I’ll be perfectly honest with you; I didn’t think Out of the Park Baseball 16 could improve much on the already superb version they put out in 2015. I had to scrounge the depths of what I wanted from a game to find any real flaws other than the obvious lack of MLB logos. Well, I don’t think I am easily going to be able to find a flaw in this version because, quite frankly, the guys at OOTP developments have not just knocked it out the park this year, they knocked it out of the stadium.
When I started the game this time around I wanted to give myself a challenge so I chose to manage the Phillies, and much to my amusement this is the message I was met with from the owner:
When you look the first thing that stands out is the brilliant “don’t suck” requirement, but the five lines below are where I really feel this game takes it up a notch. Previously, your goal each season was solely a performance target but in 2016 you now have sub goals to try and achieve as well. This means that even though the first season you may have little to no chance of being successful you still have goals to strive for beyond just trying to acquire the players you want.
These goals can be tracked on the front office page of the game with real time updates on how you achieving compared to what was expected. The only down side of these goals is that upgrading at first base and acquiring a top player are very subjective goals, that even when you feel you have added a great player (I added Anthony Rizzo – who I think is extremely good) the owner still demands more. Maybe an addition of players your owner considers would meet those targets would be something that would just make the game come alive that bit more with the owner player interaction.
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Once you get into the game it is as good as ever with the 3D aspect much improved on 2015’s version. The in-game action can be as descriptive as you want it to be and there are plenty different scenarios that evolve in a game from surprising home runs that win you that rivalry game, to frustrating fielding errors that cost you the World Series the moment you think you have it won. A subtle addition that has much improved the flow of the in game action is the addition of the opposing line up to your team selection screen allowing you to quickly see whether it is time for the righty or lefty from the bullpen.
A superb new feature that really adds to the tension of a playoff race within the game is the Pennant Chase screen which allows you to look across the whole league and the situations each team is in. It tells you how many wins each team needs and gives you projections based on schedule which as a combination just give the game that ‘real world’ feeling
Once again, the OOTP team have brought fantasy baseball to life in the most real way possible, with a game that allows you to have as little or as much control as possible.
• New owner goals add more depth and challenge to an already great game
• The 3D aspect of the game is much improved and brings stadiums to life improving already fantastic gameplay to a brand new level
• A little more owner dialogue would allow a more realistic completion of goals