America’s favorite past time, baseball. A sport watched by millions, and those millions of fans are potential buyers of the numerous baseball franchises available on the Playstation 2, XBOX, and Gamecube. Let me introduce to you High Heat Major League Baseball 2003, an ongoing series by the infamous Army Men creators, 3DO. If 3DO has something to be proud of it is their baseball game. It has come a long way and every year it sees more improvements over its predecessor. This year is nothing different, with enhanced graphics, gameplay, and sound. High Heat has struck gold and could be the best baseball series on the Playstation 2.
“Let’s Play Ball”
HH2003’s presentation is average at best. Very Nice Logo even though it has no importance to the game, I just think it is very catchy. The manual is your standard stuff and what you’ve come to expect from baseball games. Unfortunately there is no fancy opening video, the menus are very simple but can be hard to navigate in later areas. This game really shines in the actual core of the game. We see TV style presentation, a great commentary team, excellent and unique replays and much more. Just look at the top of the Television screen and you will see what you see on TV. There is tons of options and you can customize a lot in HH2003, such as editing the rosters to reflect real world stats and much more. 3DO has some areas it needs to improve on but overall they get everything nicely packaged together.
This has been a sore point of the series. 3DO has promised an enhancement in graphics, and while completing that promise only a few areas are improved. The character models are done well but do not resemble the actual player. The animation in HH2003 needs work. I have actually shown this game to people because I like making sure that what I see others see as well and I can say that the animation is not fluid, and could really use work. The stadiums represent their real counterparts and are done well, but lack that detail. The stadiums also seem to have a very dull look to it, especially the crowds. 3DO will really need to work harder, because the competition has graphics better than HH2003 right now on the market. (Look for Triple Play and All Star Baseball reviews in the coming weeks.)
The music in HH2003 is great. It can be described as a techno-rock styling and I like it. The new commentary team is great as well, sometimes behind on plays but gets the job done. I guarantee if 3DO gets a couple of more lines into the commentary, they could be looking at the best commentary for baseball games that I have heard in quite some time. I especially like the little details such as hearing a crowd member say Drop It! Drop It! which really adds to the effect. The crowds boo and cheer wildly and the sound effects such as hitting a ball are done well.
3DO and HH2003 really shine in this area. Absolutely incredible. You could not get a more real experience unless you physically play the game. The pitching interface in this game is done so damn well, that I actually enjoy pitching. I love this interface. You can choose whether or not the pitch will stay in the strike zone or not. I should mention that just because you choose strike does not mean you will throw one, but the odds are good that it will be in the strike zone. Same thing with a ball, however here there is only a small chance you will throw a strike if you pick ball and you pretty much have to groove one over the center of the plate to do that. All of the major pitches are in there, although I am unsure about the knuckler. Batting is very simplistic, Press X to hit the ball, you can also move in the direction you want to hit, and bunt. Running is simple and outfielding is as well. You will really feel like you are playing baseball.
Well, its naturally gonna be high. Season mode will keep you busy till 2004 with the ability to play with all teams and 162 game seasons will take you some time to complete. Don’t forget that there is also Home Run Derby, 2 Vs 2 Challenge, Exhibition, and more. So look to be kept busy for quite some time.