Sierra On-Line's Front Page Sports: Baseball Pro '98 is a great game for the true baseball enthusiast. If you just want a pure arcade game, you'd be better off passing this one by and going for one like Electronic Arts' Triple Play. If, however, you just love the look, feel and sound of the game and would love to act as manager, this one's for you.
You start in spring training and get your roster together. You play some exhibition games, figure out who stays and who goes and move on to the regular season. You play an entire season's schedule, including the playoffs, and then you can move on to next year by using the career play feature in the game. Your players begin to develop histories and soon you have your own National League and American League which diverge from their real life 1997 counterparts and take on lives of their own. If you're a true fan, you've probably wondered what it would be like if Sammy Sosa overtook Mark McGwire for the 1998 home run crown or if the San Diego Padres shocked the New York Yankees and beat them in the World Series. Or what if those perennial underachievers, the Seattle Mariners, lived up to their potential and went all the way with Ken Griffey's bat and Randy Johnson's arm?
This game has every option you can imagine, from making trades to drafting new players to controlling every aspect of each game you manage. The interface is well done, too. You can check your bullpen and see who's coming up next from the opposition and where you are in the line-up. A text box along the side of the screen records the action and notifies you when relievers are warm and when the other team substitutes players.
The graphics are nice. They're not incredibly detailed but each stadium is nicely rendered and the players move smoothly, although the transition is choppy from the close-up screen (as each batter hits) to the stadium screen (where the ball goes). As an arcade game there isn't much here (although batting practice is fun), but as a simulation it's effective. The sound is great, although the announcer has a weird accent in his voice. The crowd sounds are among the best I've heard in a sports game. They actually cheer and boo depending on how well the home team is doing (as opposed to just cheering every time someone scores, no matter what team they're on) and every so often they chant and stomp the bleachers. You'll hear the stadium organist go into strains from The Addams Family or, on occasion, other songs as well.
Overall, this is the game for you if you want a baseball game that delivers all the nuances of the game and then some. If you've ever dreamed of running your favorite team and making all the decisions, now's your chance. And you don't even have to face intense media scrutiny while you do it.
Graphics: Not the game's strong point, but they are solid.
Sound: The best sound I've heard in a sports game yet. Captures the feel of being there at the ballpark.
Enjoyment: A baseball lover's dream come true.
Replay Value: With the career feature, how could you not want to play another season or two? Or three?
Baseball Pro '98 is your ticket to the Big Show! With a unrivaled physics engine, it will give you real results based on weather, altitude, and ball spin. The players -- and they've got'em all -- behave true to their nature. Each play's outcome relies on physics, and not on predetermined statistics, making FPS: Baseball Pro '98 the only simulator that really feels like baseball. You may even catch a whiff of newly-mown grass and hotdogs! If you're looking for a quick game, the bigger, better Arcade mode is just the thing for you. With improved Artificial Intelligence, free game utilities and interleague play, Baseball Pro '98 brings you baseball at its most realistic, and fun! Ready to Dominate the Diamond?
FPS: Baseball Pro '98 will also sport other new features:
More automation and functionality to the remote league mode of game play allowing users to automate the generation and transfer of league data files and game results over the Internet.
The addition of altitude data (based on city's location/altitude) to the game's physics engine.
New batter-pitcher confrontation model, including the ability for batters to learn the strengths and weaknesses of opposing pitchers or pitching patterns.
Improved access to batting practice with the ability to match up any batter and any pitcher in the 1997 Major League Baseball players association.
More information during Spring Training to understand minimum training requirements needed to maintain player ratings, plus the computer can be called up to decide allocations for each player on an individual basis.
Multiple game types including Arcade, Batting Practice, Exhibition play, each with a variety of difficulty settings and Single-season League, Career League, and Remote League play.
With its exclusive physics-based engine, the motion capture technology, it creates fluid, life-like player movements, exclusive multi-season career play so your players can be drafted, trained and age gracefully into the Hall of Fame, Sierra's own CAMS (Camera Angle Management System) and a VCR feature for play review from any angle in the ballpark, all 28 major league ball parks rendered in beautiful 3D graphics, MLBPA licensed, and player stats in over 2,000 categories.
People who downloaded Front Page Sports: Baseball Pro '98 have also downloaded:
Front Page Sports Football Pro '98, Front Page Sports Baseball Pro, Front Page Sports Football Pro '96 Season, Hardball V Enhanced (a.k.a. Hardball 5 Enhanced), Earl Weaver Baseball 2, Tony La Russa Baseball 3, Front Page Sports: Football Pro '95, High Heat Major League Baseball 2003
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