Courtesy: Video Games Museum

Courtesy: Video Games Museum

Well, since we now have PlayStation 4 as of Xmas 2016, I suppose we can call the All-Star Baseball series a classic? I know this game as of the aforementioned date probably isn’t up for classic status, or could we call it a classic due to the Montreal Expos being on here?

All-star Baseball 2003 suffers from our own defined “Triple Play Dilemma.” Despite the game having the year 2003 in its title, the 2001 season is mentioned by the announcers and it also states this on the game credits. The game was released in 2002; the folks at Acclaim were pumping out the ball games a little too fast. There happens to be some articles on this game in March of 2002: here and here.

 

The Basics

With this being made in 2002, this game has all the features you are looking for in a game at the time. It carried a MLB license, had the 2001 rosters, you can create players, season mode and even franchise mode. Another addition to Franchise mode was the option to add an expansion team. Sadly, you didn’t have the option to pick which ever city you wanted, the name of the team too. You had a list of cities without a major league team and about 12 team names to select from.

Also, for franchise mode, you could also select your own ballpark from the ten ASB2003 has to offer.

I had this game in 2007-08 back when I had barely any cash. I found it on the clearance rack at Gamestop. I also saw on the web that this game offered a manage-only mode. I made the Alaska Ruff Puppies, I did 2 full seasons mostly in Manage mode and got last place in the NL West. The second season I got 2nd but missed the playoffs.

All-Star Baseball 2003’s batting is a bit different from 2000 whereas it’s a shaded triangle for contact and a square for power. Personally, I’m a big fan of this style, it’s kinda difficult concept to grasp at the beginning but one will get used to it by the second or third game. A batters power can be determined by how big the square is in the triangle.

 

Manage Mode

Manage mode offers you to call every pitch and make calls on whether the infield or outfield goes in or out. While on the offense, you can tell the batter to just make contact or swing for the fences. But before you do, be sure to look at your player ratings or temporary go to rookie or veteran mode and see how big the square is.


ASB2003’s Manage mode makes you go through every pitch though, which makes the game long. It’s more comparable to Hardball III’s Manage-only, minus that you cannot tell the pitcher which pitch to throw. A not-so-classics MLB 2K8 and 2K9 were the manage mode was an at-bat at a time. In addition to that, 2K8 and 9 had you manage the game via a scoreboard with options. So when it comes to the managerial aspect, if you don’t mind spending 45 to 90 minutes on one game, ASB2003 is for you. However, if you want to do 5 or 6 games in an hour, go for 2K8 or 9. The latter mention does not have the expansion option, so no Alaska Ruff Puppies for you.

All-Star Baseball 2003 is good for those still kinda or really stuck in the sixth-generation of gaming and are craving a lot of options. Or perhaps you miss the Montreal Expos? One thing that is hilarious is how badly the singer is with the National Anthem (USA’s version), she does a bad job. It does sound that she didn’t put the encouragement in it.

Tip: When doing a expansion draft, before you do draft players, create a nameless player and make his rating A+. Therefore, you can make some easy trades for all-star players. I also recommend Erubiel Durazo for your team.