Out of the Park Baseball 9, or OotPB 9 for short, is a comprehensive, astonishingly intricate sim. It’s just one that doesn’t have a friendly way in for new players. A newbie approaching Football Manager now would be daunted by the sheer scale of the thing, and it’s much the same here. If you don’t know how often to use your pinch runner, or what sort of ERA to expect from your middle relievers, you’re pretty much screwed. We do know what they are, but damn, this is overwhelming stuff.
Once you’re in, it’s remarkable. If you want to manage a 2008 Major League team, all the current real-world team details are in place. If you want to play the Dominican Winter League, it’s there. Or perhaps a historical league between 1871 and 2007. Or even a fictional league, designed entirely by you. Once in a game you can control every aspect, pitch by pitch, really getting to grips with what makes baseball such a fascinating game. The level of manager control, and depth of strategy involved, makes it ideal fodder for play-by-play management. Pulling your pitcher off before he gets tired, ordering the sac bunt and getting key runners in scoring position, sending your outfield deep to make a catch at the wall...
If you’re looking for a baseball management game, get this. The problem is, you’re probably not. Or worse, you might be vaguely interested, but without a good grasp of the sport this will just put you off.
Aug 1, 2008