Front Page Sports: Baseball Pro 98 is a Sierra publication and was developed by world renowned programmers, Dynamix Incorporated. It arrived late in 1997, lending to its title. It is recommended as a realistic simulation as opposed to an arcade action style baseball game. It falls into the other Front Page Sports series by Sierra, and displays the depth and realism fans have come to expect from the series.
The original Front Page Sports Baseball was a dismal failure after its release in the early nineties. Pro 98 worked to fix the problems and complaints that users displayed their dislike for. Sierra basically took what the people liked from FPS Football and added them to Baseball Pro 98. The user can manage a team from season to season. He must draft new players from and trade away used goods for players that fit better into the team scheme. Players can be sent to and brought up from the minors. The user can also direct players to concentrate on certain mechanics during spring training to improve their ratings in different aspects of their play. It also involves Internet play and updates.
Players participated in games, became injured on plays, and retired due to age. Each player features individual statistics in many categories. The players’ ratings in these fields directly affect their play on each and every play, from fielding to hitting. The user does not need to watch every game, but can just view the results from the simulation. Or, each game can be played, and the user can watch the statistics change with each play. It can also be run in reverse, with the user setting up a quick-play game and playing it arcade style.
This is not a bad thing since the game play on the field is not in the same league as Baseball Pro 98’s statistical management. While the game play is much improved from the original, it is still choppy and difficult with a clunky user interface. Most baseball fans will choose to forego the arcade action altogether, since it is subpar.
In summary. Front Page Sports: Baseball Pro 98 is an exemplary game from a micromanager’s point of view. The user can build awesome realistic teams and can keep track of hundreds of statistics on hundreds of players. Lovers of arcade-style baseball, however, may want to jump into a different game, because the play is not where it should be in this game. Baseball Pro 98 is a definite download for the statistician and a no-go for the action gamer.
Written by: ~dorento1