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XboxNext Level Gaming
Well, two Baseball games in one week. Acclaim had been kind of giving me the heads up that All Star Baseball 2005 could ship any day, so thankfully I have been playing the build I had keeping sharp. This afternoon the final build arrived at the office and we were told the Xbox version of game was headed to store shelves today. Looks like it's time to tell you all what ASB 2005 is all about. So far to date, All Star Baseball 2005 is my choice for Baseball game this year.
XboxFileFactory Games / Gameworld Network
With the crowded crop of baseball games hitting the shelves, Acclaim’s All-Star Baseball 2005 for the Xbox very nicely distinguishes itself from the pack.
All-Star Baseball 2005 keeps stacking on the new features and tweaking the gameplay. I often ask myself just how much further these developers can take their sports franchises and year after year they keep showing me.
At the end of the day All-Star Baseball 2005 is a good baseball game. There are a few drawbacks like the FielderCam becoming very frustrating at times and no way to turn it off on Xbox Live play and This Week in Baseball challenges. Along with no retry option you can become very annoyed. The 4 player mode is a great feature so you and your friends can play together, but I think Acclaim has to work on the FielderCam and gameplay to make it a stand out title.
Major League Baseball has been a prominent sport in electronic entertainment ever since the technology allowed developers to bring it to the world of video games. I didn't get into the genre until the late 90s, but I always heard about the major releases and was intrigued by how quickly the graphics were evolving. That intrigue finally pushed me toward the most prominent baseball game for Nintendo 64: All-Star Baseball.
All-Star is a great game overall despite its shortcomings. You can play online or relive and change some of baseballs greatest moments as well. It's a nice package. Some may prefer it over the big wigs' baseball offerings. It does have that potential, indeed. But only playing will tell.
Ever since the N64 days, All-Star Baseball has been a quality game of baseball, but over the past few years, this series has begun to stagnate and not show much improvement over the previous year. ASB has always been very solid, especially in gameplay, but with the other baseball titles making leaps every year (massive leaps, in MVP Baseball’s case), ASB really needed to also pack in a bunch of new features and improved gameplay tweaks this year in order to keep up with the crowd. Acclaim added some pretty notable features to this year’s version and tweaked many aspects of the gameplay, but in the end, will it be enough to put it past the high bar that MVP has set?
It is hard to accept All-Star Baseball 2005 as the gamer’s choice when the gameplay just isn’t that spectacular. ASB 2005 is the obvious choice for those looking for interesting game modes or for those who have to play online. The actual gameplay of ASB 2005 will leave most gamers feeling detached from the action and looking for other ways to satisfy their baseball addiction (this is where the game’s alternate modes come in handy). The competition in the baseball sports genre continues to get tighter and ASB 2005 has certainly added some solid areas, but it still needs a few tweaks in on-field gameplay. Those looking for the most realistic graphics and the most thorough baseball history lesson really can’t go wrong with All-Star Baseball 2005.
All-Star Baseball is like the Inside Drive of baseball games. It might not knock you out with an abundance of flash or highlight showstoppers, but the more you play, the more you realize and the more you respect the level of depth and intelligence behind the engine. In fact, All-Star Baseball 2005 features the most intelligent managerial engine of any of the baseball games this year. Hardcore fans will love the fact that the computer not only subs in the right pitchers and pinch hits lefty for righty and vice versa, but will even go so far as to pinch run late in games in order to push ahead for the lead.
The battle of the baseball games is heating up with High Heat taking a hiatus and all contenders making significant improvements in the off-season. All-Star Baseball has built an enthusiastic following over the years, and the 2005 edition shows enough new stuff to keep it in the running.
Baseball fans have it good this season. So far, every company that produced a baseball-themed video game last year (the ones that are still in business, anyway) has made significant strides in upgrading the core aspects of its game, and each has added new features to its latest installment as well. Then along comes All-Star Baseball 2005, which, on the surface, doesn't appear to be all that different from All-Star Baseball 2004. If you played last year's game to death, you'll notice that a few adjustments have been made here and there--particularly to the game's online features--but overall, this is still the same batter-friendly baseball game that Acclaim has put out for the last three years.
Sometimes the most fun I have playing All-Star Baseball 2005 is when I’m not actually playing a game, but running my franchise or my expansion team, looking for free agents, and deciding whether or not to pickup a player off of waivers. Now, that's either a great compliment to the depth of the game or a slap in the face to fielder cam, it's hard to say. Fielding is such an important aspect of every contest that it really negatively affects my overall take on an otherwise enjoyable game.
All-Star Baseball 2005 is a decent ball game, but it’s nothing so spectacular that you’ll skip a Saturday afternoon in the park for a seat on your sofa just to play the game. There are some nice features that add to the experience, such as the fielder-cam, there are plenty of extras to hold your interest, and the inclusion of online play for both the Xbox and the PS2 is a good way to extend the replay value. Still, the smell of freshly mowed grass and popcorn just isn’t going to be outdone by a game that can’t quite capture the passion of hardball fans nationwide. All-Star Baseball 2005 may get the job done, but in a season as long as baseball’s, you’ve got to have that special something to keep you motivated, and unfortunately, this game just doesn’t have it.
For the most part, All-Star Baseball 2005 isn't much different from, or much better than, All-Star Baseball 2004. If you played last year's game to death, you'll notice that a few adjustments have been made here and there, but it is still basically the same batter-friendly baseball game that Acclaim has put out for the last three years. Whether that's good or bad depends on what you're looking for from a baseball video game. However, much of the game's strength is overshadowed by a PlayStation 2-specific audio bug that makes the commentary lag far, far behind the action.
Quel dommage, encore un jeu qui passe tout proche d’être excellent, mais qui échoue à cause de quelques problèmes majeurs : l’intelligence artificielle est assez défectueuse dans certaines occasions, la gestion du lancer aurait pu être plus complète si on avait ajouté un indicateur de force et surtout le mode de prise de vue est pour moi très handicapant. Maintenant, si vous arrivez à vous y retrouver avec cette prise de vue, il est sûr que vous pourrez avoir beaucoup de plaisir sur ce jeu, que vous soyez seul, avec des amis ou encore sur le Net.
Acclaim hasn't significantly altered its All-Star franchise for a few years now. The "twist" this season is the new "Fieldercam," which attempts to give the gamer a view that is similar to what an actual player on the field might see. However, when viewed from the standard perspective, ASB 2005 hardly plays any differently from ASB 2004. This could be seen as a good or bad thing depending on how much you enjoyed previous ASB titles. ASB also offers more extras than any other baseball title available, and this year the game is fully playable over Xbox Live. It's just too bad you're forced to use the "Fieldercam" when online.
Acclaim may not be known for its sports titles, but All-Star Baseball has arguably the best record of any baseball game in the last five years. High Heat is now MIA, MVP is still too new to consider a champion, and Sega's games haven't delivered. However, in the sports genre, the competition is working overtime to either catch up or take the lead, and you have to always be on the ball. This season, Acclaim comes into spring training a little out of shape and not quite the All-Star it used to be.
XboxXbox Nation (XBN)
Baseball 2005 has fallen far behind the pack. Any attempt at innovation pales next to MVP, and online play is a joke with ESPN out there. It may be time for Acclaim to put the franchise out of its misery and send it to the great bush league in the sky.