|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|
Trying to make a losing team a winning team is a lot of work. It's not impossible, but there's a reason that teams are losers in the first place, and this game won't let you forget it. First of all, there is usually a lack of capital. Most poor teams are just that; poor. They can't buy the players they need. And you can't shop for them out of the country in hopes of getting them for a song. Second, the team could be suffering from poor management and/or coaching.
It doesn't matter how many big names you have on your roster. If you can't motivate them properly, they are nothing more than expensive liabilities. A big name won't develop at his potential if the team is experiencing lack of funds or bad management. You also can't find prospects for older players. Some of the stats on the older players, like from 50 years ago can be confusing. They don't necessarily relate to the stats of today. Whether you're trading, drafting, or courting free agents, the CPU is careful to ensure you don't get anyone that is literally out of your league. In other words, there are no magic bullets in this game. You can expect to take years and years to turn a losing team around.
Thanks to the straightforward interface, selecting options for a game such as rotations and line-up are a breeze. You can choose to run through several seasons quickly and automatically, or you can take part in each and every decision in the Manager mode, where you call all of the shots. You can enter into Player mode where you'll take part in batting and pitching, right down to making decisions on what kind of pitch will be thrown. This mode isn't comparable to the arcade-style console games such as the Major League Baseball 2K series, but it's a nice diversion once in a while. For the most part you'll wind up letting the seasons play out automatically so that you can quickly determine how your decisions affected your business.
This is a game of stats. There's really nothing offered as far as action is concerned. When the actual game of baseball takes place, the only thing that moves is the ball. You'll hear the same crowd noises over and over. The announcer sounds forced, and after a season or two, you'll never want to hear his voice again. There isn't much in the way of ambient sound effects, and the music is elevator rock. The menus are the stars of the show. They are well laid out, colorful, and easy to access.
Baseball Mogul 2009 is not for everyone. Baseball fans should be warned that this is the sports equivalent of Dungeons and Dragons.
CCC Senior Writer