Review by TheProdigy

Reviewed: 01/23/06

If you like games where it's impossible to get a hit, then this one is for you

Introduction to: All-Star Baseball 2004

All-Star Baseball 2004 is a PS2 game released by Acclaim in 2003, and it supports up to 2 players.

Graphics

The graphics were probably the best part of this game, as the are pretty sharp. Most notable is probably the different stadiums, and the player animations are pretty good too. Overall, the graphics were impressive, and you can say that the game definitely does look good.

Gameplay

The game slips greatly in gameplay. To put it simply, the gameplay is overall terrible. Let's break it down:

Pitching - The pitching in this game is simply pushing the button you want. There is no skill involved in it, like a speed or control bar, just a button to be pressed. Safe, and uninteresting.

Hitting - The interface is horrendous. You have to move the cursor to the ball, but the problem is, the ball flies incredibly fast, and there is no time whatsoever to move the cursor into the correct place for a slider or curve ball. You find yourself either a) randomly throwing the cursor around in desperate hope it will find the ball, or b) switching to easy hitting mode. Well, on easy mode, the cursor is taken away, and all you have to do is time your swing correctly. It sounds better, but on this mode, 99 swings out of 100 will simply hit an easy grounder to an infielder. This is incredibly frustrating and makes it near impossible to win.

Fielding - Fielding is so-so. Switching fielders can be a major pain and your AI fielders tend to wander off into strange places. Diving and sliding can be fun, but if you aren't perfectly lined up, the ball will go past you and it will be an inside-the-park home run most likely. Plus, sometimes, you can be standing directly in the circle, and still miss it for some reason. Other times, the ball won't be anywhere near a player's glove, but it will say it was caught and the ball will zoom into that player's glove. It's bizarre, and sometimes random, so fielding is tricky.

Base-running - Base-running is also frustrating. Apparently, the only way to tell one runner to advance is to tell all runners to advance. You find yourself sacrificing one runner on purpose just to get the other runner to the next base. Plus, the calling of safe/out on a slide is completely random, and that can lead to very frustrating moments. Also, stealing a base is impossible because the computer knows that you are stealing and the catcher throws right away. On the other hand, if you are pitching, it is impossible to tell if the opponent is stealing unless you are staring at the little symbol in the corner, which is out of your view if you are watching the pitch.

So overall, the gameplay is very annoying, and frustrating beyond belief.

Sound

The sound is pretty good, the crowd and the bats and things sound pretty realistic. The commentary is annoying though, as it is in many sports games. I suggest listening to the commentary for a few games, and then just turning it off in the Options menu, because it is just repetitive and irritating.

Buy or Skip?

Skip, this game is more trouble than it's worth. The graphics are probably the only reason you would want to see this game, as the gameplay is atrocious. If anything, rent it for a few days or borrow it from a friend, because once you've seen the stadiums, you'll want to stop.

Final Score: 3/10

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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