Review by PittsburghMike61

Reviewed: 06/24/03 | Updated: 06/24/03

AN HONEST REVIEW ON A DECENT GAME

OK, now that I've owned and played both MVP BASEBALL and ALL STAR BASEBALL 2004 I feel I can make an honest judgment on both titles and state their strengths and weaknesses. I will openly admit that I like both titles for different reasons...and will continue to play them both....but All Star will probably be played more due to its more realistic play and more interesting batting interface. Let's face it people Timing Based Hitting is old news and kinda boring and simplistic. All those critics who said MVP most accurately recreated the Batter/Pitcher showdown must not be able to hit with an Icon Based Hitting system....cause I've batted on MVP and it's really easy to make contact, but All Star makes you think like a hitter....is the fastball coming...and where???!! So anyway heres the biggity break down:

GRAPHICS: 9.5

The only reason half a point is missing out of a perfect 10 is because the player models are a little robotic at times in their animation, and could use a facelift for next year. But as always the stadiums are flawless, and really add to the feel of being at the ballpark. The player specific stances and pitcher deliveries are spot on as well as some of the fielding animations. Another little drawback is the encore performance of the phantom catches and questionable collision detection. But hopefully ACCLAIM will address these issues for next season.

SOUND: 7

OK, first things first. Steve''Psycho'' Lyons has really got to go. He is not funny....he is annoying, especially if you go back on a steal he says the same thing over and over. Steve keep yer day job...you can't do voice over...and don't even think of acting. You are not the next to Bob Uker. Other than Steve Lyons annoying me to the ends of the earth I'm quite satisfied with the stadium ambience and sound effects. Nice that they decided to add Umpire voices this year..lol

GAMEPLAY: 8.5

The pitching and batting are flawless, the only real problems are in the field where phantom catches and spotty collision detection still make some plays feel less rewarding. It at times can be frustrating when a ball goes right through you or an inch over your head. But the real bread and butter of this game is the way you have to actually manage a game to win. You have to keep yer bull pen in mind at all times as there are no instantly warm pitchers like in MVP..so getting a few arms up in the pen around the 6th Inning is always a safe move and might save yer butt a few times. The addition of Mound Visits was really cool too. But the strategy of baseball is represented in All Star Baseball better than any other baseball title of the year. So enjoy the complexities and frustrations of true to life baseball. One note: The addition of metered pitching and picture in picture base running like that found in MVP would really put ALL STAR over the top. So make a note of that ACCLAIM.

REPLAY: 10

This game has an endless amount of replay, from the SUPA-DUPA DEEP Franchise Mode, to the Expansion Team Mode, to Home Run Derby, To Trivia Mode and The Situational Game Mode, this game supplies you with more than $49.99 worth of game.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

ALL STAR BASEBALL 2004 is a solid title that still suffers from some of the same flaws as last year. If ACCLAIM can get it's butt in gear and nail down the gameplay aspects this title will be very hard to touch. MVP will give it competition in the future, but until EA SPORTS adds an ICON HITTING OPTION to their game it will still feel like TRIPLE PLAY on Steroids. I enjoy a challenge at the plate and timing based hitting is getting old fast. So both title offer a nice baseball experience...and honestly I can't choose a winner. So I suggest you rent them both before ya make a purchase....or else just buy em' both like I did.

I hope this review helps you out, PEACE !

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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