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All-Star Baseball 2003

Developer: Acclaim | Publisher: Acclaim
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 02/25/02 | Genre: Sports

With the creation of all of these next generation systems, it seems that there is always a battle to make a bigger and better game. The problem is, this may hurt the original gameplay and take away the fun of the game/sport that you are trying to play. Well, thanks to the folks at Acclaim, baseball is back and better than ever! Acclaim's newest version of All-Star Baseball features one of the best in the game -- good ol' #2, New York Yankees stud shortstop Derek Jeter. Let's get into the batter's box and get ready for this week's review of All-Star Baseball 2003!

Baseball is a simple game one that is played by millions of kids everyday all across this great country of ours so to describe what you have to do in the game is unnecessary. What I will do is tell you about the great features involved in this year's game.

First, how many of you out there like baseball trivia? Well, there's good news for you because now you don't have to wait for the next big trivia night or some silly radio contest to test your large baseball knowledge. You can play a unique and fun trivia challenge that allows you (or your friends) to play a baseball version of "Horse" with trivia questions. Not into trivia? Well, don't worry, because we have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to the things you get to do in this game.

How about the Official in-game Donruss player trading cards that enable users to collect, trade and unlock cheats. Or one of my personal favorites, the all-new Expansion Play that allows you to choose a city, stadium and team logo and add that team into Major League Baseball (here come the Hoss' Champs!)? Still not enough? Try the Franchise mode. This allows you to play and build your favorite team for up to twenty consecutive seasons. And while you are playing for twenty season you will probably need the Expansion draft where you will draft from a pool of unprotected players and build a team from free agents and Minor League players. Oh, I almost forgot -- what better way to prove the old school feel to this game than to tell you about the National Baseball Hall of Fame team that features your favorite sluggers from the past like Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson and Yogi Berra.

I am have been waiting since the dawn of these next gen systems but it has finally happened. This is something that has never been done before on a home system. Take a look if you will at the photo on the side of the page. Sure the graphics look great but look closer. Do you see it? It's the crowd! They are actually real people. No more blurry people looking things in the background. It looks like they are really at a ball game!!!

Want good audio, too? How about a three-man broadcast booth with Bob Brenly, Thom Brennaman and Steve Lyons for the most in-depth commentary? These guys know their baseball.

One thing I noticed on my Nintendo Gamecube is that the game does use a lot of memory to save a season. You are looking at from 59-251 blocks of memory, which can be a little frustrating if you have other games on your card and you need more room.

A baseball game that includes some of the greatest players of all time, old-school uniforms and ballparks, and your teams favorite mascots -- what's not to love? And best yet, this is a game the whole family can play and enjoy! The game is hard if you want it to be, but simple if you want that as well. This is a great game and so I give All-Star Baseball 2003 a solid A-.

Bonus Codes for All-Star Baseball 2003 for Nintendo Gamecube

Cheat menu:

Press L at the controller selection screen to activate cheats that have been bought.

Hint: Easy points:

You can gain "points" for certain feats performed during a game. An easy way to get a lot of points is to throw a perfect game. This is worth 100 points. Switch controls every time the CPU is up at bat and intentionally strike out. This will get you points for 27 strikeouts, and for a perfect game. Repeat as many times as needed.

To get more points in franchise mode to sign your free agents, during the off season either create a player and pick him up as a free agent or sign free agents and release them at the end of the season.

Hint: Control homerun replay:br>
After hitting a homerun, a replay of it will be displayed. When you see your batter heading home from third base, press various buttons to see different angles.

Hint: Better hitting:br>
Immediately after the pitcher releases the ball, press Start. You will see where the ball is going and if it will be a strike or ball. Resume the game and move your batting cursor over it to get a nice powerful swing. This will help you improve your hitting. Note: You do not need to press Start directly after he lets go of the ball -- it just gives you more time to move your cursor after the game is resumed.

Use the pause technique before batting. When you see where the ball is going, try your best to get the ball as close to the point of the contact triangle (the part closest to the batter, not the thick part of the triangle). you will usually get homeruns or at least doubles.
Wait until the pitcher's arm is in motion and is coming forward, then swing. If it looks like a bad pitch, don't swing. This strategy woks most of the time, and works well with players such as Giambi, Bonds, or A-Rod.

Hint: Restore pitcher's energy:br>
In season, franchise or expansion mod, go to the DL, and put any pitcher on the15 day DL. Then immediately take him back into your lineup. He will have recovered all his energy.

Hint: Better franchise or expansion mode teams:br>
Use trades to get rid of your older less talented players for slightly better players. Even if the CPU rejects your trade, keep trying repeatedly and it is usually eventually accepted. However, make the trade reasonable, such as B- for a B or B+. If the player you really want just does not seem to want to join your team, try trading for another player who is slightly better, then return to that player you want and try again. Do this every season to keep good young players.

Hint: Easy cards:br>
Use the following trick to unlock all the cards in one or two games. Once you unlock the Cooperstown Legends and the Pixels, play as the Legends. You will find that within the fifth or sixth inning, every hit equals ten points and possibly more. Constantly hit homeruns and strike out the batters and you should have forty to fifty packs to open after the game. This is the easiest way to complete your card collection and unlock the cheats.

Hint: Thom Brennaman's stories:br>
Start a game and allow the controller to remain idel. After a few minutes after they have announced the lineups and the starting pitcher, Thom Brennaman will start telling in-depth stories about baseball.

By Chris "Hoss" Neupert - 04/04/02
ESRB Details: No Descriptors
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Screenshots for All-Star Baseball 2003

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