By: Joe Rolfe
the actual games themselves all being pretty good, the sports
titles that Electronic Arts has published on the PS2 have all
kinda been voted number one on the system by default. However,
come this baseball season we will finally be able to see some
actual competition between multiple companyís games butting
heads on the PS2. Americaís pastime will see the release of
at least three separate titles Ė Acclaimís All Star
Baseball 2002, 3D0ís High Heat Baseball 2002 and now EA
Sports' PlayStation 2-update of the famed Triple Play series.
(989 Studios has yet to announce MLB 2002 for the console.)
Triple Play 2002 is on the horizon, and yes, it looks as
though it, like all the other EA licensed sporting games
before, may very well come out on top of the pack.
obvious change to Triple Play 2002 is the graphical
improvement. Comparable to Madden 2001 in the "Wow"
department, TP2002 sports some of the slickest baseball
visuals ever seen across any platform. Newly designed player
models are aligned to the correct height and weight, shadows
and incredible jersey textures fill TPís world. The stadiums
have been drawn from actual blue prints, and now they honestly
look like the real thing, to the point of near photo-realism.
atmosphere will be getting a kick in the pants, too. Over 150
facial textures from real major leaguers will be added, plus
individual batting styles as well. New celebrations, such as
high fives and post-game jubilation, will be implemented to
add player emotion to baseball. Stadiums will be changed, too,
with advertisements and life like fans helping out the cause.
as in classic EA fashion, Triple Play wonít be a
revolutionary update to the 2001 version, but again more of a
refinement. The TP series has always been regarded as an
arcadey title, but in an effort to be more comparable to the
sim aspects of 3D0ís High Heat games EA Sports has added a
few new features that should create a more realistic play.
Button pressure will define the depth and speed of throws and
pitches, not to mention a brand new pitching/hitting
interface, including a visual strike zone and cursors for
better control over hit and pitch placement. EA has also
scooped up the exclusive rights to the MLB Big League
Challenge played in Las Vegas, a competition of 12 baseball
superstars battling to see whom can hit the long ball the
TP2002ís audio scene will receive an upgrade, too. Big name
recording artists such as Fastball, Vitamin C and Chuck D.
will supply new musical tracks. The commentating is designed
for the PS2 hardware, featuring intelligent scripts from the
Toronto Blue Jayís new skipper Buck Martinez as the color
man, with play-by-play being handled by Sean McDonough.
to be released sometime in March, Triple Play 2002 has a lot
to live up to. Itís got a ton of competition this year, so
Treyarch and EA cannot afford to slack off in areas that the
other titles will most likely excel it. But, with itís
striking visuals, classic TP gameplay and fresh
pitching/hitting components added, TP2002 should have no
problem remaining the king of the baseball hill come spring