Out of the Park Developments are back with their yearly baseball strategy game, Out of the Park Baseball 20. Out of the Park Baseball 20 is unlike the typical sports video game. It does not put you into the shoes of a baseball star. OOTP Baseball 20 lets you take control of a baseball franchise as either the General Manager or Manager from the big leagues of Major League Baseball, to teams from leagues all across the Minor Leagues and the World. If you have ever thought to yourself that you could definitely do a better job then the General Manager or Manager of your favorite team then OOTP 20 is the baseball game for you.
Out of the Park Baseball 20 is stat heavy. It is also insanely in depth. If there is a rule in Major League Baseball it is represented in OOTP Baseball 20. You will spend the majority of your time in game pouring through menus and statistics, reading emails from scouts, looking for that one player that will turn the Miami Marlins into a World Series contender. The crazy thing is, it never feels like a chore. While the constant emails can bog you down a bit, you can adjust what messages you see. If you are a fan of baseball statistics then this the game for you. Numbers drive the game. That’s not to say they make up the entire game. The team at Out of the Park Developments have steadily been improving the 3D simulation engine that can be viewed and interacted with to allow you to see the action on the field. The days of chess pawns on a baseball field are gone. OOTP 20 features the best 3D engine for a sports strategy game this side of Football Manager. The new engine really helps make you feel like you are at the game. It is also a huge boost for streamers and YouTubers. The new engine makes the game much more stream-friendly then past installments. Outside of the 3d engine improvements, most of this year’s changes lie under the hood. The series has always featured a magnificent a.i., this year is no exception. Trade logic has been improved, but the persistence in teams bombarding you with the same trade offers over and over again still happen too often. How many times must I reject acquiring Austin Hedges before I stop receiving offers? The a.i. does a better job of understanding a teams means and goals. You won’t see small market clubs offering massive contracts in free agency. You will see rebuilding clubs move veterans for young talent, Though I have seen some head-scratching trade rejections. This though can be chalked up to teams having scouts who have varying skills.
With the major improvements in this year’s title being in the background. That is both good and bad. For returning players of the series, this iteration can easily feel as little more then a 3d engine and roster update. I felt that way at first, but after spending far more time with the game that past few days then I’m sure my wife wanted me to, I can say the game has improved from 19. While legacy issues are still around, the improvements are noticeable with time. Sim time is faster, new tactics are available, the game feels smoother overall. Once you dig in, the game shines.
The biggest addition to the series is Perfect Team 2.0. Perfect Team is Out of the Park Baseball’s take on the card collecting team builder mode that has appeared in almost every sports title for years now. There is very little middle ground for modes such as this. You either love them or hate them. While they can be fun, many people see them as nothing more than a cash grab by developers. Perfect Team 2.0 is set up in a way that it can be enjoyed with minimal money spent. If one can be competitive without spending real-world dollars or not is yet to be seen. However, it is unlikely that one could compete at the highest levels of Perfect Team without a lot of luck or cash spent. Ultimately, Perfect Team 2.0 is fun. Opening packs of cards is a time-honored baseball tradition. The fun of the unknown carries over to opening Perfect Team 2.0 packs. Once you open your packs and set your lineups and strategy, the a.i. takes over and sims games between your team and the teams of other real-life users. It is a fun set it and forget it mode that has a lot of reward for collectors.
Out of the Park Baseball continues the tradition of absolutely fantastic games in the series twenty-year history. If you love baseball and dream of running a franchise as a G.M. or manager, you will absolutely not find a better game then Out of the Park Baseball 20. While it is not a perfect game, it is very close. The simulation engine is top notch. There is a reason Out of the Park Baseball has accurately predicted the last two World Series Champions. Out of the Park Baseball 20 is a must own for fans of baseball.
*Review Code Provided by Out of the Park Developments*