500 Level Fan Review: Out Of The Park Baseball ’13

When I was a kid I was addicted to a game called Hockey League Simulator.  It was a game that allowed you to control a hockey team, everything from drafting and acquiring players, to setting lines, to managing the minor league system.  Since you didn’t actually play the games it was possible to play an entire season in a short period of time.  I would play that game for hours and hours, trying to put together a good enough package to acquire Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux.  It was awesome.

Fast forward about 15 years to present day and you’ll find me obsessed with a new simulation game, one much more advanced and with an incredible amount of detail.  When I was first contacted by Out of the Park Developments and asked if I was interested in testing out OOTP ’13, I had no idea what I was in store for.  I had never played any prior version of OOTP Baseball, so I was simply expecting a game that gave me a chance to manage a team, make some trades, and watch how my moves played out in a simulated season.

I was wrong.  Incredibly wrong.

OOTP ’13 is an unbelievable simulation game with a ridiculous amount of detail.  I’ve been playing it for a few weeks and have barely even scratched the surface of what is available. 

The game comes equipped with all of 2012’s rule changes – including the second wild card, full 2012 rosterrs, and also includes the Houston Astros move to the AL West in 2013.  But if you don’t want to play this year’s season, don’t worry about it.  You can play ANY season EVER.  Want to see if you can manage the 1985 Blue Jays to the World Series?  Go for it.   Think you can avoid Toronto’s collapse in ’87?  Give it a shot.  The game has it all.

And as I said, the level of detail is incredible.  It includes the entire minor leagues.  There are detailed injury reports, weekly power rankings, news articles, contract negotiations, and of course tons and tons of statistics.  As a GM, you have the option of starting out unemployed and hoping to catch on somewhere, or you can start with a job in A-ball and try to work your way up.  Or, if you can handle it, jump right into the big leagues at the helm of your favourite team.  That’s what I tried to do – and I failed.  Miserably.  I used to think I could handle being a major league GM.  Now I highly, highly doubt it.

While so many things are possible in this game, by far my favourite thing to do is simply sit back and simulate a season.  In my first crack at simming the 2012 season, the Jays made it the playoffs as the second Wild Card before losing to the Angels.  The LF question was also solved as Toronto traded Eric Thames to the Angels for a prospect.  The traded turned out to be a blessing for LA, as Thames lead all of baseball with 134 RBI’s in 2013!

Overall, I give OOTP ’13 a 10 out of 10.  Everything you’d ever want in a simulation is here, plus a whole lot more.  If there is anything to complain about it would be this: the game predicted a Boston Red Sox World Series title this year. 

As a Jays fan, that is something I can’t endorse.

But as a game, I highly recommend it.  You won’t be disappointed.

To download a copy of the game, visit ootpdevelopments.com.

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