STAFF REVIEW of World Series Baseball (Sega) (Xbox)

Thursday, August 8, 2002.
by Rick Wallace

World Series Baseball (Sega) Box art This has to be the best baseball game ever released. Its about time. World Series was solid before this title but they raised the bar on this one. Great job Sega!! If you like stats, its got'em. You like the long ball, it's got'em. You like realistic stadium renditions, it's got'em. Plenty to do and see in this game and has a great franchise option too. Highly suggested ot any real basbeball fan looking for that winter pastime or maybe when they go on strike.

The gameplay is great and most likely the best I've see yet. There are still moments when you don't have total control of a players movements which can get a bit irrating. But for the most part this issue is non-existent compared to other baseball games on the market. Very easily accessible menus let you jump right into gameplay quickly. You can set up a franchise or just play a season, thats up to you and remember a season is 162 games plus playoffs. Of course you can adjust that to your liking. Personally I completed a full season and won the World Series in my first year.

The pitcher batter interface works very nicely and can be quite a bit challenging against certain pitchers. Look out for Tim Wakefield's knuckler. It's nasty! But hittable!

A few issues that I did not like. First of all, I did not like the fact that you couldn't access previous box scores from past games. I had a few accounts where I wanted to see what my starting pitcher did against a team previously but to my avail it wasn't accessible. That in my opinion is not acceptable. We have an 8 GB hard drive at least to store that info. Come on Sega!

Secondly, there is not enouhg recognition for some amazing feats in the game. I acquired Jeff Weaver from Detroit to play for me in Baltimore. His third start he pitched a perfect game!!! Yes perfect! 27 up, 27 down! Here I am finishing the game waiting for some amazing commentary or something special to come up on screen. NOTHING! The commentators didnt even mention once that he was on his way to a possible perfect game. That has to be one of the greatest feats in baseball and no recognition. Maybe I'm asking to much, but definitely didnt like that. Also didnt like the fact I couldn't go back and look at the box score of that game later or after the season! Thats goes back to point #1.

Point #3 would be for the announcers to have a little excitement when landmarking events are taking place such as a perfect game. They will comment on a player looking for his third homerun of the game or one thats looking to go 5 for 5 but nothing to do with the momentum of the game. Thats a bit of a disappointment to.

My final point would be that there is no way to release a player from your minor league roster. At least I couldnt find one and if anyone out there knows how let me know! LOL!

Anyway other than those few points that may be minor to some folks and a big deal to others like me the gameplay is great!!! Hours and hours of fun!

Stadium renditions look awesome for the most part. One thing that did not appeal to me were the landscapes in a few of the stadiums. For one, that definitely is not the skyline of Baltimore in the background at Camden Yards. The warehouse looks great but the city looks pathetic. Comerica looks good as well as a few others with realistic backdrops. I just think if you are oging to have a perfect rendition of the stadium the surroundings should be included.

The players are still not quite right. Although getting better and the animation runs smoother. They still have big bulky muscles and a lot of times the skin colors do not match the actual player. Once again a bit picky but ya gotta be for a game this close to greatness!

The commentary is very good in this game with a variety of comments to hear. But sometimes the commentary did not fit the game situation such as a perfect game situation or possibly a game winning situation on hand. But for the most part all the commentary was very good, and doesn't get repetitive too quickly.

Points that I did not like were mentioned above and I think should be addressed.

1 - Total player control throughout the game.
2 - Recognition from game of accomplished baseball "feats". I.E. - perfect game
3 - More excitement in commentary in certain situations.
4 - A little more control over the roster in GM mode. Such as being able to release players and such.
5 - More detail and research into the stadium backdrops especially city ballparks.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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