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MLB SlugFest 20-03  Package Art
†GENRE
††Extreme-Sports
†DEVELOPER
††Midway
†PUBLISHER
††Midway
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-2
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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MLB SlugFest 20-03

Picture Yankee Stadium on a hot Sunday afternoon. You can hear the peanut shells hitting the ground, annoying rally music playing on the loud speakers, and the batter tapping his bat on the plate. The Yankees are facing the Blue Jays of Toronto, a bitter rivalry that is as old as the monuments in the backfield. Here comes the pitch...Crack! A line drive goes smoking past the third baseman, and Derek Jeter takes his spot at first base. The ball is tossed to the first baseman Carlos Delgado; upon catching it, he taps Derek lightly on the thigh. Derek responds by driving his knee so far up Delgadoís crotch that you canít help but wince. Delgado, dropping the ball to grope what remains of his testicles, is left in a cloud of smoke as Derek rushes for second.

Those of you familiar with baseball are probably wondering if they finally decided to make a game that mimics Free Beer Night at the former AstroDome. In a weird way, they have. This is a baseball game unlike any other Iíve ever seen; itís as if Jackie Chan decided to star in a baseball game. The question is if we strip away the violence and the childish humor, are we still left with a decent baseball game?

visuals

To sum up the graphical quality of this game in one word: Pretty. From the highly detailed players to the individual people in the crowd, everything is pleasing to look at. The actions of the players are fluid, and the camera angles are flawless. Everything has a comfortable, laid back feel to it that really makes it feel like a baseball game. However, one very simple yet annoying thing detracts from everything in this game. The baseball has a ďphaser.Ē Thereís a blue or red light that always follows the baseball. As if Iím some sort of moron, that canít follow a rotund object on my screen. Every pitch, every catch, and every hit has this red or blue streak of light surrounding the ball.

audio

The sound is this gameís most impressive feature. While that may sound troubling, let me assure you, it is not. The announcing is superb, and by superb, I mean hilarious. The two announcers, who often go off on their own little conversations, often had me splitting my sides. These guys are hilarious. Iím talking about tear gushing, lung gasping, choking laughter. The announcing that revolves around the game itself is smooth, and is nearly flawless. Aside from that, the crunch of the wood, the smack of the ball, the whack of hitting leather, all sound terrific.

gameplay

Gameplay is where Major League Baseball 2003 falls apart. There are many issues that plague this game that cannot be overlooked, for the one reason that baseball is a simple game. It follows simple rules; however, these rules are near perfect in the real world game. When your game messes some of these rules up, the whole experience goes down hill. Iíve hit line drives between the 2nd and 3rd basemen gap, only to be thrown out at first. However infrequent, things like this just ruin the experience. Despite such occurrences, the final scores were usually out of the ballpark, ranging from 12-0 to 23-5, my score being the one with only one digit. That was on medium difficulty, out of a possible five difficulty settings.

Whatís unique with this game is the violence. Bean balls are hilarious, as well as the man-on-base and your fielder exchanging right hooks. Think of this game as a Blitz football game, but instead of footballs, youíve got baseballs. However, unlike the Blitz series, the violence does tend to get a bit tedious. Each time youíre holding the ball on a base thatís occupied, youíre going to get wailed in the gonads. Itís funny at first, but itís a joke that gets old quick.

There arenít too many options in this game; actually, I would say that this game sets the all time lowest amount of settings ever seen in a baseball game, seeing as the maximum amount of games I can play in a baseball season are 54. Major League Baseball 2003 Slugfest is a game that tries to branch out and put something new and interesting into a genre that has gotten pretty stale. While the violence is a nice add-on, there are just too many flaws in this baseball game to take it seriously.

multiplayer

The only way to play this game is with a few friends. Itís nearly impossible to play against the AI. You and your buddies will sit around and have a blast. From nailing each other on the nogginí to laughing at the great color commentary, this game is much more playable if you have a few pals alongside you.

overall

Despite its unique concepts and great graphics and sound, the very essence of what this game is supposed to be is failing. This game does a lot of things well, but being a baseball game isnít one of them. If Midway were to iron out all the problems with the baseball segment of this game and add some depth to the fighting (make it like a Mortal Kombat fight), weíd have a real winner on our hands. Despite MLB 2003 Slugfest being a weak baseball game, you simply have to listen to the commentators, so itís a good weekend rental.

final score 6.5/10





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Staff Avatar Casey Reece
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"Who knows where our secrets go?"


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