When I started playing Out of the Park Baseball 12, I knew it had something going for it. During my very first simulation game, a Cubs pitcher got hurt. Score one for realism.
I got a review copy of OOTP 12 and was asked to give it a tryout. Last weekend, I did so and I found it an enjoyable baseball simulation game. But first things, first. What is OOTP?
Out of the Park 12 is a baseball simulation in which you can take charge of a baseball franchise. Specifically, you take on the persona of a general manager/manager who gets hired by a big league team. From there, you handle all the duties that a GM would normally do. Make trades, make lineups, make call ups, send players to the minors.. pretty much everything, while the season progresses.
You have the option of playing the baseball game manually or having the computer do it for you. Of course, OOTP 12 calculates the stats and standings for you in nice sortable and filterable tables.
The results of OOTP are based on real life stats. You can expect Tim Lincecum to be a hard thrower and Adam Dunn to be free-swinging slugger. You get the idea. Note: There are 2011 opening day roster players on the OOTP rosters.
As for the actual game play, it’s okay. I’m a dice and board APBA player so maybe that’s why I wasn’t thrilled with it. To be fair, the interface was good and the reporting was probably better than MLB GameDay. Computer baseball is difficult to do (at least for my liking) and OOTP did as good as any I’ve seen.
That said, OOTP 12’s strength lies in the franchise management. I was almost overwhelmed by the options and info available. Team strategy, manager strategy, trading, organizational moves (Want to make a Double-A call-up? No problem. OOTP has all levels of the minor leagues available. Just make sure you send someone down first!)
The reporting features of OOTP 12 are pretty amazing, too. Stats, team reports, overview of players, organization business reports, you name it. A few other features: OOTP 12 has online leagues. Also, there are historical seasons available too. Any year going back to 1871.
Two trivial things about OOTP 12 that I found interesting. One, during loadup times when you’re usually waiting for 5-10 seconds, they display baseball quotes. I like that. Also, during baseball play when you are the defense, you are given the option to “hit the batter”. Fun!
Overall, I found OOTP 12 to be well-researched and very detailed. Any baseball sim player who wants to knock out a season on the computer should be pretty happy with this product. I didn’t try the online leagues but my guess is that the competitive edge would make it even more enjoyable.
If you’re interested, check out OOTP at their web site. They do allow free downloads of their trial game so you can try before you buy.