Release Date: Spring 2002
In its first year on the PlayStation®2, High Heat MLB 2002 established
itself as the baseball game for baseball lovers, delivering the most
realistic and fun baseball gameplay available on a console. Consistent
with previous High Heat games, it focused on capturing the most realistic,
believable elements of baseball and packaging them into a fast-moving,
fun video game. To date, it is the only baseball game on PlayStation
2 that has successfully captured the feeling of baseball realism in
gameplay. Baseball fans widely agree that the gameplay in High Heat
MLB 2002 is an experience that is unsurpassed in baseball video games.
High Heat MLB 2003 merges this ultimate baseball gameplay experience with powerful graphics, a widened feature set, and audio upgrades to create the supreme baseball game on any platform. While the game retains and expands upon this high quality gameplay, its primary focus is to shine in the areas in which its predecessor is considered weak.
Graphics are the key focus. An enhanced graphics engine features an improved frame rate, motion blending between animations, and a 32-bit frame buffer. Animations are smoother, and better show off the emotions of the game. Lighting is more lifelike. The player model is improved, showing height, weight, and body type differentiation between players. Stadiums are better, utilizing vertex lighting. Overall visual presentation and flash are also priorities. The users are brought closer to the action and are otherwise presented with a more compelling overall visual experience.
Many new game modes are included, such as a Create-a-Player, Player Editor, Home Run Derby, Fantasy Draft, Stand Alone Playoffs, Batting Practice, and a brand new game mode created by 3DO just for arcade-oriented players. These allow users many new, varied ways to play High Heat.
Audio takes a big leap forward as well, with a focus on sounds of the ballpark. An updated play-by-play announcer and color commentator are better refined and more aware of each other. The crowd logic and sound samples are much improved.
But make no mistake: in addition to these improvements, High Heat MLB 2003 significantly improves upon its critically acclaimed gameplay. High Heat has always boasted great on-field AI, tons of baseball happenings, true-to-life pitcher/batter confrontation, fresh experiences throughout long seasons, and hundreds of options. Every one of those items has been upgraded for High Heat MLB 2003. And the game then adds some impressive features to the lineup: Injuries, loadable rosters, analog control, a tuning menu, and many more. The already-unparalleled baseball game experience of High Heat rises to new heights in High Heat MLB 2003!
- True-to-life players. Models with varying body types, star player faces, signature stances and motions, and genuine team uniforms
- Authentic Stadiums. Beautiful vertex-lit renditions of all 30 Major League Stadiums are modeled in detail with all-new textures and improved geometry.
- Animation. More, smoother, higher impact, blended, full of emotion…real!
- Flashy TV Style Presentation. Takes you closer to the action and looks and feels like a high-energy TV broadcast of a Major League game!
- Special Effects. New particle system brings realistic dust clouds, water splashes, and other enticing visuals to life.
- Dynamic new Outer Shell. Guaranteed to energize users before the first pitch is thrown!
- Night Games. Realistic night lighting portrays the evening baseball experience.
- Intelligent Play-By-Play. The two-man booth features the high-energy Dave O'Brien, the voice of the Florida Marlins. Dave is coupled with intelligent game commentary provided by Chuck Valenches from the Pittsburg Pirates minor league organization.
- Sounds of the Ballpark. Featuring high-energy hecklers, vendors, Stadium Announcer, batter walk-up music, and organ cheers.
- Intelligent Crowd Excitement (I.C.E.) System. The crowd comes to life in key situations or for big rivalries, but goes quiet in blowouts or yawners.
- Exhibition and All Star Games let you start up a game quickly.
- Season Mode, with a plethora of features: Custom Season Lengths, Inactive Reserves for each team, Extra Unsigned Players, Injuries, trade acceptance decisions by the computer, up to 30 teams under human control!
- Create a Player: Custom-build you and your friends into superstars, or add your favorite players to the game.
- Player Editor: A category-rich Player Editor allows you to fine-tune the statistics of every real-life player in the bigs!
- Fantasy Draft allows you to test your wits in building a team against our expert baseball team management AI
- Home Run Derby lets you belt the long-ball with up to 4 players.
- Batting Practice gives you a chance to perfect your swing.
- Stand Alone Playoffs let up to eight players compete for the World Series title!
- A New Mode features a condensed, intense game within a game the superstars of baseball!
- Live Controls. Seamless fielding, responsive throwing, and realistic
batting makes for the most fun baseball game experience!
- Over 1000 players. Using statistics based on the 2001 and previous
seasons, and the most accurate rosters of any game!
- More statistics. Thousands of statistics in every category imaginable
for every player - for real-life historical or game-accumulated statistics!
- The truest simulation. Sluggers hit a lot of home runs and banjo-hitters
don't - even if your arcade skills are top notch.
- The best fielder AI. Fielding, throwing, backing up, cutting off,
and other smarts.
- The best manager AI: Pulling the double switch or an intentional
walk, playing lefty-lefty and righty-righty against you, knowing when
to pull the infield in or shift the outfield, always at the right
- The best pitcher AI: Nibbling at the corners, tempting you with
a pitch outside the strike zone, working the count, surprising you
with a changeup right down the middle when you least expect it
- The best batter AI: Working the count, waiting for his pitch, taking
you deep when you make a mistake
- The best base runner AI: Knowing when to go for the extra base,
knowing when to play it safe Customization
- Player Customizability: A category-rich Player Editor with Create
A Player capability allows you to custom-build you and your friends
into superstars, or to fine-tune the statistics of a real-life player!
- Tuning menu. This allows you to customize gameplay beyond any other
- Plenty of challenge. Five difficulty levels allow all players to
find an enjoyable test!
- Control Freedom. Play using Analog Control or the Directional Buttons.
Choose from 4 different controller configurations to adjust pitching
and fielding exactly how you like them.
- Loadable Custom Rosters. Save and Load your own Custom Rosters!
- The most options: Play with batting, pitching or fielding set to
automatic or manual, select from 11 camera-views, and toggle on or
off many facets of the game such as errors, pitcher warm-up, variable
umpire strike zone, and many more!