|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sports Mogul||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sports Mogul||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May. 16, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
than the Bat
by Cole Smith
"It's not whether you win or lose, as long as you win." That's always been the axiom of professional sports no matter what they tell you. It's always the losers that say, "It's just a game." When you're responsible for millions of dollars and hundreds of people's livelihoods, it's all about winning. And it takes more than a few homeruns to be the big winner in this industry.
Baseball Mogul 2009 takes you behind the scenes of professional baseball and into the business world of professional sports. Baseball is the all-American sport. While the concept of this sim is similar to that of a hockey franchise mode, there are some major differences in terms of marketing and demographics. Of course the games are worlds apart in terms of structure, but they share many similar business strategies. It's all about how you play the game. I'm not talking striking out the side or hitting one out of the park each time you come to bat. This game isn't about playing baseball; it's about making baseball pay. It's a stat-driven style of gameplay where you'll be accessing an interface, rather than cavorting around on a diamond, spitting out chew, and scratching your self.
Baseball Mogul 2009 is a nerd's delight. Those who are familiar with the series, which is in its eleventh year now, are likely hooked on it and will purchase this regardless of what I have to say. Others may want to heed my warning that there's not much improvement over the last two versions. Sure, the roster is changed, and the interface is a little more user-friendly, but I was more than a little disappointed with the lack of new features. If this is your first introduction to the series, then this is as good a place to start as any. There's a lot to learn, but you can always learn from your mistakes.
One must learn to be frugal with their money. Allocations of funds have to be made to various areas such as trades, drafts, coaches, management, equipments, upgrades, and medical staff, to name a few. Then there are the hard, cold decisions that must be made. How much should a ticket cost? You have to be careful not to price yourself out of the market, but you can't give things away either. The price can be increased if your team is doing well. Then you can really gouge the suckers. Concession prices are also a consideration. Once you've got your crowd in the stadium, you have to continue to fleece them. There are some 70 different categories that require your input. That's a lot of depth.
But there are some elements that play out in a predictable pattern, which tends to diminish the realism. Events should be more random to appear natural. For instance, you can always count on your stars missing a certain number of games per season. Whether it's a star pitcher or batter, it's almost as if the CPU doesn't want you relying on them. That's the whole reason you cultivate these guys; they win games. Your entire empire thrives or crumbles on wins or losses. It's to be expected that these high-performers will get injured from time to time, but not on such a routine basis.