Review by NewbieRandomEtc

Reviewed: 03/15/03 | Updated: 03/15/03

A good game, but not without it's flaws...

This year, baseball fans have been blessed(Or cursed?) with a large selection of basball games. ASB, HH, WSB, MLB, MVP, Slugfest, plus several others. I write this review to(Hopefully) make your choice a bit easier.

VERY good. The stadiums and backgrounds are the best yet, of ANY baseball game. The player faces and models are good, but some of the players are a bit generic. Overall, the graphics are great, and you can really submerge yourself into the game.

SOUND: 8/10
I will break down Sound into 2 different cateragories: Commentary and Sounds and Music.
Sounds and Music:
Pretty much what you expect in a baseball game. Bat cracking, glove popping, crowd cheering, etc. These are nothing extraordinary, but still very good. The music is very good, including songs from Smashmouth, Hank Jr., and DMX. Plus, classic baseball tunes such as the ''7th Inning Stretch''. Overall, these are very good and make the game seem very real.
This is something that has plagued sports games since the beginning of (Sports Gaming) time. Commentary gets old very quickly, leaving most people to pop in a CD and mute their TV's while playing. ASB is no exception, although the commentary is quite good for the short time you'll listen to it. Steve ''Psycho'' Lyons and Tom Brenemen(Sp?) return as the commentary team. They're topics vary from batters' stats, to Lyons's pants dropping a couple years ago... Yeah, Lyons talks about dropping his pants. Overall this is good, but problems are still their. Example: I, the Braves, am playing a game with Russ Ortiz on the hill. During the pre-game, Lyons remarks about how Ortiz anchors the Giants' staff... Huh? Although minor, it happens enough to be very annoying at times. Still, the commentary is good enough.

Gameplay: 8/10
ASB has always been knocked for having unrealistic, arcady style gameplay. It appears Acclaim has finally taken ear to these complaints and has made the gameplay more realistic than that of years' past. Gone are the days of 15-11 blowouts every game, gone are the seasons where Luis Castillo is a 30-30 man. Gone are the days where Mike Piazza steals 20 bases. Gone are the seasons where you walk just 20 times. Gone... Okay, enough of that. What i'm trying to say is that most of ASB's gameplay problems have been fixed... Most of them anyway. The Computer will still sometimes go into stretches where they'll be nigh unhittable, then enter another stretch where you wish there was a difficulty higher than All-Star to play on. The computer will go homer happy occasionally, but it's nowhere near as bad or as common as last year. Overall the gameplay is good and MUCH improved.

This is where ASB stands head and shoulders above it's competition. The franchise mode is ASB is incredibly in-depth, with Arbitration, a Rule 5 Draft, Player Draft, Spring Training, and MORE. Overall, it's the best franchise mode in any baseball game available. Other modes include Scenario Mode, where you try to complete tasks and duplicate games from the 2002 MLB season. Pick-up game, where you use your favorite players to duke it out. Plus you have Expansion Franchise, Exhibition, and Series play. Overall, the game modes are very impressive and make sure you always have something to do.

Rent/Buy: As with any game, I suggest you rent before you buy. I have enjoyed ASB with all my heart, but I am not you.

I hope my review helps you choose which baseball game you want to buy this year.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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