"Triple Play Baseball is the first baseball game released in the U.S. for the Playstation 2. Unfortunately, it came up short of the clearing the fence. With only improved graphics over its Playstation 1 relatives, this game is a disappointing debut on the PS2 for the highly successful baseball series. (Chants of "This game was rushed! This game was rushed!" are heard from the crowd.) "
Triple Play Baseball is the first baseball game released in the U.S. for the Playstation 2. Unfortunately, it came up short of the clearing the fence. With only improved graphics over its Playstation 1 relatives, this game is a disappointing debut on the PS2 for the highly successful baseball series. (Chants of "This game was rushed! This game was rushed!" are heard from the crowd.)
This is, by far, the best portion of the game. The stadiums are very detailed and realistic. Palm trees, billboards, colorful spectators fill the TV screen. The player models also look good. The players' faces, though, don't look anything like their real-life counterparts, but this small flaw is passable. I didn't notice any glitches or collision problems with the graphics, so that's a plus.
The animations are very smooth and life-like. (Except for the collision animation. When two players run into each other, one will jump into the air and do a 360į spin and land on his face, while the other will just simply fall flat on his face. This is very unrealistic.) Turning a double play is my personal favorite animation. The frame rate is seemingly flawless, but I wouldn't expect anything less from a baseball game. Especially on for the Playstation 2.
Well, what else is there to say? Other than the faces that don't look too real, the graphics in Triple Play Baseball are pretty damn good.
The audio in the game is okay, but nothing great. First, the music. The menu music is pretty catchy at first, though it has nothing to do with the game. One song is alternative, another one is rap, and the last song is by Vitamin C, and it's called "I Know What Boys Like". Yeah, they might be good songs, but they have absolutely nothing to do with the game! And after hearing them for the thousandth time, they can get very annoying. If EA Sports were to ever make a soundtrack of this game, it would be one of the oddest CDs ever! Chuck D, Fastball, and Vitamin C on the same CD. And it's for a baseball game. That's just weird.
Anyway, back to the game. The sound effects during the game are about average. Everything you would expect in a baseball game is here. The crack of the bat, the whiff of the swing, the smack of the glove, and the cheers of the crowd are all here. But all of these are considered requirements for a baseball game, especially on the PS2. There's nothing really special concerning the sound effects, but it passed.
Lastly, there are the game's announcers, Buck Martinez and Sean McDonough. Most of the time, these guys do a pretty good job. Sometimes though, their comments will be totally different from what's actually going on. An infielder will make an amazing diving stop and throw the guy out at first, but the announcer would call it a routine groundball. Another problem for fans of the previous Triple Plays is the lack of interesting baseball trivia. In previous games, there would be an intriguing story told whenever there was a long pause of silence. But in this installment, all of those stories and trivia are replaced byÖ.nothing. Silence rakes the place of all these stories. Some may not really mind, but I kind of missed those stories.
In Triple Play Baseball, EA Sports tried to take advantage of the Dual Shock 2's pressure-sensitive buttons. Unfortunately, this is the worst part of the game's control. Throwing the baseball around the infield becomes a lot more painful than it should be. This is because every time you need a hard throw, you have to press X as hard as you can! My thumb actually hurt for three or four days just by playing this game for a day! Video games should not cause people physical pain. There is a big problem if it does. Psychological pain, on the other handÖ..
The rest of the game's controls should be very familiar to Triple Play fans. The X button is used to throw and swing. Square is used for jumping, diving, and sliding. Circle is used for speed bursts. Triangle does something, but I don't remember ever using it. One big improvement with the control setup is that right analog stick is now used for returning base runners to the previous bases. This is a whole lot better than using the D-pad to return them, which gave me a whole bunch of headaches.
The game's controls have their pros and cons. The cons, though, outweigh the pros. The chances of injury when playing this game should prove this fact. The small improvements in the game are overshadowed by the large flaws. That's too bad.
Ummm, okay, the gameplay. There is a very big problem with this game's gameplay. It is actually a step backward from previous Triple Plays. Let me tell you why. All of the basics are here, but almost everything that made the other Triple Plays fun is gone. The very enjoyable home run derby from previous installments, (in which you hit various targets around the stadium for points), has been replaced by the very dull home run derby, (in which you just swing the bat and hope it goes over the fence).
There's also a bunch of little things that make this experience frustrating. The small amount of options when creating a player, the lack of a franchise mode, out-dated team rosters, the inability to warm-up pitchers in the bullpen, the impossibility of ever making a diving catch in the outfield, etc. The list goes on and on.
In fact, I actually can't think of any improvements in the gameplay over previous Triple Plays. It's a shame. It truly is a shame.
There also isnít much replay value in Triple Play Baseball. After winning the World Series, (if you get that far), there isnít much else to do. You could play that dull home run derby, but after a couple of games, it becomes a waste of time. Playing with a buddy can be a little fun, but after a few innings, even that gets boring. After doing these things, there isn't anything else to do. And that's how I came up with this low score.
Sure, Triple Play Baseball may look and sound good, but it's what's on the inside that counts. And inside this game is a very disappointing title from EA Sports. So many features that made the series a success on the PSX have been dropped for some reason on the PS2 version. I have to ask one question: Why? (Chants of "This game was rushed! This game was rushed!" are once again heard from the crowd.)
Community review by cdbavg400 (November 15, 2004)
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