America's pastime certainly has a lot of history and stirs emotions of yesteryear. Maybe it is because of movies like Field of Dreams
. Maybe it's because the ballpark treats like peanuts, hot dogs, and cracker jacks haven't changed since the dawn of time. Maybe it’s watching our favorite team win the World Series.
And we all like to win, don’t we? Losing can be depressing. After seeing your favorite team lose time after time, you start to think even a monkey could manage the team better than the current GM. It's a good thing that Out of the Park Developments feels your pain. That's why they have created Out of the Park Baseball 10 (OOTP).
Upon loading the game for the first time, you are greeted with a welcome screen. OOTP modestly tells you that it is the “most advanced baseball management game.” What does this mean for you? If a manager can do it in real life, you can do it in the game. Actually, you can do so much more than in real life.
If your typical video game has as many options as a car stereo, then OOTP could be compared to the mixing board at a professional recording studio. This is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Thankfully, OOTP knows how intimidating its sim-muscles can be so it offers an extensive help system. OOTP sets the bar for being user friendly with video tutorials and over 600 pages of help information all easily accessible at the press of a button. There is also a classy and dedicated fan base that answer questions in the game’s forums. Sadly, it is missing an in-game tutorial that would have been a fresh breeze in the heat of learning even the most basic of options.
OOTP allows you to manage any historic MLB season from 1871 – 2008, even minor leagues for current year rosters. Make up fictional leagues where you pull every player off of every team and start from scratch. Take a real world schedule and mix-up which team plays and when. All of these things are easy to accomplish. Getting started is simple even for players new to the OOTP series.
Controls are simple since it’s a mouse driven game. A click of the left mouse button navigates through menus, while the clicking the right mouse button brings up a context sensitive menu for various items. This is really all that’s needed and works well.
You can change your pitching staff, the batting lineup, and your team strategy. There is also ways to change your team colors, logos, and even player pictures. What really matters, though, is game time. This is where OOTP really shines.
OOTP gives a play-by-play (text) announcement of the game as it plays out. During a game: you tell the batter to take the pitch or swing away; you tell the pitcher to intentional walk or hit the batter (love that option!); you make substitutions as needed. Or, sit back like a real GM and let your coach take care of those decisions for you. It looks all very similar to Gameday on MLB.com if you’ve ever checked that out, showing where pitches hit in and around the strike zone.
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