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World Series Baseball 2k3

Developer: Blue Shift | Publisher: Sega
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 03/17/03 | Genre: Sports

Last year Xbox fans got a taste of what Sega could bring to the plate. World Series Baseball (WSB) was well received by the gaming community. With its success on the Xbox it would only be a matter of time before Sega brought its baseball franchise to the Playstation 2. How does WSB do at the plate? Read and find out!

Like all of Sega Sports beloved sports titles the game play has stood out in games such as NHL 2k3, NBA 2k3, and NFL 2k3. This game is no exception. The feel that the development team was going for was realism and boy they delivered. The game play is so fluent and fun. This is actually one of the first games where I actually had fun fielding and pitching. Its usually 쬥t me bat, let me bat!he pitching-batter interface is excellent. Naturally you'll have difficulty hitting off of lefties if you are a left-handed batter and visa versa if you're a righty. The batting interface closely resembles the likes of All Star Baseball. The only real difference is the separate function of each button on the controller. You'll have a separate button for a contact hit, bunt and power hit. In real baseball homeruns don't come easy and this game is no exception. Homeruns are a lot harder to come by than you would think.

The AI is fairly balanced and won't have you ripping your hair out like it does in Acclaim's All Star Baseball series. The amount of in-game options is insane, but I am not really surprised when you look at the amount of option available in NHL 2k3, NFL 2k3 and NBA 2k3. Unlike its competitors (with exception of High Heat Baseball) the game play has been paid extra attention to over the graphics. Some of the batting stances are way off and there doesn't seem to be a large variety of batting stances. The same can be said for the pitching stances as well. The game also comes equipped with a highly in-depth franchise mode, but sadly there is no online play.

The graphics are solid, but not great. They really don't compare well when you compare them to All Star Baseball or EA's MVP Baseball series. Like I mentioned above the pitching and batting stances really could have used some work. There appears to be a small amount of slow down when you hit the ball, but the player animations are great. I haven't seen a better double play pulled off than in this game. Most of the stadiums are accurate, but you may find a stadium here and there that needed more work.

The sound is a mixed bag. Since the game carries the ESPN license you'll hear all of the authentic ESPN music, but it tends to get too repetitive at times. The commentating is good all round. Unlike other games, the commentating actually keeps up with the play on the field and never calls the game awkwardly so they capture everything that is actually happening on the field. The best thing to listen is the player taunts, even though some of them may go overboard. The controls are excellent and even newbies shouldn't have a difficult time adjusting to them.

With the game's franchise mode being top notch, baseball fans won't catch themselves playing anything else for a while. Even if you don't have any friends over this is still one of the most balanced baseball games out there. Even If you have friends over the enjoyment factor excels in this game.

SEGA Sports has done it again! I highly recommend WSB 2k3 to any baseball fan. If you loved SEGA Sports previous outings, then you're going to love WSB 2k3. It may disappoint some though that this year's version isn't online. At least we can hope next years version will be online.

By Siddharth Masand - 05/01/03
ESRB Details:

Screenshots for World Series Baseball 2k3

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