All Star Baseball 2002 (PS2) Preview
Release Date: April 2001
All-Star Baseball 2002, a future member of a baseball brand considered the best hardball game on any platform for the past three years, makes its triumphant debut on the Sony Playstation 2 next spring. Acclaim Sports' award-winning baseball franchise will once again provide gamers with its tried and true formula of combining heavy, simulation style baseball, and fun, intuitive gameplay. Not only does All-Star Baseball 2002 cater to it's predecessors' user-base, but will expand its appeal beyond the rabid baseball enthusiast by implementing features that will make it a cross-over hit. This is baseball at it's best!
All-Star Baseball will retain the features loved by its fans while adding new, innovative ideas to keep the game fresh. Some of the elements players will see are:
- 6 Modes of Play: ASB 2002 will allow the user to play SEASON, EXHIBITION, PLAYOFFS, HOMERUN DERBY, BATTING PRACTICE, and ALL-STAR PLAY.
- Major League Baseball & Major League Baseball Players Association: ASB 2002 is licensed by both the MLB & the MLBPA providing all 30 major league teams & over 900 major league players, including Derek Jeter, spokesperson for the All-Star Baseball brand.
- Extensive GM Mode: ASB 2002 will allow the user to Trade, Draft, Create, and customize all rosters/lineups in GENERAL MANAGER mode.
- User Specific Options: For single as well as multi-player play, ASB 2002 will allow the user to customize his/her gaming experience individually. This will allow advanced users to play newcomers and help even the playing field.
- Play-by-Play: ASB 2002 will feature not only a two man booth consisting of an announcer and color commentator, but a stadium announcer as well.
- TV Style Presentation: Ranging from camera positioning/cuts to graphical information displayed in-game, ASB 2002 will take on a broadcast-quality presentation to equal real-world MLB broadcasts.
- 3D Batting: Similar to past efforts, ASB 2002 will incorporate a 3D batting icon that allows the user to determine where he/she hits the ball. Additional enhancements will help keep this a favorite feature.
- Easy Batting: Aside from 3D Batting, ASB 2002 will also contain an Easy Batting option.
- Stadium Graphics: Stadium will come alive due to the amount of detail and touches seen throughout. Working scoreboards, dynamic jumbotrons, animated crowds, field degradation, bullpen action, and opening/closing domes are but a taste of what will be delivered.
- Environmental Effects: Not only will the stadiums reflect their real-world counterparts, but the world in which they are contained will take on a life of their own. Day/dusk/night sky transitions, 3D clouds, and accurate weather effects (rain, overcast, snow, wind) will combine to make the most believable baseball environment yet seen in a baseball game.
- Player Attributes: ASB 2002 will use over 40 different player attributes to make each player react as he would in real life.
- Injuries: ASB 2002 will have a wide range of realistic injuries that will make users have to adjust their lineups when a player goes down.
- Future Throw Technology: Another favorite from previous games, FTT allows the user to “pre-load” throws, meaning that before a ball is fielded, the user can press the throw button which will in turn make the fielder perform a super-smooth catch and throw animation.
Playstation 2 Advantage
One of All-Star Baseball's defining characteristics has been its jaw-dropping beauty. Players and stadiums in previous versions have been so realistic that many remarks have been made to the effect that the game was close to “photo-realistic”. Using the pure processing power of the Playstation 2, the visual impact of All-Star Baseball 2002 will remove almost all barriers between the game and its real-life counterpart. Polygon count will be dramatically increased, giving believable “life” to the player models and stadiums. A good example of the difference between the Playstation 2 incarnation and ASB games of the past is that there will be more polygons in the player model's head alone than was used to create entire stadiums in previous years.
Sound will also see a major upgrade due to the vast amount of space available on the Playstation 2 platform. Play-by-play will mimic real-life broadcast quality due to the number of calls that can be placed on the disk. Environmental sound ranging from a multitude of crowd reactions to vendor calls will also help suspend the user's belief that he is in an actual stadium.
Baseball is a game that is extremely statistic laden. Extensive statistic tracking is one of the qualities that can make or break a baseball title. The expanded size of the Playstation 2 memory card will enable ASB to save a larger amount of data which will in turn provide the user with unprecedented statistical tracking.
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