing High Heat. Batters would hit a homerun on a pitch that was low and outside out of the strike zone. The homeruns were numerous and random by means of the pitch type. As I mentioned before, it’s very hard to drop a ball in between two fielders because of their amazing speed and reaction. Baserunning is very poor because of unresponsive controls and this is the worst part of the game. Fielding is awkward at times because the jump and dive buttons are shoulder buttons. The pre-loading throwing is a very good idea, but it seems that the fielder bobbles the ball and double clutches before throwing. Another problem with throwing is that some players just lob the ball when a hard throw is needed and there is no urgency in the fielders. I think that this a place where the analog buttons could be used to control the velocity of a throw. I give the control a 7.
Sound is fair. The announcers are fine and crowd noise is not there, but this doesn’t really affect the game at all.
Replay value for this title is high because of the added features such as home run derby, create a player, and classic uniforms. I give the replay value a 9.
I would suggest that any baseball fan should certainly give this game a rental and a buy for the couragous.
I would not call this game the total baseball package, but it does bring some new ideas to the table and it is a solid start for Acclaim on the PS2.

Graphics ---- 8
Control ---- 7
Replay Value ---- 9
Total Score ---- 8

Rating: 8

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