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All-Star Baseball 2002

Preview By:  Roger Taylor

Developer:   Acclaim
Publisher:   Acclaim
Genre:   Baseball
Est. Release:   November 5th, 2001
Posted:   8-13-01

The Nintendo 64 never had much going for it in the way of sports titles. While there were a couple good efforts from EA Sports (NHL 99 for example), the N64 never offered anything that the Playstation couldn’t. That is until the All-Star Baseball series hit the console courtesy of Acclaim. All-Star Baseball 99 was without a doubt the best baseball simulation available that year. Further editions only improved on an already stellar game. In terms of graphics, gameplay, and all-around realism, nothing else on the N64 came even close to All-Star Baseball (ASB). Which is why we are so excited that All-Star Baseball 2002 is headed to GameCube, after having been previously announced only for the Playstation 2.

Since ASB for the GameCube will be virtually identical to the already-released PS2 version, we can tell you pretty much everything to be included in the game. First off, all of the following modes will be available: Quick Play, Exhibition, All-Star Game, Season, Series, Home Run Derby and Batting Practice. As is the standard for the series, every game offers an insane amount of optional customization, like the time of day the game takes place, whether there is rain or not, and so on. The batting and pitching interfaces are taken right from past games in the series.

As far as extras are concerned, All-Star Baseball 2002 for GameCube will feature two exclusive stadiums: Puerto Rico and All-Star Safeco.  In addition, it will also feature revamped versions of PNC Park, Cinergy Field, and Miller Park.

Graphics are improved over the older N64 versions, thanks to the GameCube’s extra power. However, whereas ASB 2001 pushed the N64 about as far as it could go, ASB 2002 looks like any other average GameCube title. This is a bit disappointing, and the root of this game’s potential problem. Apart from a small graphical boost, this game offers little over its predecessors. But it does manage to fix two of the older ASB titles’ biggest problems; the stat tracking (which was glitchy in past versions) now runs smoothly, and the create-a-player, lackluster before, is now above average. Also, thanks to the GC’s superior sound capabilities and extra disk space, ASB is now able to offer deeper and more complete announcing. But these are really quite small additions, and do little to improve the game itself. So those who own past versions of All-Star Baseball may want to skip this one over.

That said, ASB2002 is the best baseball simulation available on the Playstation 2, and without any real competition announced yet, should be the same for the GameCube.

All-Star Baseball 2002 will be available alongside Nintendo’s new system at launch, November 5.

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