Triple Play 98
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"The goal of the TP 98 team was to create a complete baseball experience for the gamer. Most companies do one or two things well in a product (graphics, stats, simulations, etc.) but neglect other areas that are equally important to the overall baseball experience and playability of the game. The TP team took this into account and took care to address everything that matters to the casual and fanatical baseball fan. The outstanding success of TP 97 has challenged our team. Even though the product took the #1 spot on the PlayStation by a wide margin, we knew it wasn't perfect, so we went to our consumers, reviewers and our Pros Who PlayTM to confirm what we had to do to "Raise the Bar of Excellence". We could have rested on the success of TP 97 and just done an upgrade of the product, but that would have been cheating. People expect the best product year in and year out from EA SPORTS, so we felt obligated to really push the product to the next level. The results are TP 98 - a game that will set new standards for excellence in video baseball games".
In the lineup this time around is improved statistical accuracy and better artificial intelligence. Each team will have its own intelligence statistics that will make them play with individual style. Crowd attendance and responses will be keyed to performance in season play and play in the individual game. Interleague play increases the play value, by allowing fantasy team battles.
The game includes the 1996 Season Stats from STATS Inc., and 3 times the Stats, with over 50 Stats categories tracked. The statistics are presented in a way to help the game player formulate an intelligent strategy. Statistics are updated after every game so that you can keep track of batting, home run, and other statistics on the the team, American or National, and individual players when compared to the entire league. You cannot import updated statistics to the game from other players or the internet, which we consider to be a deficiency in the game design.
Four difficulty levels, specifically super pro, all-star, pro, and rookie modes, and two play styles of simulation and arcade make the game more accessable for different skill levels. Playin g in five game modes gives the game more play value, including Exhibition, Series, All Star, Playoff, & Full Season with a 26, 52, 104, or 162 game schedule.
The licenses include a Major League Baseball License giving the game all the teams, including expansion teams and expansion drafts, and a MLBPA license giving the game all the Players with full 1997 team rosters. The games will be played in all 30 MLB stadiums including Bank One, Tropicana Field and Turner Field, all with stadium fly-ins. there are special hidden teams and stadiums for you to find, which add to game play. A special practice mode shortens the learning curve with practice games, hitting, pitching, & fielding, in the Cactus or Citrus league Stadiums. New Home Run Derby mode increases game play.
Views in any simulation, flight or sports, are an important element and this game has 3 batting and 4 fielding views including Reverse Camera View. The seventh inning streatch has been set up with imaginary and humorous sponsors to entertain in the intermission.
Hundreds of baseball trivia and facts suppliment the game documentation and play. You can simulate an entire season of play in a couple of hours, not overnight like other games, but slower than Grand Slam that does it in two minutes.
Artificial intelligence: Each player, each manager, and each team have their own individual artificial intelligence coded to the way they play in real life, with the same foibles and tendencies.
This game emphacises on-field game play and not the myriad of statistics that other games concentrate on.
The players are based upon texture mapped polygons this time around instead of digitized human characters. The characters are fully rendered in three dimensions on-the-fly from motion captured human players. The game features signature moves and stances of every pitcher and batter.
AnimationImproved motion captured animations feature "Motion Blending" for improved realism and smoothness. The atmospheric effects of wind, altitude, and playing surface all affect game play. Character "signature moves" were recorded for every player so that players play and look like they play in real life.
Voice ActorsCommentary provided by Jim Hughson of TSN and Buck Martinez of ESPN providing a two man play-by-play announcer team, which is the league standard. This is the first time a two man announcer team has been used in a computer game, and the rapport and friendship apparent between the two men adds to the commentary. Over 10,000 phrases were used to make the play-by-play more accurate and interesting.
Sound EffectsActual stadium, game & crowd sounds from the NLCS were recorded and keyed to game and season performance.The sounds were recorded from the stands at the National League Championship in St. Louis.
UtilitiesSpanish text is used for set up screens and instructions in Spanish or English to help those who have trouble with Spanish or English. The manual will not be bi-lingual. You can create and edit custom players, teams, and draft rosters for '98 expansion teams.
Multi-player FeaturesTriple Play 98 will feature four player network and two player modem play on the PC and four player internet play on the PlayStation.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesJ. Eng, Triple Play 98 preview
EA Sports Triple Play 98 Web Page
Editors, Boot, volume 2, number 8, April, 1997, pg. 70-71.
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