CGR Undertow – HIGH HEAT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2003 review for PlayStation 2

You know, the High Heat series used to take
the field every year. Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest game on the roster, and it certainly
wasn’t the most popular. But it was a game you could depend on with ducks on the pond
and two outs in the ninth. This game was a .290 average, 18 homers and solid leather
kind of game. And then 3DO went bankrupt. Boy, did that
affect its WAR. It’s High Heat Major League Baseball 2003. WAR as in…wins above replacement. Sabermetrics. So this was actually the penultimate High
Heat game. 2004 would be the last year for High Heat baseball…which is a shame, because
the 2003 game did a lot of things really well. During its time, this was known as the more
realistic or sim-like baseball series, as opposed to its more arcadey counterparts.
But in retrospect, I don’t find that to be the case. High Heat 2003 is a fast and
fun game that might as well be R.B.I. Baseball compared to today’s games. Obviously, this is a game of Major League
Baseball. All the teams, all the players. The nice thing is that…you can actually
create your own players, which is great for an older game like this. That means you can
update your favorite teams and pit today’s stars against teams from a decade ago. No
option for dreads, though. Kind of an issue. Of course, what everyone loved about this
game was its batting and pitching. Which actually feel simplified, to me. Pick a pitch, pick
a location and throw. No stupid meters or anything. And the same applies to hitting.
You just swing with the X button and aim with the analog stick. It’s fast, simple and
intuitive, and to this day, it plays great. In fact, the
gameplay is almost flawless…but if it has
a weak spot, it’s defense. Your players feel a bit stiff out in the field. Moving
around doesn’t feel nearly as smooth as placing your pitches or swinging your bat,
and the same can be said for running the bases…it’s a little clunky at first and can take some
getting used to. While we’re on its flaws, uh…the biggest
problem with High Heat was always its presentation. That’s putting it mildly. If its gameplay
were even the slightest bit less awesome, this would be ugliness on a virtually unplayable
level. I’m talking blurry, washed-out…to say nothing of the animations, which are just…oh,
wow. Fortunately, if you can get past that…again,
this is a very good baseball game. And it’s got a ton of gameplay modes, too. Highly customizable
season play, Home Run Derby, batting practice, a 2-on-2 baseball minigame…content is one
of this thing’s best stats, especially considering its age. Realistic sports games are…sort of hard
to recommend. I mean, unless they’re retro games from 20 years ago or brand new releases,
they sort of fall into that…middle ground, you know? Too old to be relevant and too new
to be retro. But if you happen to be looking for a baseball game for your PS2, this one
is actually pretty good.

18 thoughts on “CGR Undertow – HIGH HEAT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2003 review for PlayStation 2

  1. Recently purchased this game for €1,50. So cheap! And while I haven't played it yet, it really looks like a fun game to play every once in a while…

  2. Derek tries to paint himself as some kind of sabermetrics geek, but outs himself as a phony the moment he mentions batting average.

  3. other teams are much worse. i was just saying its not THAT farfetched for the pirates to win a game. chill man haha

  4. I cant believe this game was so forgettable. It was like RBI baseball and MVP rolled into one. Amazing editing and fun as hell gameplay. I'm so glad I still have mine.

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