Strategic sports games are challenging to build. There are so many intricacies being the man in charge that go on behind the scenes, it’s almost too overwhelming to include it all in a game simulation. In the day and age where it seems every decision a baseball manager makes comes from a spreadsheet in a binder, it is tough to duplicate such a tedious process.
Out of the Park Baseball 20 is the ultimate baseball simulation game, perfect for any baseball purist who wants the full experience managing a big-league club. With licensing partnerships with the MLB (Major League Baseball) and its minor league affiliates, all rosters, teams, and staff are maintained and up to date. The game allows you to take command of any baseball franchise, with a bevy of game modes to choose from, all culminating with the ultimate goal of leading the franchise to the promised land.
This game features everything imaginable needed to comprehend being a manager in the show. The in-game decisions mirror being on the top step of the dugout, from instructing a player’s approach at the plate, to pitching around the middle of the opposing lineup, to putting the suicide squeeze on or going first to third on a hit and run. Calls to the bullpen are identical to an MLB game. I thoroughly enjoyed playing and trying to navigate my way through a lineup with dangerous power hitters. It was a challenge to manage a starting pitcher’s stamina and balance the bullpen during a full week of games. It creates an interesting challenge that puts you right in the shoes of a manager’s dilemmas.
Another amazing feature of the game is the ability to simulate historical games, stretching back to baseball’s inception season in 1871. As a baseball historian, the game’s glory days are a joy to explore. Baseball has had many great eras in its time and having the capability to watch and play out simulations from past games, especially games before television and radio, is quite cool. If you are a fan of the game’s history, flipping through the historical simulations is an awesome walk down baseball’s memory lane.
My only negative takeaway comes from the screens the game plays out in through the 3D match engine. The stadium dimensions of the ballparks are terrific and spot on. Where the gameplay lacks are when the actual simulations play out, when a pitch comes in and a strikeout or a home run commences. It just doesn’t vibe with the intricacies of the rest of the game.
This slight glitch can certainly be overlooked and honestly is just a matter of preference. It is an experience only baseball can provide, as this simulation correlates the real-world crack of a bat and the simulation gameplay seamlessly. This game makes you want to put on the uniform and give out all the signs while building a championship roster and lifting the World Series trophy.
Out of the Park Baseball 20 (Reviewed on Windows)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
This is an excellent baseball simulation game. It has incredible detail and an endless assortment of statistics. The only complaint is the in-game viewing, as its graphics lack when watching the pitch and the ball being put in play. Outside of that, the experience is phenomenal and as real as it gets. Highly recommended for anyone that enjoys managing sports and taking a whirlwind through baseball’s historic pastime.