By Al Giovetti
Grand Slam uses a unique feature called a batting meter that adjusts power vs accuracy on each swing of the batter. The pitching meter varies the speed of pitches and a twitch mechanism that affects pitching accuracy
Grand Slam updates statistics after every game. The statistics come from a license with Stats Inc. Players decisions and tendencies come from these stats personalizing the game play and making the play less predictable, unless you study each player individually. Batters have stats for how hard and high they hit, and where they hit, while pitchers have a favorite and least favorite pitch.
Grand Slam has an official License from the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), which allows them to list all 868 players and prospects with no restrictions. The lineup is complete, which is not like some basketball games we know, that leave out essential players like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and others.
The artificial intelligence for player trades will not let you trade poor players for good players. Trade offers can arrive by telegram during the season.
Views are very important in simulations. For the very slow PCs Grand Slam has an optional fixed camera system that picks predetermined points in the stadium to view plays.
Real baseball players were digitized using motion capture. Batters and pitchers have four body styles each, with different styles and stances. Virgin used motion captured digitized players because they felt the polygonal players were not lifelike. The players are all 2D sprites and the stadiums are all accurately rendered in three dimensional polygons.
AnimationThe animations run at 30 fps (frames per second) on high end Pentium machines.
Voice ActorsA voice play by play is included in the game with over 2500 commentaries.
Music ScoreGrand Slam contains CD-quality music.
Sound EffectsThe real baseball sound effects are all digital. Click the sound button and guess who the announcer is for the play-by-play.
UtilitiesPlayers cannot be edited as they can with some other sports games. You can simulate an entire season in two minutes, while simulating every at bat for every game for every team. Grand Slam does not have a seventh inning streatch like Triple Play does.
Multi-player FeaturesGrand Slam supports two player head-to-head or up to eight players in the hot seat "Tater Tourney" mode. Internet and LAN multiplayer games are not currently supported. There are also numerous multiple play modes - Practice, Tournament, Exhibition and Season, including Divisional Playoffs.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesEditors, Boot, volume 2, number 8, April, 1997, pg. 70-71,
Virgin's Grand Slam Web Site
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