Backyard Baseball, the series combining playground atmosphere along with real players and teams, continues on computer platforms with the release of Backyard Baseball 2005. The twist is that the "real" players in the game appear as children along with the rest of the sandlot lineup. Featured pros include Sammy Sosa, Randy Johnson, Mike Piazza, Shawn Green, Barry Bonds, Ichiro Suzuki, Pedro Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and more. They'll compete along with 30 Backyard Kids, a combination of girls and boys, in the following three modes of play: Single Game, Season Play, and Batting Practice.
Single Game has players selecting two teams from a pool of 40, adjusting options such as difficulty level, game length, home field, and whether or not to include power-ups. More than ten fields are available, from a beach and parking lot to a swampland and junkyard. No matter which team is selected, players must pick and choose members in true playground fashion. Each character is rated from one to ten in the following areas: power, contact, pitching, running, and defense. Players can also create their own child prodigy by selecting hair color, skin, body type, accessories, and more before assigning a certain number of skill points.
Created players are used in Season Mode, where they earn experience points used to increase their attributes. Each Backyard Baseball season spans 18 or 32 games, with individual and team statistics tracked and saved to the hard drive. Batting Practice is designed to help players familiarize themselves with the hitting interface as they take their cracks at various pitch types. No matter which mode is selected, players use a cursor-based system for both pitching and hitting. Four available pitch types include a fastball, curve, screwball, and change-up, while hit types consist of power, line drive, grounder, and bunt. Fictional characters Sunny Day and Abner Dubbleplay provide the play-by-play and color commentary, respectively.
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