Posted in: Game Reviews by Archive Authors on June 15th, 2003
Take me out to the ballgame! Buy me peanuts, and popcorn, and…ah, maybe not. But, you should probably check out Inside Pitch 2003 out now for the Xbox console.
Players can do a bevy of gameplay options with Inside Pitch 2003 such as Season, Single Game, Network Play, and Championship Challenges. On top of all that, players with the LIVE service hooked up to their consoles can enjoy some downloadable content from the MS servers and invite a friend for some action out on the diamo…d.
Although Inside Pitch 2003 is a packed title content wise, the graphics leave much to be desired. Indeed, in comparison to some other sporting titles on the Xbox console, Inside Pitch 2003 hardly looks as if it is even on the same console. Muddy textures, garish colors that tend to bleed, and poorly detailed ball players all run the course of the title here.
I wish that I could say that the physics in the game were better than how they teams looked, but I didn’t exactly find that to be the case either. Shortstops, Left Fielders–even the Batters–all look stiff and coerced when they moved to shag a ball or step up to bat. There may have been some motion capture used for the modeling of the teams, but the execution is really far from what they would move like otherwise.
One really cool feature with Inside Pitch 2003 is the ability to run your Xbox through your Home Theater and listen to the game in Dolby Digital. The cheers, crack of the bat, and television-inspired commentary will sound great coming from the speakers on an advanced system.
Inside Pitch 2003 has another neat option of letting you rip your favorite tunes from any CD in your collection and then using that music in the game. Not that the included soundtrack is lackluster, but some players might like the option of using their favorite tunes in the game in lieu of the included music tracks.
Gamers can get their baseball on in a variety of ways. The Single Game option is the quickest for those looking to start up a game and play when they are alone. Players can select the level at which they play–AAA, Major League, ect.–and then select a team and ballpark to play in.
Season Play is exactly that–create a player and compete in a season with a selected team. There is a Team Manager function that allows you to edit and create lineups for your teams. Since the season schedule is a heavy one, Inside Pitch 2003 has the feature of letting you abbreviate the schedule so that the season will pass more quickly.
Players shouldn’t forget that this title is fully LIVE enabled and gamers can log onto the service to challenge their friends, or use the Optimatch feature on LIVE to find another baseball fan to play against. Voice is enabled with the LIVE service, so players can catcall and razz one another during the match. Content downloads, Stats, and Recent Player Lists round out the features available using the LIVE online play
The LIVE service alone gives Inside Pitch 2003 a ton of life after players have explored the main features within the game, but Microsoft threw in some mini-games and special features just to keep the gameplay experience fresh.
Players can participate in the Home Run Derby, play in the Inside Pitch All-Star Game, or go for the Championship Challenges like Derek Lowe’s No Hitter.
Packed to the gills with content, but lacking in the visual department, Inside Pitch 2003 is a title worth checking out the next time real MLB is cancelled due to rain.