STAFF REVIEW of Triple Play 2002 (Xbox)

Monday, April 15, 2002.
by VAN

Triple Play 2002 Box art Admittedly, I am not the best person to offer a review of a sports game. Not since the days of the NES and Jaleco's "Bases Loaded" have I found myself interested in console-based sports games.

However, given the superior quality of today's sports titles, I just mayhave to increase that portion of my game library.

Triple Play 2002 is a good, solid baseball game. Not extraordinary by any means, but it's a well designed game nonetheless.

Die hard baseball fans will enjoy this game, but those who are craving a bit more realism from an Xbox baseball title, may want to hold out just a bit longer.

Gameplay is surprisingly simple to adjust to, though it will take quite a bit of practice before you can ever get your batter to connect with a pitch. This is frustrating at first, but if you stick with it, you'll be slammin' 'em out of the park in no time.

The real-life counterpart of the batter you use will play a large role in his ability to hit the ball consistently. A player such as Barry Bonds can connect with a pitch with little effort, while a player with a far inferior batting average will have a difficult time connecting.

Those of you with less than stellar reflexes need not bother with this game. Your timing must be precise to the millisecond if you have any hopes of getting on base. Further, if your thumbs are lacking in the rapid button mashing department, you may find it difficult to chase down outfield grounders.

Bottomline: The gameplay is ultra-realistic--perhaps to a fault--so be prepared to fire off a few expletives while you adjust to the controls.

Quite simply the best looking baseball title currently available, regardless of console. 200+ MLB players have had their mugs scanned into the game, and painstaking motion capture sequences provide an extra degree of realism.

Ballparks from all over the country have been digitally re-produced amazingly well, though the animated crowds could have benefitted from a bit of extra attention to detail.

This is a great looking game no matter how ya slice it.

The audio in Triple Play 2002 is standard baseball fare, though it outshines the audio from baseball games past.

We have veteran sportscaster Bob Costas and ESPN's Harold Reynolds. The color commentary presented is excellent at worst. 95% of the time, Costas' remarks to a play are dead-on accurate, further adding to the games realism. The occasional comic quips by Reynolds don't really help the game any, but nor do they hurt it.

Subtle ambient sounds such as the stadium announcer mic checking and announcing certain events is hardly noticible, but enough to make you think you're playing in a real live stadium.

The ability to create a custom lineup of players, or even a brand new team altogether would have greatly added to the replayability, though I don't see myself tiring of this game anytime soon, regardless.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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