Baseball Mogul 2003 Review (PC)
One thing that's always bothered me about the US game market is the lack of sports management and sports strategy titles. There simply aren't very many of them, and what few exist are mostly made by small-time outfits that primarily sell over the web. It’s not that these games are bad; it’s quite the contrary. Out of the Park Baseball 4 is one of the greatest games I have ever come across in terms of depth and replay value. The Championship Manager series is also a great series and has a strong following. So, does Baseball Mogul 2003 deserve to be in the same breath as those two, nope.
Baseball Mogul is a text-based sim, thus the only graphics are player photos and backgrounds during the game. The photos are of good quality and all the graphics are neatly done in the game. Menus are easy to read, charts and graphs are also easy to use. Let’s just say that the graphics look like they were perfected and well implemented in the game. The game is run in window mode and that usually isn’t good in a text-based game. Some of the screens are really jumbled as the developers tried to fit all the text into the tiny space caused by having a windowed game.
Baseball Mogul 2003 is designed to be a multi-season simulator. This means that you keep managing into the future with players retiring and drafting new youth. Of course, the names are fictional once you start drafting in future years. Well, maybe I shouldn’t use the word draft, as there isn’t a true draft in the game. The user will fill out a form that tells the computer what to look for in the draft for that team. The computer does, however, do a good job of giving the worse teams better talented players. Yet, I would still like to see a player by player draft. Heck the game even lets you have a fantasy draft at the start of the career mode, so why not with the rookies? Rookie development is done well in the game. Your youth actually develop noticeably as long as there is money being pumped into your farm system. When simming a game, you are taken to a screen that shows the diamond, the teams lineup, and a place for the play-by-play text and player photos. The play-by-play is not the length or the depth of OOTP4, but it still does its job. One grip I really have of the game is the point system. I understand that the SportsMogul Company could not use real salaries as part of getting the MLBPA license, but the point system just seems weird. Once you get used to it, I’m sure it is hardly noticeable, but when negotiating forget about shaving off that little extra salary that you don’t need.
Here are a few things missing from the manager side of the game. The game has no 40-man roster for September. This can be important especially for a team that is in last and wants to use September for giving those promising youngsters MLB experience. Is there a disabled list? Nope, I don’t think so. The game also doesn’t feature depth charts. I like being able to designate one of my players as my defensive replacement for those close games in the 8th or 9th innings. The game also doesn’t take into account right v. left-handed match-ups. Second, the players rarely reject a contract extension. I had Mike Piazza playing first base for two seasons, and I know he hated that. So, wouldn’t it be more realistic if he wanted to go somewhere else to resume his catching career. How about players rejecting the extension because the team is only winning 60 games a year? Nope, not in this game.
Talent levels are also weird in this game. There are a lot of guys in the A+ in most of their talent categories. Now, I know there are not that many players in the majors that are the best at every faucet of the game. C’mon. (Note: There has been a patch released that fixes or “tweaks” this problem. I am satisfied with the results of this patch.
What audio? It’s a text-base game silly.
Baseball Mogul is not as deep as Out of the Park, but some people might like a more simple game. If you are looking to sim a bunch of seasons a night and not worry about drafts and other little things, then Baseball Mogul is for you. For the dedicated baseball fan, you might want to skip this game and go with the very deep Out of the Park. Although I was bored half to death in playing this title, I can see that some baseball fans will really like this title and I give it a 75.