Mike Piazza's Strike Zone
Inevitably, one of the toughest baseball diamond match ups of the year will not be fought in a stadium, but rather in stores between Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. on the Nintendo 64. Adding irony to the contest is that some of the people that created the excellent 16-Bit SNES version of Griffey years ago are now at GT Interactive making StrikeZone. Funny how the game industry works.
With plenty of serious baseball simulations on the way, the makers of StrikeZone have opted to create a realistic baseball game with an arcade flavor. There are plenty of exaggerated elements (super-fast pitches, exaggerated plays, and incredible light-trailed hits and home runs) that the developers hope will give this 3-D baseball game a unique swagger.
Eccentricities aside, StrikeZone will be packed with options to keep baseball purists happy. A Simulation Mode will be included in the game, in addition to full team drafts and management (create, trade, sign players). Wanna-be general managers and number freaks should have plenty of fun sifting through the 50 categories of "by-the-book" player statistics.
Certainly, by adding arcade elements to a baseball simulation, StrikeZone is attempting to cater to a wide variety of baseball tastes. Hopefully, when it's finished, it will play well from both sides of the fence.
- MANUFACTURER - Devil's Thumb Ent.
- THEME - Sport
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Download Mike Piazza's Strike Zone
Ah, Americans - they love their sports sims even more than their own 'moms'. To cater for the endless appetite for simulated ball games, GT Interactive are stepping up to the plate with Mike Piazza's Strike Zone.
Mike Piazza is a round, flat fellow who enjoys been smeared in tomato paste and mozarella cheese. No, not really. He's apparently a famous baseball player - whether he's as well-known as the equally blank-stare-generating-over-here Ken Griffey Jr. who's lent his name to Nintendo's own long-delayed baseball game, we really couldn't tell you. However, like MLB Featuring Ken Griffey Jr, Strike Zone is a licenced Major League Baseball title, complete with genuine stadia and player statistics based on the real spitters.
The difference between Strike Zone and the other upcoming American baseball sims is that it will take a more arcade-style approach to the game in order to make it as straightforward and entertaining as possible. Let's face it, baseball needs to be! However, if you're more of the po-faced statistician tendency, you can also play the game in the full-on simulation mode, which lets you buy and sell players and take part in the ironically named World Series.
Mike Piazza's Strike Zone is due to appear in the States this spring - will it ever be released over here, and if it is, will anyone be even vaguely interested? Still, at least it's not another Japanese super-deformed baseball game!
GT Interactive's getting into the sports game with Mike Piazza's StrikeZone. Backed by some of the development team behind Griffey for Super NES, Strike Zone resembles Griffey in its arcade-ish yet true-to-baseball approach to the sport. As for features, it contains the usuals, including all the pro players, teams, and stadiums; player and team creation; and a lineup of six pitches that includes knucklers, sliders, and sinkers. An outlandish and extensive selection of codes will keep things outrageous as gainers will be able to throw 200 mph pitches, hang wicked curves, and bury monumental home runs. Visually, Strike Zone's 3D graphics are going to have a hard time keeping up with the high-res razzle-dazzle of Acclaim's All-Star Baseball, but with such a successful development team behind it, the gameplay might just keep it in the running.
As the start of the baseball season nears, GT Interactive is stepping onto the Nintendo 64 mound with Mike Piazza's StrikeZone. In the features lineup, gamers can look forward to play in Exhibition, Season, World Series, All-Star, and Home Run Derby modes. And as you would expect, all 30 major league teams will be present, along with complete rosters, official logos, and stadiums. Some of SZ's cool extras include the ability to draft a team, then name it and design the team's uniforms. The game will also include more than 20 secret codes.
The unfinished version we got our hands on played pretty smoothly, but it definitely seemed aimed toward younger gamers, especially in its play at the plate. You don't have much control over your batter other than pressing a button to swing the lumber because the A.I. is programmed to recognize certain game situations. For instance, if you have a man on third and a right-handed batter at the plate, you'll hit the ball to the opposite field. GT is still looking to fine-tune the gameplay mechanics, as well as improve some of the in-game animations. Until we get a final reviewable copy, it's hard to tell if Strike-Zone will be able to hang in the big leagues with the likes of Griffey baseball.