Written by  :  Rick Jones (111)
Written on  :  Feb 01, 2001
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
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A good, albiet very overrated, baseball game.

The Good

There's quite a bit about HH2001 to like. Like most baseball games, there are really two things to consider: the arcade game and the management aspects.

The arcade game has solid, functional graphics and good sound. The batter-pitcher matchup is good (a key component of baseball games) and player control is easy and well-implemented. Stadiumm reproduction is very good, with all current big league ballparks, as well as some ballparks of the past and a few minor league parks, thrown in for good measure. The parks aren't very "Alive," though, and textures are flat and phony.

On the negative side, the arcade game does have a few minor slipups. Baserunner AI is poor. Management-only games tend to look like preset plays; for instance, in a management-only game 75% of home runs are to dead center field. Overall, HH2001's arcade play isn't quite as good as Triple Play 2001, but it's close.

HH2001's management game is much stronger. In league play, teams have three minor league teams, with a functional disabled list (although the DL doesn't have a 15-day minimum stay, as it should) and amateur drafts. Playing around with rosters shift is a load of fun. Computer trade AI seems quite good, although the CPU is prone to releasing good players and the trade function, frustratingly, is limited to three players a trade.

In career mode, players seem to age realistically, with healthy and proper doses of unpredictability, up to 25 or so. They seem pretty much the same from 25 to about 35, and then drop off the table. Curiously, in simulation mode, it's very unusual for players to have off years or career years; they're almost unrealistically consistent.

Statistical replay is reasonably accurate; there are way too many doubles and not enough stolen bases, though. Offensive levels seem incredibly high, even by today's standards. There is virtually no relationship between a pitcher's number of strikeouts and his effectiveness, though, which is extremely unreal.

The Bad

As per above, there are holes here and there.

The most glaring omission in career play is, of course, the absence of salary structure or any financial model. I don't understand why more baseball games don't try implementing this.

The Bottom Line

A solid, fun baseball game, but not the ultimate sim us hardcore baseball fanatics still dream of.