Well I had the opportunity to preview a truly unique game recently. It was the first game in a new genre for me. Ultimate Baseball Online is a sports game that is closer to an MMORPG than any of the current sports games that enable you to manage a sports team.
UBO (ultimate baseball online) is a game that allows you to create a player and join other players online to play an actual game. All controled by actual players. The late beta version that I was able to see was impressive in that the game looked to be relatively intuitive and any down time was minimized. I wasn't able to see the setup when games are being organized but was assured that it was pretty easy to find games and join in. The player creation portion was interesting in that you can create a pitcher or outfielder and then put points towards whatever skills you want to excel at. Want to create that gold glove winner, shy away from the bat skils and towards speed and glove work.
Basically the game works like an MMORPG in that your player actually gains experience and "levels" as you play. With over 60+ levels to gain you can truly tailor the player you want to be. It might take some time to create that Derek Jeter you want to be, but it is possible. With player creation variety, and an interested player base this game looks to cater to the niche market of Baseball enthusiasts who are also video gamers.
UBO also hosts a new price structure that allows players to try out the game for the first 10 levels for free and only by choosing to level above that do they then have to pay to play. Though in beta stage, the players seemed to take control of the league by self reviewing and recapping games of the day. Strangely, it would even be a good way for beginning sports writers to get their feet wet by highlighting the games of the day. Currently the developers host tournaments and give out prizes. Some of these prizes are quite impressive so the tournaments alone should help bolster the fan base for the game.
Bottom Line: If you are a baseball nut and catching a few games during the season aren't quite giving you the fix you need then this is the game for you.
For further details check out the screenshots & more here, or go to www.ultimatebaseballonline.com to download the free trial.