Same ol' homerun-happy, unrealistic and uninspiring
gameplay that we've come to see in the series for the past 6 years means
a game that's not worth your time.
I won't lie to you - I didn't have high hopes for the
game when it was announced. I didn't have high hopes for the game when
screens and info were beginning to flourish. I didn't have high hopes
for the game right before its release. And I didn't have high hopes for
the game after its release. Hell, I didn't really have anything for the
game to be honest. If anything I'd say that I had my qualms, but nothing
Luckily for me my lack of appreciation for a game that
has yet to change in the last half decade paid off, as Triple Play 2002
is a stomach churning pile of inferiority.
Anyone would tell you that the last thing that the Triple
Play series has been known for would be its realism because… well…it
doesn't have any. Sure, the game use to be the pimp of baseball greatness
back in the day, ending its reign sometime around Triple Play 96' or
97', but that was due to the lack of any admirable challengers. The game
has and always will be (it seems) an arcade title and nothing more.
Following the trend TP2002 is still the homerun-friendly
and short-lived mock-up that many have grown to detest since the collapse
of the series in 96' or 97' as aforementioned. What's funny is that the
game still tries to pass itself off as being a sim (yes…STILL). Now you
have to be one strange fellow to have ever considered the TP series to
be even remotely related to a sim. Unless it was one of those rare sims
that marries its cousins, names it after its favorite alcohol or snack
food, and then has an affair with its cousin. Then I guess in that way
it'd be a sim.
Stepping right up to the plate you'll be greeted with
the ever-popular homerun camera that will instantly follow your first
swing as you crack the long ball with the worst player in the league
some 530ft. And since the balls seem to float to the plate your next
batter will do the same and so on until you've scored at least 10 homeruns
with every person on your team (including the pitcher) and then finally
you'll get out and end the first inning with a score of around 56 to
0. If you haven't gotten the picture, you can still bat a .900 or higher
in a season without any problems.
On the mound you have your basic TP menu at your disposal.
I must say that the pitching system is an almighty pain in the ass for
this game seeing as how it's extremely easy for either you or the computer
to hit homeruns, which results in the highest scoring baseball games
ever. Often times you'll want to just bean the batter rather than pitch
to him because they honestly will hit any and everything you throw down
The outfield is a bit confusing. The main issue I had
here is that the players are extremely small (which we'll also talk about
in the graphics department later) and the field is immense, making it
rather hard for you to chase down a ball that's blasted low to the outfield.
This could have been saved had the game had any realistic sense of speed.
But it doesn't. So it's not saved.
Controls are very standard and aren't anything that you
haven't grown accustomed to with any other baseball game. That being
that the A, X, Y, and B buttons represent the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and home
plates. Player response is slow, very slow. You aren't going to see any
double plays in this game (where's the action?). There's at least a 2
second delay on throws from the time you press the button, so trying
to pick someone off at second and go for the double at first is impossible.
The players just throw the ball at their own leisure. WTF? Oh well, there
goes any bit of excitement this game could have had.
TP also comes up stale in comparison in the game modes
department, offering only an Exhibition, Season, Playoff, and Home Run
Derby. HRD is pointless since the whole game is one gigantic homerun
derby. So scratch that one off the list. Exhibition is a stand mode and
is what you'll be playing most. Season is there, but isn't as deep as
it should be and Playoff mode just allows you to skip the entire season
and advance straight to the playoffs (like you'd have a problem getting
Speaking of the game mode shortcomings, there's no madden-like
cards or player cards whatsoever. Um…this is an EA game isn't it? There's
also no trade blocking restrictions, so you can easily build up a powerhouse
of heavy hitters or just use any random sorry ass baseball player with
a -.900 batting average and crack a couple hundred homers with him (it's
really all the same in this game).
And finally, the Create-A-Player mode does exist, but
only has a few options and also doesn't have any point restrictions.
Simple choose a face, socks length, and only a few other things and make
his stats a straight 99 down the chart to create the perfect player.
Then stick him to a team and bat a perfect 1.000.
This game honestly has nothing going for it. After playing
High Heat 2003 and ASB2003 this game only looks more retarded. They offered
so much more in all area (SO MUCH MORE). If you're looking for a good
baseball game you'd better look elsewhere. Even in multiplayer the game
pisses you off since whoever has bat first will most likely win the game
since they'll hit homerun after homerun. Ooh… I feel dirty just playing
this game. *washes clean…but it won't come off!*
What really surprises me here is that the game actually
has slowdown. Yes, slowdown. And it's all over the place too: from batters
walking up to the plates to screen transitions and whatnot. It's there
and it won't go away!
Next on the roster of ugly are the players. On the outside
they look pretty good, but there's no doubt that these are the most stumpy
and short looking guys in the ballpark. There aren't any distinct differences
in body textures from one player to the next. They all are just short,
lumpy looking Oompa Loompa-looking guys (minus the green hair and neon
Stadiums maintain a pretty nice polish visually, but
there's no reaction from the crowd. They are just motionless sprites.
While I'm really sick of the sprites and think it's about time that we
had some real crowds in games, this game only enrages that hatred more.
Ground textures seem to be a little off, as they vary drastically from
one match to the next where it'll look like field tear then the next
game starts and it's so fresh and so clean. Um…ok? Where's the consistency?
Animations are sub par at best; your basic triple play
stick-up-the-butt running motions and whatnot. If anything, the only
saving grace in animations are the player reactions. Things such as pictures
striking fist when you happen to strike out a player or when a batter
cracks the long ball (you'll see this one a lot). Sadly, what sort of
tears this down is that there aren't any facial animations that we've
come to expect from EA. So seeing a player raise his hands in praise
but then seeing his face and it looks like he's super pissed sort of
kills the mood.
I still can't remember the last baseball game that has
actually has had a good sound system engine backing it up. It's the one
area that's always overlooked. EA apparently overlooked it again as well.
You'll hear some random comments coming from fans in
the stadiums and a few other random noises, but most of it is all on
a loop cycle and you'll hear in some two minutes later. Crowds are sort
of set to just do a generic roar rather than following the pace of the
game and the commentary is dry (as it's always been). Bob Costas and
Harold Reynolds lend their vocals in the booth, but thanks to a lack
of fine-tuning the commentary done by these two are disjointed, as they
are recorded separately and meant to sound together, but they don't.
Menu music seems to half fit the game at times and then
at others don't. Most of the time, though, it doesn't fit at all and
makes you wonder if the tracks were just selected at random, which they
seem they were. I don't normally care too much for this area of games,
but it's nice to have matching music for a good to fit the mood; especially
when it's the first thing you hear when you turn on the game.
Triple Play 2002 is an unprecedented, uninspiring, un-everything
negative pile of digital garbage. To enjoy this game it'd take the biggest
fan ever to be devoted to a series and a couple kegs of some serious
alcohol. Scratch that one… you can't enjoy this game. Period.
Still tries to scrub off the filth...
Triple Play 2002: The Scores
If you are reading this part you're either a) looking
for me to say something crude and hysterical about the
game, or b) you're still looking for something about
this game to make you want to get it. Well, if you're
part of the B group then give it up. If you're on the
A side of things…well, I think I've said enough. Pick
up ASB2003 or High Heat 2003 without hesitation if you're
looking for great baseball titles for your PS2 (if you're
picking up HH2K3) and Xbox.