Dale's first sentence in his final paragraph pretty much sums up my feelings on MLB 2001. This could have been a solid baseball game in terms of graphics, control and gameplay, but in the end, the game simply lacks polish. On the paper, I'm sure the developers felt the many features included in this year's entry would make it a serious contender, but the final results are so poorly executed that it has the same empty feel of walking a runner home to end the game.

Take for example the Franchise mode. I like the point system that the developers implemented, but how could there be no trades? I also liked the idea for creating a rookie prospect and improving his skills during the Spring Training mode, but much to my bewilderment, the developers excluded my position of choice, starting pitcher. The lack of polish also extends itself to the annoyingly buggy (though often unexpectedly hilarious) play-by-play commentary and the poor physics engine (runners can be gunned down on first and second base from what are suppose to be routine line-drive singles in the outfield).

Are there any positives in MLB 2001 to speak of? Well unlike Dale, I liked the pitch "guessing system." I'm more of a student to the game of baseball then Dale (I watched Ken Burn's entire documentary series on baseball and loved every minute of it) and guessing pitches wasn't as hard as he described it. It's a good system and nice challenge. To top it off, unlike some other baseball games today, it lets you know very obviously through bold visual cues if you've guessed the pitch correctly or not.

Like I mentioned earlier, MLB 2001 could have been a very solid title and perhaps the PlayStation baseball game of choice. The problem is that there are just too many should-haves and could-haves from the lack of polish that keep me from recommending the title wholeheartedly. This game needs some serious work like Mo Vaughn needs to lose some serious weight. Rating: 4.5 out of 10

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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