going to step up to the plate right now and tell it
like it is. All-Star Baseball 2004 is about as good
as it's every going to get. I'm talking about the
series and not comparing it to any other baseball
games out there. The All-Star game is full of options,
modes and all kinds of baseball nuances but it's built
on the same old engine. If you're looking for some
radical improvements, then I suggest you look elsewhere.
biggest problem I have with sports games is that they
see slight improvements from year to year but the
level of refinements isn't usually significant to
warrant a purchase. My recommendation is to purchase
a game of a specific sport once every second year.
That way the improvements should feel more substantial
and therefore worth the money. Don't fall for the
"new roster" crap and a few new modes if
the gameplay mechanics are still the same.
it comes to batting you have a choice of four styles.
There's not one of them that are revolutionary but
you will find one to suit your style. The easiest
of the group will require you to swing the bat at
the right time. It works well for beginners but it
obviously lacks depth. The analog stick is used as
another method for swinging the bat but this time
you can move the bat to meet the ball more precisely.
A cursor is used as another method and lets you target
the ball for more powerful and accurate hits. Finally,
the normal method allows for the most control and
is more interactive. It's the most difficult to master
but it makes the game more challenging as you attempt
to identify pitches and press the appropriate buttons
pitching is limited to a few different throws but
you can actually strike out the CPU in this game -
although I never even came close. Controlling the
fielders is a disappointment as they receive their
commands with a delay and never move as fast as the
ball. On the other hand, when the CPU is in the outfield,
the fielders seldom miss a catch. It's for that very
reason I recommend you play against another human
as he or she won't have that unfair advantage.
are a mixed bag. The players look great but their
animations are awkward and, ultimately, very unrealistic
looking. The crowds and the stadiums are great but
all too often the textures appear dull and blurry
- especially the fields. The usual ballgame organ
tunes are all here as well as some rocking tunes by
the likes of Smashmouth and House of Pain. The commentary,
which is supplied by Thom Brennamen and Steve Lyons
has been butchered by poor editing. Instead of a flowing
dialogue, bits and pieces of commentary are pieced
together like phrases in a word processor. The end
result is that the inflections and timing don't always
match. It may look good as text but it sounds crazy
as it fails to take human emotion into account.
Baseball 2004 is in the same leagues as High Heat
Baseball 2004. They've both reached their peak and
they should consider this their last season before