Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball 2001
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|4.5/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
|8.7/10 - 3 votes
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|Sport Games, Baseball Video Games
Who the hell is Sammy Sosa? And do we really care if he's on heat? We keep going on about baseball games being deadly boring and we keep wondering just who the hell buys them, and we're not about to stop that intriguing line of subtle criticism now. American developers keep making them and American people keep buying them, but that's understandable given it's a national obsession. But just who buys them here? Exchange students? For whatever reason, here's another one. And not a particularly good one either. Sammy Sosa has put his name to a few other High Heats, all of which are decidedly average. The graphics for this update are pretty dodgy, the commentary and sound effects are poor and you never feel in control of the action. Personally, if we're going to hit balls with sticks, we'd prefer the highly polished Triple Play from EA.
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So here I am getting ready to play High Heat 2001, and all I can think about is how bad the original PS version was. Still, other baseball sims have made great comebacks so I should be optimistic right? Well, all my positive thoughts were squashed once I dug into this improved, yet ultimately, average game. It's a shame, and I hate to dog the work of hardworking programmers, but why would anyone take a chance on this when there are many A-grade baseball sims for the PS already? If anything, HH 2001 has an easy learning curve which might be good for beginners but, again, why bother? Triple Triple Play 2001 offers an equally easy curve plus plenty of arcade thrills. The best thing HH 2001 has going for it is decent Al. After that it's sketchy. Here are the problems in order: Batting is a lesson in frustration. You're given three options: high, low and mid swing. On top of that, you can't move your player around the box. This makes it tough to aim your hit. To add insult to injury, when playing the computer, it seems like it has little problem hitting off you. When it's your turn it's 1-2-3 you're out (it gets easier with time however). Where are the batting cursors? I won't even mention how goofy the player models look...oops, I just did. Hey, if you're still interested, there's a money-back guarantee if you don't like it.
When I first played this game I was sold on its baseball accuracy. I was convinced this was the game that finally sacrificed graphics for gameplay. But the dream popped when I couldn't tell where the ball was going off the bat, my fielders sprayed a cloud of dust when diving in the grass, and the pitching interface was as annoying as it was ugly. It's a shame. But it looks like you can stick with EA's Triple Play and get equal gameplay and graphics to boot.
Why Sammy Sosa would leave the cover of the respectable Triple Play series for this is a mystery. Maybe I've turned into a graphics whore, but I demand a little more than the Cro-Magnon-esque offerings of High Heat Baseball. Everything looks bad and the gameplay isn't much better. Hitting and pitching, two essentials to the design of any good baseball game, are poorly executed. Take a permanent seventh inning stretch on this one.
Look -1 don't care if a game is as realistic as hell or if it has a superstar's name attached to it. If it looks as lame as this game does, I'm simply not going to care. Because it's my duty as a reviewer, I forced myself to drudge through High Heat's crappy animation and subpar graphics to find that there's a decent game underneath. But since you're not paid to do game reviews, I don't expect you to force yourself to do the same. And really, why should you?