Review by TheRockCT

Reviewed: 03/23/03 | Updated: 03/23/03

Not Ready for the Majors.....

All-Star Baseball 2004 had a web site feature-list a mile long, and many people (including myself) were anticipating the game. ASB 2002 was my first PS2 game period, and I had some, if not a ton, of enjoyment with the game. I wasn't very impressed then with the batter/pitcher interface & hitting system, and not a lot has changed.

Graphics: (7/10)

The graphics are a bit more crisp and clean than in previous versions, which is to be expected. Beautiful stadiums and solid colors help the game's atmosphere, however, some of the player details are flawed and I've noticed some small glitches within the gameplay.

Control/Gameplay: (3/10)

Lag with the batting swing, along with some odd menu commands contribute to this low score. Pitching is still a sore spot of the gameplay, as is the fielding.

Sound: (6/10)

Solid baseball in-park sounds make this feel quite realistic, and the commentary is well done. In-game menu music gets old, but at least it's a nostalgic ''baseball-esque'' score.

Realism: (3/10)

Stats just don't work out here, whether played or simulated. While Acclaim filtered out some of the high-scoring hit-fests or 40 homer seasons by Rafael Furcal, there are still too many inconsistencies. Franchise mode has some VERY amazing features, such as the Rule V draft, and solid minor league representation (if not as deep as High Heat's). Player development has some issues to work out, and the create-a-player is very basic. My gripe with WSB & ASB regarding their stat keeping during franchise mode is that if a player is traded, it does not show the other teams he played for in a season. I know, I know, who cares? Well, I do for one....the OOTP text-based series can do it, the console guys should too.

Extra Game Modes: (6/10)

The trivia mode & scenario mode are very fun to play around with, but this isn't the reason I rented this game.

Overall: (5/10)

This is purely a taster's choice. If you like the game & its style, then by all means go for it. There was a lot about this game I liked. The nostalgia, the deep franchise mode, the menu layouts, the stadium graphics, expansion, extensive pitches, etc. But there was equally, if not more things I didn't like. The realism, the gameplay, and the create-a-player all need work. While the franchise mode is deep, the customization could also use some tweaking. Expansion should include a ''Madden-style'' way of being able to name a team completely, not follow a pre-designed template.

This a rental for me, but don't believe me. Go play it yourself & formulate your own theories. That's all for now....

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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