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Triple Play 2002

Developer: EA Sports | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 03/11/01 | Genre: Sports

To fans of video games and especially sports video games, you know that over the years there has been one dominating company that has successfully launched title after title, turning out nothing but hits. That company (in case you didn't already know) is EA Sports and not only have they sold a lot of titles over the years but also they improve games to a level that no one ever thought possible. EA Sports is the company responsible for such games as Madden, NHL and, of course, the great Tiger Woods Series. Their games are so addictive that they can take days if not weeks out of your free time if you let them. Ask any serious gamer about his/her best EA Sports moment and you are sure to hear a tale that you can more then likely relate to.

Who wouldn't want to try to take a shot at a Randy Johnson fastball? But I guess a better question would be, who wouldn't want to take a shot at a Randy Johnson fastball and not look like a complete ass? There are only two ways I know that can happen: Number one, be an all-star baseball player. Or, number two, check out Triple Play 2002. We need a "as close as we can get experience" without hurting ourselves. And since EA Sports has taken us "into the game" with so many other sports and titles, here we get a chance to put on the batting helmet and try turning that 4-2-3 double play.

The game is simple: score more runs then your opponent. You got that? If the other team has 3, you need to score 4 in order to win! Bet you didn't know that, did you? Well, let's get into the issues that really matter! One of the first things you notice is also one of the best features, which is the 3D-scanned faces that put your favorite star players in the game. This is incredible, but I'll talk more about that in the next segment. Another great feature are the four different game modes that include Home Run Derby for those who live by the long ball, the Single Game for those great player vs. player battles, Season, and of course Playoffs. Not to mention the very cool Create-A-Player and Fantasy Draft features that can really personalize the game for you. Maybe move up your own softball team to Tampa Bay and make them the Devil Rays. You can do enough fun stuff like that to keep your attention for quite a while.

What about the graphics? Ah, yes, the sweet graphics of this game. This is where this game stands out more then any other baseball game out there right now. The graphics are truly spectacular and the players look, well, like the players. As mentioned previously, with the 3D-scanned faces that put your favorite star players in the game, you really look like you're playing the real guys. Even the stadiums look incredible; they are extremely precise, right down to the very last detail. Even the weather in the background looks very cool.

After gushing over how good the graphics in this game. I must admit my truly favorite part of this game is the audio. Your play-by-play voice for Triple Play 2002 is none other then Mr. Bob Costas. Imagine that! The award-winning future Hall of Fame Broadcaster calling a game just for you in your living room. And, no, this isn't a rundown diluted version of Bob Costas. This is the real Bob being Bob. You will hear stats and intelligent things spewing from his mouth the whole time, just like in real life. And to compliment his performance, it's the one and only Baseball Tonight funnyman, Harold Reynolds. It is a perfect mix because when you want to lighten it up a little, Harold talks but in crunch time, Mr. Clutch comes up with great words of wisdom to make the moment even more dramatic. This part of the game s a brilliant touch.

What is not so good? If you want a pure hit-and-run or double-stealing baseball game, this isn't for you. This is a fast-paced, homerun swinging, Arcade feeling game. Now will you like that? That's completely up to you. It has a different feel to it and I have yet to play a 1-0 game. But if you are a baseball purest, you might not like this one.

One thing that I found in this game (and I LOVE this idea) was the DVD extras. DVD Extras you ask? What are they and what do they do? Well, if you watched a DVD movie lately you have surely noticed the alternative endings, deleted scenes, and the commentaries about making the film. Triple Play 2002 has taken a hint from the DVD's success and given it a shot in this game. The extra content you find in this game are interviews with Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds, and Luis Gonzalez (cover boy for this game.) In edition to that, you get to see a pretty cool "Making-of-the-Game" feature. It's a very nice touch and hopefully we will see more of that in the future!

As for this game I did like the arcade feel but at some points it felt like I was just playing the Homerun Derby. The graphics are awesome and the audio in this game is great as well. So if you're looking for an easier baseball game to play or one that you can play with the kids (and you can play along with the kids because of the E for Everyone rating by the ESRB), this is one for you. I like it, though, just for the fact that Bob Costas is calling my game!

By Chris "Hoss" Neupert - 05/18/02
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Screenshots for Triple Play 2002

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