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Triple Play 2000

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Reviewed by Brook Rolka From a playability stand point, I expected so much more from an EA Sports game. They're football games rock, and they seem to put out great games for the Playstation. This was they're first attempt at Triple Play for the Nintendo 64. They pretty much succeeded at most aspects EXCEPT for playability, which in my mind is the most important.

Graphics: 10 out of 10

This is where EA Sports can do no wrong. This was hyped specifically for its graphics and it plain succeeded. The best graphic are saved for the home run where the game switches views and gives you a great frontal shot of the player slamming the ball out of the park. The facial features are clear and the stances are very accurate. On the regular playing mode, everything is distinct and clear.

Music and Sound: 9 out of 10

The crowd cheers and background noise are standard like any baseball game, but the added bonuses are the announcer and the music. In between innings and pitches for the AWAY team only, the PA system plays music, just like in real baseball parks in order to distract the pitcher (like you could distract a computerized pitcher), but it adds to the reality of the overall game. In addition, a real human voice, not some computer, announces the beginning of the game, pitches, hits and so forth. The voice also has inflections of excitement or dismay, just as real baseball announcers do.

Game Challenge: 7.5 out of 10

It's baseball. As challenging as baseball is, you really can't get more challenging no matter what baseball game you are playing. It does get harder to pitch around the computer and get him to strikeout or get an out in the field if you get a big lead. And shutouts are virtually impossible. But if you have a habit of mastering most baseball games, then I guess you will do it here again. I've never found that one pitch that always strikes out the computer like I do on other games, which adds to the challenge.

Game Play-Fun: 2.5 out of 10

This is what frustrated me most about the game. I have three major gripes to go with any minor gripes I may have. Fielding grounders is very hard, the runners are impossible to control, and your pitchers tire too easily. The computer gives you an arrow to show where to move your fielder to get to the ball if the fielder is off screen, but as you get closer to the ball, it gets tougher and tougher to lock on. I can't tell you the number of times I went to field a ball with my shortstop and then just as I got close I realized that I missed by a few inches and the ball rolled right past me. But you cannot tell that you are off line until the last second, and the fielder doesn't pick up balls that he isn't right on top of. In addition, your pitcher always tires after only 50 or so pitches. It is almost impossible to get him out of the fifth inning, and forget complete games, because as soon as your pitcher tires, you start missing the strike zone completely. But my biggest gripe with this game is the runners. You can have the computer control the runners, or you can control them yourself. Either way, tagging up on a fly ball is impossible. If you do it yourself, all runners automatically takes off on contact; so the guy on third that you want to tag up and go home is halfway home before the catch. You have to immediately send him back, and it is very hard to try and stop him before he gets far. Anyway, other little problems I have with the game include the toughness of pitching inside. Unless you are Maddux, you're bound to hit batters more frequently then should be possible. Also, if you get a big lead, your pitchers are more apt to surrender home runs left and right. And I can go on. I got fed up with the game real fast.

Replayability: 5 out of 10

Hey, if you actually like the game and find it fun, then you can replay it over and over. It's got a season set up where you can play all 162 games of a season plus playoffs and the world series. But I found the game so maddening that I stopped after 60 games of the season. It is tough to master the game because the computer just won't let you. It also has difficulty settings that you can increase as you get better. I didn't experience my problems at the easiest level. All of my problems came at the intermediate level.

Game Value: 5 out of 10

This game is not worth the price if you bought it new. But graphics lovers will like this game. So if you want to just watch it, or if you want to play against your friends and not the computer, then by all means buy the game. But buy it used.

Overall: 3 out of 10

Overall, I hated this game. I sold it on an auction site because I disliked the game so much. When I called their tech support (I guess that is what they called it), they're explanations were sorry excuses. They acknowledged the difficulty of controlling runners and ignored my complaints about pitching inside. Maybe you can solve the problems I had, but I wasn't willing to put in the efforts that it required, and there is not practice settings to get better at those areas I had problems with. So, it could have been just me, but I doubt it.

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