Triple Play 98 Review
By Daniel Lampkin |
Triple Play 98 is a fully realized baseball simulation that brings the sights, sounds, and feel of the major league to life on the PC. You call the shots for all the players on all the teams in every stadium. From the optional free-agent draft to the world series (with an all-star game in between), Triple Play 98 keeps track of all the statistics so you can get down to action.
With Triple Play 98, you control every aspect of the game: Throw the sinker to get the double play and make highlight-reel dives, leaps, and stabs to keep the ball from getting past you into the gap. The pitchers bring their personal bags of tricks to the game, and every pitch they have, you have, and the same holds true for the other ball players' defensive abilities and offensive wallop. Read the scouting report before game day to see how Colorado's sluggers average against Atlanta's dead-eye pitching staff, and then shift the outfield to the left and bring the infield in when the time is right. Total control.
In the past, baseball simulators have sacrificed gameplay for statistics, but Triple Play 98 feels and plays great. When you crack a drive down the line and see the wind hook it just foul, well it breaks your heart. But time it right on a 100mph belt-high fastball, and chuckle when you watch the instant replay from any of eight camera angles. Motion is incredibly fluid on the field, both while batting and fielding, and timing is everything; before jumping into full season simulation, utilize the practice feature and work on those ground balls and pop flies. Take your knocks in the batting cages, and when you feel one with the strike zone, grab Barry Bonds and Mark Maguire and go to Coors Field for a Home Run Derby.
Full season play is the most rewarding (but time-consuming) schedule in Triple Play 98. As the season progresses, so do all the averages, and a winning streak on a tough road trip will do wonders for the team's ERA. But you can enjoy single exhibition games if you need to sneak a quick fix. You can adjust the number of innings in a game, so if you only have a few minutes, play a three inning contest.
There are many strengths in Triple Play 98, but it's the subtle touches that really make this game a winner: Beer vendors in the background, banal play-by-play announcers, and scrolling trivia all add to the allure of this title. Triple Play 98 is definitely a candidate for the all-star game.