Replay Value: 8.6
When EA Sports released their Triple Play 2000 last year, most of the industry was blown away. It was by far the most visually enhanced PS sports title ever, and to this day it still is. The title featured some of the smoothest and most realistic looking athletes that the PS has ever done, the facial expressions were a definite plus and the commentary was to die for. Now EA Sports has released yet another Triple Play title, see if the long running series survives for another year.
Truthfully, the visuals look slightly better in last years version. The player models moved a lot more smoother, while this year's counterpart is a bit jerkier. The facial expressions are still as good as ever. As for the stadium and the rest of the atmosphere, EA did a good job of making everything look fine n' dandy. The player detail is all there, whether it's height, weight or batting stance, EA has captured everything to make this title as real as possible. My only compliant besides the jerky movement, is that EA should have left the engine alone and just inserted new athletes, that way they visuals would have received at least a 9.5. Overall excellent job in the visuals, though the characters may seem a bit jerky EA still did a great job.
The gameplay is basically the exact same thing as last years version with the exception of a few new minor features. During pitching you have the ability to choose the power of the throw, by holding X after pressing all of the commands. The pitcher will charge up more and throw the ball much faster, but watch those Balls. Taking cue from another EA title, Triple Play 2001 also lets you play as legends such as Hank Arron, Babe Ruth, and more. In-order to unlock them you have to do a certain thing during gameplay and you will see in big letters say that you have done so-and-so. The Home Run Challenge is present yet again, except this time it's called Big League Challenge. The game has been greatly improved on challenge, last years title was a Home-Run frenzy title, this year the game makes the matches more tight. In general not much has changed throughout last years title, except for the fact that EA had implemented a few new features.
The sound is yet again near perfection, just like TP2K, Triple Play 2001 has the best commentary since Triple Play 2000. The commentators almost rarely repeat themselves, they would talk about the history of either a player or a team. For instance I never knew that the Yankees used to call themselves the Islanders, or Mets stands for Metropolitans, boy and I call my self a New Yorker. The quality and clarity of the speech is outstanding, I feel almost as if I was watching a live game. Sound is exceptional in TP2K1, EA the king of commentary has done it again.
Playing the game can be a bit difficult at times. Mostly throwing the ball to bases can be a pain, you want to just throw it toward the direction your aiming at, though it doesn't work that way. Use your Digital Pad as if it was the ring, Right is 1st base, Up is 2nd base, Left is 3rd base, Down is home plate, and just pressing X throws it to center field or Pitcher. Before you throw a pitch you can hold a directional button so that the ball flies toward that way. Stealing bases is done by pressing a directional button and triangle.
Triple Play 2001 is not a very big step over TP2K, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. The gameplay has been tweaked and homeruns don't happen as often as they did in the previous title. Triple Play 2001 is an excellent baseball title, its commentary is uncanny, the graphics are still as good as ever and realism is all there. Go out and buy Triple Play 2001.