by Sony Computer Entertainment
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Check price @ amazon.com , amazon.ca , amazon.co.uk
• TV-style presentation with dozens of camera angles
• Total offensive and defensive control
• All 30 ballparks expertly reproduced
• AI designed with professional consultation
• Player, manager, and GM modes
Amazon.com Product Description: This game lets you play like the pros with Total Control: Take the hill and work the corners while you keep hitters guessing with Total Control Pitching. Make sparkling plays from the field as you dive and throw from your knees, scramble to the hole and get the force with a twirl throw, or flag down a deep fly ball as you climb the wall, all with Total Control Fielding. Offensive firepower is in the palm of your hand as you determine whether to hit for average or power and then decide what pitch and location you want to sit on with Total Control Batting.
The TV-style presentation has been updated and made more conversational, with commentary from the two-man booth that includes Hall of Famer Vin Scully and sportscaster Dave Campbell. All 30 ballparks have been expertly reproduced to let you take a shot at the pool in Arizona, take it to the streets at Wrigley, and make the palms sway in San Diego.
Dozens of pros and coaches have been consulted to bring you the most authentic AI for everything from pitching to hitting to fielding. See just how baseball savvy you are as you take advantage of a hitters or pitchers count. Limit extra bases and unearned runs by positioning your defense and hitting the cutoff man. Get the most from your team when you flex your baseball knowledge.
Game modes include Franchise, Season, All-Star, Playoffs, World Series, Home Run Derby, Player, Manager, and GM Modes. You can get in the game as a player or sit back with a bag of seeds and call the shots as a manager. Or if you have what it takes to organize a top-caliber club, go in as GM and make trades, sign free agents, and send guys to the minors if they don't perform. Three levels of gaming offer something for every true baseball fanatic.
The Game is Cool, July 24, 2002
Reviewer: Rimas from San Jose, CA USA
this game is cool i gave it 4 instead of 5 cuz it looks the same but it is fun especially when u play against a friend.the homerun view is tight except it is hard to rob a player of a homerun but in the previous games it is really easy even if an opponent hits 600 ft. just time it perfectly.but everything else is great. i think it is better thatn Triple Play 2002 for PS2 cuz in TP2002 Mo Vaughn & Mike Piazza are as skinny as Ichiro but in this game u can tell the difference between Vaughn and Ichiro. I havent played ASB 2003 or High Heat but this game is better than TP 2002 for PS2. So if cant decide on TP 2002 or MLB 2003 u should get MLB 2003 for gameplay cuz this is a lot funner and u wont get bored but if u like graphics get TP 2002.
Great Game, July 13, 2002
Reviewer: Jared from Eastern, PA
This game is filled with great graphics, handling and everything you could want in a baseball game. so go grab your hot dog and sit down to play this game just like sitting in a stadium!
You know what to expect: More of the same, June 24, 2002
Reviewer: ironchef76 from Western PA, USA
I would have hated to be in the marketing department for this one. Usually the publishers of a game will sit down and brainstorm a bunch of snappy and grandiose comments to plaster all over the back of a game box. Pumping up new features, or announcing a slamming new soundtrack, or maybe some superstar endorsement, all in an attempt to wow you into buying the game. Let's face it, we've all been duped into buying a game at some point via the flashy ad-campaign on the back of the box.
Well, I can honestly say that the most revealing and depressing quote from the back of the MLB 2003 box is, and I quote:
"THE ONLY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAME FOR THE PLAYSTATION THIS YEAR, take the field with the 7-year seasoned veteran, MLB 2003"
Talk about a game with low self-esteem! Now this is just sad. In essence, they are saying "Buy our game because that's the only choice you have! [....]" It's funny that 989 isn't even bothering to spout off about new features that we all know will be horrible anyway. And I think we all know about 989 Sports' fairly checkered past, so I don't know if 7 years of mediocrity is enough to really make a consumer purchase the title.
As for gameplay, it is nothing you haven't seen before. They've been using the same basic game engine for years (and proud of it, apparently!) so nothing new to report there. The graphics are fairly underwhelming, but the fielding control is accurate enough to forgive the aging visuals. The pitcher/batter match-up is done adequately. On the veteran (medium difficulty) level racking up Pedro-esque K-numbers isn't difficult, each pitcher has 4 pitches in his repertoire, just make sure to alter pitch types and locations frequently and you should be fine. As far as batting goes, hitting the ball is easy enough, but hitting well enough to score runs can be a tough task. The trajectory of the ball off of the bat is accurate though.
Fielding is responsive, balls hit to the wall will usually end up as the extra-base hits they should be. There is that typical 989 Sports foible of being able to throw out a runner at first on the occasional hit to right-field (rarely, but still unforgivable.) And speaking of foibles, yes some glitches remain intact, even after the hallowed 7 years. During the first game I played, the CPU hit a little flare to foul territory on the 3rd-base side, I wandered over and gloved it, but apparently not well enough, as it was ruled a foul ball, and the batter continued his at-bat. Yes, you can still bounce off one another in the field, which is useless but fun to watch. Catchers will still run the risk of being bowled over at the plate.
Baserunning is passable, but your runners STILL will take off on any contact made. So if you hit an obvious fly ball to center, no matter how many outs, the runner on 3rd takes off. This is not only unrealistic but aggravating when you have to march him back to 3rd, then hope he still has time to tag and make it back home.
My biggest gripe remains, even after all these years, the CPU STILL relies on the longball to score the majority of their runs. I have never liked the over-abundance of homeruns in console baseball games, and MLB 2003 while not being the worst offender is still guilty of too many homeruns.
The rosters are surprisingly accurate. The Mets have all of their acquisitions, even Scott Strickland (from the Expos) but Jeremy Giambi is still in Oakland. The create-a-player Spring Training mode returns, but you still have to kick someone off the team to make room for your guy.
So, the bottom line is that this is yet another installment of the MLB series. If you enjoyed previous editions (or at least had some fun with them) then you will enjoy this one. If you prefer the sim-like strategies of PC games like Baseball Mogul and Out Of The Park, you likely stopped reading this review and are playing them now. Personally, even with all of the irritating faults of the series, I like MLB 2003 enough to buy it (the price is reasonable) and have some fun with it. Playing against a human opponent often neutralizes the annoying CPU habits.