|Game Review: Out of the Park|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on August 05, 2004
Yeah, I’m addicted to this thing. Of course, no one likes a quitter, and why should you quit something beautiful like this?
By this I am talking about the enjoyable Outside of the Park -- OOTP to others -- series of baseball simulations. The name of the company that makes this lovely thing is Out of the Park Developments (http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/).
My gaming experience began right as OOTP4 was leaving and version 5 was coming in. I joined my first league and was awed by the intricacies of it. With most of the fantasy baseball I had played, I had to only control a major league team, not even payroll was regarded. But here was a different story. I had to factor in payroll -- and sometimes a salary cap -- which really was difficult when setting together a championship caliber team. Well, I figured I’d just dump my higher paid players who weren’t doing much; fans stopped coming to my game, another feature is fan happiness. Well, at least my farm system prospered slightly well, even though my major league team didn’t. Right when the offseason rolled around, I desperately needed to reel in some starting pitchers, but the “owner” of the team cut back on my finances a little, which really left me out of the running for Ramon Ortiz, who, in the simulation league, was awesome (who said it was perfect?). Well, I used my younger players and coaches (hitting, pitching, and minor league) to rebuild my team, the San Francisco Giants. Oh, the Amateur Draft helped out, too.
And now Out of the Park 6 has been released and, while slightly more confusing, it is defintely a good buy. The game has more features like Rule V draft, waivers, options years on minor league players, and many more things. These games definitely put you in the driver’s seat of your own team.
But I know that you’re skeptical and not going to take my word for it.
"OOTP Baseball is the best simulation I've ever played. It puts you right into the game. Best game I've ever played,” said a longtime OOTP Gamer.
Michael Seely probably says it best when talking about the companionship and fun you get when playing the game: “I started using OOTP4 in 1997, running two leagues and was great staying up late at night to sim and update the websites. Over the years upgrading to 5 and then 6 this has been a addiction of stats but more so the enjoyment of running two league for so many years and meeting the 100's of online buddies.”
Of course if you own the game, you might have fun simulating a league. Many leagues are out there, and it’s pretty much like regular fantasy baseball. Sometimes you join a league and it dies or full of cheaters, but there are plenty of good leagues with plenty of competition. One of those is BTTF, a league I have been in for about 3 seasons.
Creator and Commissioner Steve Strzepek on OOTP6: “I use to be in many Diamond Mind baseball leagues, a sim of previous seasons, and then I found OOTP3 back in 2001 and loved it enough after joining one league, then two and three, so I started my own -- BTTF (http://www.bttf.ootp-leagues.com/ which is in need of a few owners) -- and quit DMB all together. The biggest reason was that there was so much flexibility with OOTP, and with OOTP6 there are so many options that mirror real life baseball like waivers, free agency, rule V, option years, coaches, and spring training.” The hardest things -- “website creation and maintenance” -- are easy to get out of the way if you have a league member or friend with HTML prowess.
As of right now, I’m in two leagues. One of them being the Back to the Future (BTTF - http://www.bttf.ootp-leagues.com/) as the Charlotte Knights in 2018 and the other being Daily News Baseball League (DNBL - http://dnbl.net/) as the New York Yankees in 2005. With these games you can zoom far into the future, or take a trip back into the past and replay games with Roger Clemens when he was young.
I give the game a ranking of three balls, and should be a definite buy for someone with the computer good enough to run the game and time to get into it. This series just continues to impress me, as well as many gamers out there.
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