PC Game Review: Puresim Baseball 2005
Mike Dorn steps up to the plate and reviews Matrix Games' foray into the sports genre with Puresim Baseball 2005. Will Puresim Baseball strike out or knock one into the grandstands? Either way, expect gratuitous baseball cliches.
I want to make clear from the start that Puresim Baseball 2005 is a good game. It was easy and enjoyable to play and has some nice features and touches. However, though a good game, it is not a particularly good simulation of baseball, nor did I find it very accurate in the kind of statistics it generates, which are both key considerations when reviewing a title that covers America's pastime.
Installation of Puresim Baseball 2005 was a breeze. As a downloadable offering, there are also some nice add-on features available at the Matrix site. The Lahman baseball database is another item that should be downloaded, as it compliments the game and will allow the gamer to begin their experience back in baseballís storied past.
The documentation is a large PDF file that features in-depth coverage of most of the screens a gamer will use. The documentation does an excellent job of covering the function of all the options available to the gamer. Many screenshots are included to help illustrate the available choices, something not always found in the documentation of games. All told, the documentation runs to almost 50 pages and does a nice job in getting the gamer squared away with most of the functions of the game.
Graphics and Sound
The display of Puresim Baseball 2005 is based mainly on spreadsheet presentations of statistics, ratings and contracts. When actually managing a club in a game, there is a pleasing presentation of the park (and there is a variety of parks downloadable to help customize this presentation). Most other areas are presented using a webpage approach with hyperlinks that call up the specification information. These are usually presented in spreadsheet form, though the graphical roster offers an excellent summation of both your Major and Minor League teams with the players ratings listed.
When managing your side in a game, one nice option is to "preserve ball flight graphics." Checking this option ensures that each ball hit during the inning will remain shown as a bar on the screen. This can come in handy to observe trends, such as when your pitcher might be nearing his tiring limit and giving up more long fly balls. There is text commentary of plays listed on the bottom of the screen, and this is one area that could use more work. A great play only generates a notation if it ends in a special result; for example: a fielderís play takes away base hit. It doesn't work as well as other games of this ilk in drawing the gamer into what is happening on the field. Most of the text commentary is fairly standard and doesn't add much color to what is happening on the field.
There are a few sound effects included and a few musical moments, but they add little to drawing the gamer into the atmosphere.