Search For Posters!
  Join the SGN staff!
Help Wanted
Release Dates


About Us

The Sports

Partner Links
Auto Insurance Quote
Irvine Moving Companies
LA Moving Companies
Brand Name Shoes

Triple Play 2001 (PSX) Review

Publisher: EA Sports
Release Date: April 2000

Background Info

It's not easy to create a virtual experience of a sports game that will appeal to both simulation and arcade fans. Titles like NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, and Rock the Rink are games that take the most exciting elements of a sport to the next level, leaving behind all the "boring" simulation aspects and realistic behaviors. While the die-hard sports fan will probably not receive much enjoyment from these types of games, most console gamers usually enjoy the action-oriented gameplay that these titles offer. On the other hand, developers who choose to create a pure simulation of a sport run the risk of having their game appeal only to a select few gamers who have a deep love for that particular sport. EA Sports' Triple Play 2001 does a great job attracting both types of gamers, but stumbles a bit in the execution.

Graphics : 85
While far from perfect, Triple Play 2001 contains plenty of eye-candy wrapped in an excellent presentation: players are well-animated (for the most part), stadiums are exceptionally detailed (save for some "swimmy" textures), and camera angles are exciting. The solid player models move realistically and are accurate representations of their real-life counterparts. Instead of simply disappearing from the plate, players show emotion after striking out or hitting a home run, which helps to make the experience more enjoyable and realistic. There are also plenty of small details littered throughout the game, including dirt clouds produced by sliding base runners and pre-game warm-up rituals of the players.

Beyond the realistic graphical touches, there are "extreme" elements like flaming balls, light saber-esque bats, "special" stadiums (including a living room and medieval castle) and dozens of breakable, animated objects during the Extreme Mode. Hardcore baseball fans may dislike these types of graphical touches, but they do help spice up the action and make the game more appealing to non-baseball fans.

Although Triple Play 2001 may be one of the best-looking baseball games on the PlayStation, it does have its share of graphical insufficiencies. The most noticeable among these is the schizophrenic frame rate, which not only detracts from the look of the game, but affects gameplay as well. There are also some clipping and texture warping problems, not to mention some seemingly rushed animation (i.e., some animation does not go through all the motions). These problems aren't quite as severe as they may sound, but ultimately prevent the game from reaching graphical bliss.

Overall, Triple Play 2001's graphics are bright & colorful, wonderfully detailed, and pleasing to the eyes. Some negative graphical issues exist, but when taken as a whole, Triple Play 2001 scores a home run in the graphics department.

Audio : 83
The first thing you will hear in Triple Play 2001 -- besides the EA Sports' "it's in the game" blurb -- is an excellent remix of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride," which help sets the mood of the game. Furthermore, Buck Martinez's and Jim Hughson's color commentary/play-by-play announcing is exciting and energetic, albeit a bit repetitive and annoying at times.

The sound effects in the game are solid, but some may find certain sounds to be too arcade-like. Nevertheless, the sound effects that are included sound good and fit EA Sports' excellent presentation. In addition, atmospheric sounds/crowd noise fills the stadium and pull the player into the experience -- which Dolby Stereo greatly enhances. Of course, you can adjust the individual sound levels (crowd, announcing, sound effects, etc.) to suit your tastes.

Interface/Options : 90
As with most EA Sports' games, Triple Play 2001 features a stylish, easy-to-use menu system. You can jump to one of several game modes, adjust the preferences, save/load games, and view the credits directly from the main menu. It's possible to bypass the menu system entirely and jump right into a quick game by hitting the square button, which is great if you're pressed for time.

For those who want more control over their experience, however, Triple Play 2001 offers several options and modes of play. You can set difficulty level (Rookie, Pro, All-Star), change weather conditions, select time of day, and mess around with a host of team management options (set lineup & pitching rotation, trade players, sign free agents, etc.), among other things.

Game modes include Single Game, Season, Playoffs, Big League Challenge (Tournament, One-On-One, Extreme), and Home Run Legends, which lets you choose your slugger among the all-time greatest home-run hitters.

You'll find the standard low, middle, and high batting & fielding views in the game, but new this year is the ability to play with a Defensive POV that places you right in the action. While this new view is a nice addition, it will take some time to adjust to and many will still prefer to use the standard offensive view. Still, if you want to become further immersed in the game, it's worth investing time.

Loading times between menus is quick, but fairly long before and after games. Nevertheless, there are tips and hints posted on many of the loading screens, some of which may come in handy.

Gameplay : 88
Triple Play 2001 offers some tight control, solid gameplay, and improved AI. Fans of the Triple Play series should be able to jump right in and start playing without any problems. The game is also very accessible to beginners due to the easy control layout and diagrams/help menus that can be called up with the press of a button.

Pitching consists of selecting from one of four available pitches that vary from player to player. After selecting a pitch, you can alter the speed and angle of the ball, but must keep an eye on the pitcher's stamina meter to prevent throwing duds or wild pitches. While on the mound you can also pick off players, align fielders, perform pitchouts, and call up a pitching chart.

On the field, players can execute speed bursts, jump and dive for balls, and even climb the wall to rob home runs. You can also throw the ball to another player in a normal or aggressive manner depending on the button you press (X or Square). The new Defensive POV makes fielding a bit more challenging due to awkwardness (not to mention frame rate problems), so most will likely prefer the standard view.

When it comes time to bat, you can control the position, stance, and power of the batter. The L & R buttons allow you to control the stance and position of the batter, while the X and Square buttons determine the type of swing (normal or power). You also have control over the type of hit (when playing with easy batting) by pressing up on the D-pad to hit a fly ball or down for a grounder; however, if you choose to play using hard batting, a zone cursor will become activated, forcing you to guess which zone the ball will be pitched to. In either case, the timing of your swing determines which area of the field the ball is hit.

Base running in Triple Play 2001 is pretty much identical to previous versions, and allows for steals, speed bursts, and feet-first/head-first slides. You can also advance/return a single baserunner (or all of them) and increase/decrease a baserunner's lead. The baserunners don't always respond as quickly as one would like, which is most likely the result of frame rate and animation problems.

With multiple difficulty levels and ways to customize, Triple Play 2001 will challenge (and even frustrate) just about every gamer. Arcade fans looking for some outrageous home runs and other assorted madness will love the Extreme Big League Challenge Mode, while sim fans will enjoy the Season Mode and team management options.

Replay Value : 92
Whether you want to play through an entire season, or simply want to hit/destroy some unique, well-placed targets in the Extreme Mode, Triple Play 2001 will keep a variety of gamers entertained for quite some time. There are plenty of simulation elements and modes to keep sim fans busy and many arcade elements to entertain the casual baseball gamer. In addition, there are many secrets, cheats, and extras to unlock, which will keep both types of gamers playing. And you can never go wrong with a create-a-player mode, allowing you to create and add "unique" players to your favorite team (an 8ft, 400lb giant anyone?).

Overall : 88
Triple Play 2001 is a great all-around baseball game for both simulation and arcade fans. While some sim fans may dislike the arcade elements, there are plenty of simulation aspects, realistic behaviors, and stats included to please most hardcore baseball fans. Besides, what other baseball game allows you to play as Babe Ruth and break windows and destroy television sets (using colossal home runs as your weapon) in a realistically modeled living room "stadium"?

By: Cliff O'Neill 4/20/00

© 1998-2006 Sports Gaming Network. Entire legal statement. Feedback

Other Links:
[Free Credit Report  |   Car Insurance Quotes  |   Designer Shoes  |   Outdoor Equipment

MVP Baseball 2003
Street Hoops
Mad Catz Xbox Hardware

Inside Pitch 2003
MLB Slugfest 20-04
Tennis Masters Series



[an error occurred while processing the directive]