Triple Play 2000 Review
Triple Play 2000
Date Released: March 23, 1999
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Sports
Analog Support: Yes
# Of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E
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Gameplay: 47% out of 50%
It is fair to say that last years version, Triple Play 99, sucked. Fielding was almost immposible, the framerate was horribly low, and the graphics were terrible. EA Sports must have finally listened to the critics, because Triple Play 2000 has undergone a radical and welcome change. To begin with, Triple Play 2000 is much more of an arcade style baseball game. Don't worry all you sim fans, because TP 2000 is still packed with trades, stats, and all that other good stuff for the hardcore baseball fan.
Last year EA Sports implemented the "revolutionary" new first person batting. Well that didn't fly to well and this year it is gone. This year EA Sports made sure foul balls were ubiquitous and even added a nice replay animation that occurs right after you hit the ball foul. Now you can also move the batter freely anywhere in the batters box and adjust his stance. EA also redesigned the logic so that gamers hit the sweet spot more often which makes it easier for gamers to smack a good solid hit. One effect that gamers will almost certainly notice is the glowing ball trails that follow a ball after it is hit. Control of the base runners is similiar to last year, with only a slight change to make things simpler.
On defense the biggest changes come in the fielding, which was a major problem last year. As the ball is hit a series of yellow arrows attached to the fielder nearest the ball pops up, showing you wich way to move to catch the ball. Also, the improved and steady framerate makes the ball easier to see and to stop were it is going. The pitching interface is almost identical to last year, with a few helpful menus for beginners. All these changes make TP 2000 a dream to play.
There are three different difficulty levels again, and the computer AI is fine-tuned with its level adjusting accordingly. It would seem that the easier batting would make for unrealistic scores, but that is not the case. Although it is easier to hit, it is also easier to field which creates a nice balance between the two.
Graphics and Sound
Graphics: 24% out of 25%
Gone is last years dragging framerate that ruined a decent game. This year EA focused its attention on improving the framerate, and they did just that. The framerate is smooth and consistent throughout, and the animations are spectacular. EA has also implemented their facial reaction engine from NBA Live 99. Now batters look mad and throw their bat when they strike out, while the pitcher celebrates on the mound. The player models are all very nice and represent the players well. EA also exaggerated the animations with ball trails and spruced up home run effects. All the stadiums are here and all are animated very nicely. EA did a great job of improving the framerate and animations.
Sound: 24% out of 25%
As in previous years Buck Martinez and Jim Hughson patrol the two-man booth. Color commentary is done well with comments about last years season and play-by-play keeps up with the fast paced action of the game. The crowd also has a few quirky sayings, as does the press box announcer. If you call a time out you'll hear the man in the press box warn the fans of foul balls, or ask a certain fan to come to the press box. The sound effects also fit nicely with the new arcade style presentation. Balls swish when thrown or hit and bats crack when they smack the ball. Altogether TP 2000 is the best sounding baseball game on the market.
Overall: 95% out of 100%
EA Sports has turned out the best baseball game in years. The graphics are tight, animations smooth, and the gameplay is superb. This is the Playstation sports game of the year. Pick this one up immediately.
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