Ultimate Baseball Online 2006

We die-hard baseball fans are a bit more, um ... odd than those who obsess over other sports. Over the course of a season, we chew on enough numbers to make any accountant weep and bandy about statistical terms, as if everyone should know exactly what we're talking about.

It's this kind of crazy that makes us drool over the potential of Ultimate Baseball Online 2006, a long-in-development, ultra high-concept project that only a baseball nut could love. UBO boldly attempts to give us crazies what we've always wanted: a completely human-driven baseball game, played out via computers and the internet. That's 9-on-9 action with each player controlled by a real live person, playing his own position in the field just like they do in the big leagues. It's a game where everything is up to you and your teammates (including the simple act of catching the ball) and nothing is automated. Well, except when you want or need it to be: for those concerned about the logistics involved in getting a whole team together at once to play, you can call on AI stand-ins when you need to fill out the roster.

Being a persistent online-only game, the idea is that you create a player, name him, select a natural position and create his look. You then take the field to practice, play pick-up games and level up your character as you go, earning experience points that you can use to increase your skills, such as range, arm strength and accuracy.