Ahhh, springtime is finally here! It”s that time of year when students are having barbeques, girls are wearing less clothes, guys are watching hoops and of course, everyone is checking out the latest baseball games on the Playstation 2. Leading off for the new videogame baseball season, “Triple Play Baseball.”

Paul Wong
Homeless Romulus Ledbetter (Jackson) tells a detective that the path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyrrany of evil men.<br><br>Courtesy of Universal Pictures

“Triple Play Baseball” on Playstation 2 brings a fresh start to a series that was getting quite repetitive. One of the nice changes for the new title is the title itself. Unlike other baseball games due out this year (“High Heat 2002” and “All-Star Baseball 2002”), EA dropped the year 2002, which never made sense since the upcoming season takes place completely in 2001. In addition to the less confusing title, “Triple Play Baseball” boasts great graphics, top-notch commentary by Sean McDonough and Buck Martinez and amazing crowd effects (where you might hear a fan say, “You suck, Martinez!”).

Fortunately, “Triple Play Baseball” is not just a rehashed version of previous efforts on the Playstation like the crap 989 Sports throws out every year. No sir, “Triple Play” is loaded with new features. For starters, the game takes full advantage of the Dual Shock 2 controller. In both the field and on the mound, throw speed is determined by how much pressure is applied to the analog buttons. This new feature gives gamers a better sense of realism while playing. Additionally, “Triple Play” has a new pitcher/batter interface which makes learning how to hit and pitch a breeze.

Finally the different game modes in EA”s latest baseball game boost the game”s replay value. Season mode is a blast as it features the entire 162 game season full of stats, while the Big League Challenge Mode lets you see who is the greatest homer hitter of all.

Speaking of hits, “Triple Play Baseball” is entertaining as the game plays at a fast pace with lots of offense. The only flaws to the gameplay is that fielding takes a little while to get used to, as most hits to the outfield are difficult to field.

Gamers who are not in favor of this arcade style should look to Acclaim”s ultra-realistic (slow as molasses) “All-Star Baseball 2002.” But for those who want to play nine innings in a half-hour, look no further.

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