Baseball Mogul 2003 (PC) review
"Ever watched a baseball game on television? It's quite a boring experience. A seven million dollar pitcher steps on the mound, shakes off a sign, shakes off another, before finally deciding on the good old number one. He's just about ready to windup when the batter decides to call time. Usually to scratch himself in a place that the television cameras can't film. Repeat this for four hours and you have the average baseball game. "
Ever watched a baseball game on television? It's quite a boring experience. A seven million dollar pitcher steps on the mound, shakes off a sign, shakes off another, before finally deciding on the good old number one. He's just about ready to windup when the batter decides to call time. Usually to scratch himself in a place that the television cameras can't film. Repeat this for four hours and you have the average baseball game.
Baseball Mogul 2003 skips all of this foreplay to give the simulation fan what he truly wants - hot, hardcore statistics action. Oh yeah. You control it all in Baseball Mogul 2003; player salaries, ticket prices, scouting, the farm system, lineups, pitching rotations, the works. Everything but the actual game. The ultimate goal on the field is to win the World Series, but you also have to deal with the business aspect of making money. You can ask the former World Series Champion Florida Marlins about that part.
Everything in Baseball Mogul 2003 is driven by text and graphical menus. Rearranging your lineup and pitching rotation is a one click affair, and an auto sort option is even provided by the computer based on your scouting level. It's easy to navigate the windows, resigning players, or releasing them.
If one thing detracts from the gameplay of Baseball Mogul 2003, it would be the reliance on the points system. Instead of real life baseball, which of course uses actual money, Baseball Mogul 2003 uses a point system, like the one seen in NBA2K2.
This makes managing your team's money a bit needlessly difficult. Dollars (or pounds or francs depending on where you live) are a lot easier to deal with then some ambiguous points. When you first start the game, it's unclear what makes a good contract different from a bad contract due to the points system. The same goes when you're pumping money into the three management options in the game, medical staff, farm system, and scouting. This learning curve could have been avoided completely if the dollar system was still in place.
The other sticky part of Baseball Mogul 2003 would be the scouting. It doesn't really seem to matter how much or how little you put into scouting; actual performance is the only way to weigh a player's worth. Therefore, even the hottest prospect can be a huge crap shoot. Of course, this is exactly the same as in REAL baseball; Brian Taylor and Todd Van Poppel were supposed to be can't miss prospects.
Outside of these small qualms, Baseball Mogul 2003 has all the authentic qualities you would want in a baseball simulator. Due to the lack of a license, team names have been changed in the install version, but can be easily changed back with two or three minutes of typing. All Major League players and most major Triple A prospects are in the game.
Just in case you missed it earlier in this review, there is no actual baseball action in this game. None. If you're looking for a baseball game you can play, then buy High Heat Baseball for the PC. Baseball Mogul 2003 is a strict simulation game, with very little graphics outside of player portraits, and no real sound to speak of.
Baseball Mogul 2003 probably won't appeal to just the pure simulation fan, or the pure baseball fan. It takes a mix of both tastes to really appreciate it. You must have an extensive knowledge of baseball, and a bit of business, to succeed. Baseball Mogul 2003 is definitely worth a purchase if you meet this criteria.
Community review by sgreenwell (July 30, 2002)
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