Review by dillont

Reviewed: 10/27/03

Not Quite a Shutout

All Star baseball 2004 for the PS2 is, in my opinion the best baseball game of the year. It is a very good game, although it could use the makers of the game actually opening their minds to a few improvements instead of rolling out the same old, same old every year. Now onto the different points of the game...

GRAPHICS - 9

The graphics in All-Star are very good for a baseball game, however baseball games are far behind football games in the sports genre (my opinion only). The players are recognizable by their faces, not just numbers. It seems they put more effort into big-name players than small-name players, which isn't necessarily the way it should be as many people's favorite player isn't the star of the team. The physics of the game are fairly sound, with the ball not magically flying five meters sideways into the glove of the fielder. However, on some plays you can tell that the ball has taken a 90 degree hop into the glove when there's no way that it would happen in real life.

Overall a very good job in the graphics department.

STORY - NON EXISTENT

It is a sports game buddy...

SOUND - 9

The sound in All-Star is fairly good for a sports game. The crack of the bat hitting ball and the crowd screaming for a home run are extremely real-to-life. You can occasionally here someone calling out 'Hot Dogs, get your Hot Dogs!!' or the like which makes you feel as if your really in the game.

Commentary is another matter however. Without Steve Lyons in the commentary team this gets 10 out of 10 in my book. However, add that rambling so-and-so into the commentary team and the rating suddenly falls off a cliff. Thom Brenneman does an extremely good job here as a play-by-play commentator with very little repetition and intuitive things about the game to say. My best mate Steve however goes over the top, telling me to be 'ashamed of myself for not going ahead with that steal' when I was clearly going to be thrown out by 75 foot or something just as idiotic.

GAMEPLAY - 10

The gameplay has several different areas, that need to be broken down separately...

Franchise - 10 ASB's franchise is incredibly good, with payroll breakdown and other options making you feel like you're running the team. Except for the small fact that you're paying all your players salaries with 'points' not money. Hmmmm, what the hell?? That just seems very idiotic to me... Other than that, ASB's franchise is fantastic with many options in the off season, like the Rule 5 Draft, settling Arbitration cases and signing Free Agents.

Play Now - 7 Play Now is never an exciting feature on any game, mainly there helping you to learn the game. You can also play series or a World Series. Unlocking legends via the cards is a feature that makes this section more enjoyable.

Situations - 9 That is not the proper name of this section but you will understand what I'm talking about after you've played the game. This part of ASB puts you in situations that occurred in the 2002 season, and gives you the job of turning the results around. A very enjoyable segment that can provide either a near impossible challenge or a relaxing time depending on what you want to do.

RENT OR BUY??

I suggest that you BUY this game if you know that you will enjoy a baseball game. If you aren't to sure obviously, rent it. If you don't know what baseball game to buy either grab this one off the shelves or head on over to World Series Baseball which is another strong title.

OVERALL - 8

ASB is a strong baseball title, that further enhances Acclaim's name in the sport genre. However, it could be immensely improved with a few new innovations. By no means a perfect game, but about as close to it as baseball games have got so far.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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