Sporting News Baseball

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Batter up!

It's to be tricky, making a sports game that's based in the real world. You want to recreate the sport accurately and in an appropriate level of detail but you need something to help make your game stand out from the crowd. Sporting News Baseball however, while being a perfectly decent baseball simulator, doesn't really have enough to help it shine over the likes of Hardball and Earl Weaver Baseball, and instead just looks like pretty much everything else on the market. In its favour, it is officially licensed, meaning you get an extensive array of real world players from the period like Roger Clemens and Ozzie Smith but in pretty much every other respect, this is by the numbers stuff. You have a decent range of options to choose from, including a variety of player modes, although quite why you'd bother watching the computer play against itself (even if you did pick the teams) is a bit of mystery to someone who's not a diehard sports fan. There isn't much in the way of gameplay options, with no tournament mode while the range of teams on offer is a little on the slim side but in terms of gameplay it all comes together quite well. This is thanks to the intuitive interface which, in contrast to some other less accessible systems used in other games, is a breeze to pick up and which makes swinging and pitching a largely enjoyable experience. The visuals are as you would expect from the period, with a decent level of detail but which are serviceable rather than spectacular. Sporting News Baseball isn't a true classic of the genre but for anyone into the sport, it's certainly good enough to keep you happy.

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