PureSim Baseball Review (PC)
The text-based baseball genre has been a nice competition this summer. We have the good (OOTP), the unfinished (Baseball Mogul), and PureSim Baseball. (What you thought I was going to give away the whole review here? PureSim baseball is strictly a fictional baseball sim. In other words, you might be able to find away to get the real players in there, but the game doesn’t really support it. So, how does PureSim stack up against the competition? Let’s take a gander.
The game has one mode, association. The association mode basically means that the user creates an association to play in. The user will choose the number of teams and what city markets to use. The city markets range from the New York area to the Corpus Christi, Texas area. The teams get franchise points based on what location they are in. In other words, if you want an easier time, pick a New York or LA area. The next step is the 60-round initial draft. Yes, you heard me, sixty rounds! If you don’t have the attention span to do the whole draft, its ok you can have your scout pick for you. The spring training mode is pretty basic. You allocated a certain percentage to batting, fielding, and conditioning. You also have the choice in how much playing time that young stud gets.
You’ve made it through the spring and now you are ready to get down to business. The first thing that will pop up is the PSPN report. This is the league newspaper and it is a very impressive. The newsletter will contain power rankings, hitter’s reports, and other stats oddities. The newsletter has different things each week, so it makes for a great read and brings these fictional players to life. Once you start playing a game a Pre-game screen comes up. On the pre-game screen you get information like weather, starters, lineups, and some quick facts. This is very nicely done. Since, you hire a manager the user has no control over the game and substitutions. Although I’m not a fan of this, it looks like it is put in so that the user cannot “outsmart” the AI. But it does bring up one problem. The computer manager seems to not know when to sub for the pitcher. In one game I had, my starter threw 160 pitches and gave up 20 runs and he was never yanked. Also, I am in extra innings and the computer does not pinch-hit for the pitcher, not good.
Throughout the season, the user can trade with other teams to improve his team. I do see a potential bug here. The computer only wanted to trade for my best player and in return he wanted to give me a scrub. This would be OK if it happened every now and then, but I got the same offer from a number of computer GMs every week! The GM can also set the rotation, lineups, and depth charts from the screen. The off-season activities are done nicely. Players reject Free Agency offers and teams have to sign their draft picks to contracts. Just like the big leagues.
No silly comment here
PureSim has some of the best graphics for a text-based game. The interfaces are beautiful and look like they have been worked on. The game screen is by far the best. The game screen has the park diagram and a play-by-play box. My favorite little thing is the field overlay. The field overlay shows where the ball was hit and make it red for an out or blue for a hit. The overlay keeps all the hit balls on the overlay until that half of the inning is over. So when the aforementioned pitcher gave up all those runs, the overlay was full of blue. PureSim is the first text-based game to have such fine eye-candy.
This game is a well done effort. If you are looking for a fictional game, this is where your quest ends. The only thing holding back this game are some managerial and GM issues with the computer. I can’t wait to see what next year’s version looks like. It will definitely be a battle next year.