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Review by: Chris Harding
Published: June 3, 2000
The popularity of baseball is at an all time high. People watched and waited with anticipation, some even wagered, to see where Ken Griffey Jr. would play this season. Of course we all know he plays for the Cincinnati Reds per his trade request. Throughout the season we’ll watch to see if Griffey and the Reds have what it takes to beat McGwire and the Cardinals. Right now it doesn’t look like either one is too likely. He is six behind McGwire in the homerun race and the Reds are two games back of the Cardinals in the National League Central as I write this review. However if there is one thing to be learned it’s that things change very quickly in Major League Baseball. The same is true of computer baseball simulations. Each spring brings brand new titles and the latest versions in existing series. As an ardent fan of baseball, recently I’ve had the opportunity to play and review High Heat 2001 and Microsoft Baseball 2001. This year’s crop would not be complete without EA Sports Triple Play 2001.
Building on a long and successful history Triple Play 2001 adds a couple new gameplay features to keep it in the home run race. For those of you not familiar with its past, this series gives you a variety of game modes, and options that complement them. These modes include playing a single game, a season, the playoffs, or a network match. If you selected a single game, teams from both leagues and the All-Stars are free for you to control or compete against. This decision is just the beginning of many to be made. You’ll need to decide how many innings the game will be, if wind will be a factor, what time of day it is, and what is the weather will be like.
You also need to choose a fielding view, a batting view, and a difficulty level — rookie, pro, or all-star. Even after you’ve chosen a difficulty level it’s possible to tweak that further by adjusting how much CPU assistance your team and its players receive. Throwing, fielding, and baserunning can either be manually controlled or computer assisted. This assistance takes the form of directions — where to throw the ball and what fielding action should be taken. There’s even an option that allows you to control a pitch after it leaves the pitcher’s hand. All these gameplay options are available regardless of the type of game you are playing.
One of the most popular items in previous Triple Play titles was the Home Run Derby and Triple Play 2001 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. It has undergone a few changes and is now called the Big League Challenge. The Big League Challenge allows you to participate in a tournament or go one-on-one. An Extreme mode has been added where your swing is measured for both distance and accuracy in the quest to crown a champion. In addition to the standard Home Run Derby, Triple Play 2001 gives you the option to challenge the greatest hitters of the game in Home Run Legends. If you were curious to see how today’s hitters stack up against yesteryear’s this is your opportunity to find out. This derby is run the same as the normal derby: Each player gets three outs per inning rather than a specified number of at bats. The winner in each bracket moves on to meet his next opponent. Seeing Mark McGwire batting against Reggie Jackson was awesome and that was just one of the battles I undertook. Players like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth himself take part in the festivities as well.
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