Yes, it’s that time of year again were the beer and hotdog vendors swarm the stadiums charging outrageous prices for their goodies because they know that the 20 thousand people in the stands will pay anything to eat, drink and watch their favorite players on the field. Unlike the food at the stadium were your limited to Ballpark Franks, fans and gamers alike do have a choice in which baseball game to buy…and World Series Baseball 2K3 should be the one. WSB2K3 sports everything from last year’s version and then some.
Sega has mainly improved on the hitting and fielding aspects of the game since last year. Pitching is for the most part exactly the same, but with the addition of a new Mound View cam, which adds a lot to the game. You can see behind the pitcher while pitching, which is a great tool to have.
Once you step up to the batters box you will notice tons of additions, including the power swing, new camera views and the good old power meter. The power swing is simply awesome, you use the B button instead of the A to blast one over the right field wall, but be careful, if you are having problems reading the pitcher I would recommend staying away from the power swing, you will strike out every time.
As I said earlier, fielding is greatly improved. In WSB2k2 the players sometimes seemed to wind up before he threw to a base, not this year, Sega sped that up. Also throws to other bases might not always seem accurate, which really adds to the realism. One cool feature is the Wall Jump, when you see a ball that might make it over the wall, you can press the R button and your fielder will scale the wall to try to rob a homerun, unlike ASB where you would most likely crash into the wall.
The only complaint that I could think of in terms of gameplay would be that some people might not like the fact that they have to learn how to hit. Most other baseball games to date, you simply enter the batters box, close your eyes and swing. Whoa, not in WSB2K3, timing and pitch location are very important to make contact with the ball. But that’s how it is in real baseball, why should Sega’s realistic version be any different?
Simply put–superb. Sega has really done their homework, the players are so realistic from their stance to there hitting styles, they convey the personality of the players they represent quite well. Maybe Sega went a bit far with a new chewing effect that makes it look as if the players are constantly chewing tobacco, which does get a bit redundant, but the faces are so lifelike you can’t help but be amazed.
Okay, so what about the fields, stadiums and fans? Again, superb. You can’t help but feel like your watching a ballgame on TV, Sega paid attention to detail and left nothing out. Where the graphics do fall short are in replays, specifically the close ups, they tend to make the faces look washed out but overall this is the most amazing baseball game I have ever seen.
Amazing, the sound really sucks you in, and ties seamlessly into the graphics to bring you deeper into the stadium. You get a real feeling of being there. I was very impressed to hear all the background noises usually forgotten about in video games, from the hotdog vendors to the organs to the fans, Sega held nothing back, making for a truly lifelike sound that surrounds you.
All the usual sounds are top notch as well. The sound of the bat cranking the ball into left field and then being thrown back to third base all very accurate and impressive. With sound and graphics this good, I sometimes had to remind myself I was in my living room and not out on a field playing baseball with the pros.
World Series Baseball 2K3 is the best baseball game to date. With all the modifications over last year’s version, WSB2K3 is as close as you can get to perfection. The Madden of baseball games is finally here so you need to go out and spend your hard earned dead presidents, so that you too can make errors and strike out like the pros.