Triple Play 2002

We thought we would showcase a game in the 2000s, since I liked Triple Play 96 for Genesis, I thought we should go to 2002. Really, I found this in the clearance rack at a store in the mall for $3.

Triple Play 2002 is made, of course, by EA Sports. Triple Play was their baseball franchise, Madden for NFL, NBA Live for Basketball and NHL for hockey. In Triple Play 96, I mentioned the “Triple Play Dilemma” in which for example, a sports game would be released on 2003, but uses 2001’s rosters and stats. Triple Play 2002 does not “suffer” from this, it was released in March of 2002. However, Triple Play 2002 would be the last of the series before EA re-titled it to MVP Baseball.

 

Off-game Features

For game modes, you have single game, season, playoffs and home run derby. You can create players; make trades, sign free agents and release players. One thing Triple Play is lacking is a Franchise mode and also a manage-only mode (Triple Play 98 for the PC had that). If you like a retro baseball game with that option, Triple Play 2002 doesn’t have it. The franchise option was becoming more – with some sports games as we entered the year 2000, but that’s missing in this game.

 

Gameplay

The game has Bob Costas as your play-by-play guy and Harold Reynolds is the color commentator. There are three modes of difficulty in this game: rookie, pro and all-star. Making contact with the ball is quite easy in this game. With rookie mode, the game allows more powerful hits. When on pro mode, those powerful hits don’t leave the ballpark as often. Relief pitchers do not need to be warmed-up.

Also on rookie mode, the CPU seems to fall for the high fastballs, on pro, it’s 50/50. The base running is on auto, so you don’t need to worry about that. Fielding can be a bitch on Triple Play 2002; you really need to react quickly with a fast grounder. Another thing about the fast grounders, the game automatically selects an outfielder at your control to field the ball, although an infielder could get to it.

One time when playing this, I had runners on 2nd and 1st. An easy grounder got to my pitcher, enough time for me to react to that. However, although I pressed the throw and right buttons, for some reason, he threw to 3rd (that runner was safe) and not to 1st. That was BS, or was it due to Jeff Weaver was the guy I was controlling? He didn’t do too well as a Tiger.

This game is more arcade-style.

Triple Play 2002

Graphics

Triple Play 2002’s overall graphics are not too great compared to other games released in 2002. If you compare it to All-Star Baseball 2003 (which was released at the same time as Triple Play 2002) has better overall graphics. My best guess is with all the behind-the-scenes videos that come with the Triple Play 2002 disc didn’t allow enough room to make better graphics.

This game has a few videos of how the game is made, also a video with Bob Costas and Harold Reynolds in studio, and a lovely cougar introduces the vid. All-Star Baseball 2003 doesn’t have a lot of videos, one notable one is the intro with Derek Jeter’s highlights. If you really hate Derek Jeter, you will not like ASB 2003’s intro or cover. For Triple Play 2002, it was Luis Gonzalez who was with of the 2001 Champions Arizona Diamondbacks. He is also in a video visiting the EA Sports studios.

 

Other Info

Another item of note on Triple Play 2002 had that added space in the disc was a large soundtrack. ASB 2003 just had one or two songs in it. Triple Play 2002 was released to PS2 and XBox, EA did not produce a GameCube version. Also, a PC version wasn’t made neither, unlike Triple Play 2001 which did get a PC release. To explain ASB 2003 going to GameCube and TP2002 not, well, GameCube discs were smaller and could not hold that amount of stuff.

 

The End of Triple Play

As said, this was the Iast Triple Play, and besides how Triple Play 2002 was crap, my guess was EA was interested in running away from the series and wanting to go to MVP. Of course, EA Sports has success with Madden, NHL series and also their NBA Live series. I suppose they couldn’t keep the mean machine going with Triple Play. Or were they trying to turn Triple Play 2002 into a arcade-style game? If you like arcade-style baseball games that are not too retro, Triple Play 2002 would be worth a try. For simulation-style, try Triple Play 96 instead.