The folks at 3DO and Team .366 are so confident that High Heat Baseball 2000 is the year's best baseball game for the PC that they actually guarantee your complete satisfaction. And why not? With the entire 1998 rosters for all 30 Major League Baseball teams, 38 beautifully rendered stadiums, five modes of play and true Direct3D support for all 3D accelerator cards, you'd think Heat 2000 would be a can't-miss hit.
Well, think again. High Heat Baseball 2000 isn't bad, exactly, but it's also not the blockbuster it promises to be. The graphics are good but not great, the play-by-play is decent but not spectacular and the gameplay is nice but certainly not a major step forward. One aside about the graphics -- since when does Anaheim's Mo Vaughn weigh 120 pounds and look thinner than Pedro Martinez?
That aside, Heat 2000 is a statistic nut's paradise. You can track every major and minor statistic from opening day to the last out of the World Series or create and follow a player from his first at-bat in the minor leagues to the very end of a long and storied Major League career. Or maybe your favorite player had a tough year in '98? Change his stats in the Player Editor mode and watch him get his swing back. It's all there and at your disposal.
There are also five play modes: Season, Playoffs, Exhibition, Net Play and Homerun Derby (Mark McGwire versus Sammy Sosa, anyone?). Don't feel like hitting and pitching every inning? Sit back and run the game as a manager instead. Or maybe you're into baseball but you can't stand the laid-back pace? Just adjust the game speed from super slow to lightning fast. Heat 2000 gives you plenty of options to tailor the game to your own preferences.
Its weakness is it just isn't all that much better than last year's version. The game has a few extra features and all the updated stats but there's nothing revolutionary here. Couple that with absolutely outrageous hardware demands and you just might have enough reason to question 3DO's guarantee. And don't believe the advertised system specs for a minute. This thing needs a monster system to run without a hitch and if you don't have one, well, it's not pretty.
High Heat Baseball 2000 is a good game, certainly, and it's enjoyable enough to play on a high-end system. But it's not great and it can't compete with the real thing. When it comes to that, the old baseball adage "wait till next year ..." springs to mind.
Graphics: A good-looking game with smooth graphics on high-end machines.
Sound: Good baseball sounds, annoying baseball broadcasters.
Enjoyment: If you'd rather sit in front of a screen than toss around an actual baseball, this game has plenty to offer.
Replay Value: Plenty of customizable options and no game is ever the same.
People who downloaded High Heat Baseball 2000 have also downloaded:
Major League Baseball 2K12, MVP Baseball 2005, High Heat Major League Baseball 2003, Oldtime Baseball, Hardball V Enhanced (a.k.a. Hardball 5 Enhanced), Triple Play 2001, Triple Play 97, All-American College Football
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