Every now and then I talk about one of my favorite sports computer games, Out Of The Park Baseball. Right now, I tend to think that it’s the best sports game out there, considering you can start from anywhere in history, recreate history, or create your own with fictional leagues, and so on. I favor going for games where it’s not about how good you are with a joystick and graphics superiority – but how well you can think on the fly and make critical decisions.
OOTP recently went the route of the Madden and some of the other uppermost video games out there and introduced an expansion to the game based on online trading cards called “Perfect Team” that adds another element to the fun. When you create your team, you are allotted 36 player cards – most of them not all that great, but you’ll get a gem or two to be the nucleus of your team. You’re also given 1,000 “Perfect Points” to get another six players (or save your points to get packs of higher value) – but the points could also be used to acquire discarded players from other teams that they auction off.
Points can also be obtained by feats your players perform during a season, with games going every half hour for most of a week. There’s also the skill of “flipping” players by picking them up at lower prices and exchanging them at a higher value. You can also purchase points – but as much as I like OOTP, that’s something I wouldn’t do.
Last week, I had earned enough points through the achievement route to get a pack of six players to add to my team, Big Pauly’s Enforcers (as you might have guessed by the blog title) – and I wound up with Nolan Arenado, the Colorado Rockies’ third baseman. Players have scores of ratings in the game – but the one rating that matters the most in “Perfect Team” is the overall rating. Arenado had a 98, which was quite good – considering 100 is the highest conceivable overall rating. Historical players are also available, including some of the best ever to play – such as Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Barry Bonds, and so on.
However, I felt that having one good card really didn’t help me that much, considering Nolan played half his games at Coors Field in real life – a park that seems to favor offensive productivity. Baseball is one of those competitions where having one excellent player often isn’t enough, and the rest of my team had a ways to go to improve. So, I sold Nolan and got good value for him – and was able to improve the Enforcers in a few areas by picking up Didi Gregorius of the Yankees and Starling Marte of Pittsburgh in packs of higher value.
My team chugs along – I played .500 ball my first season/week, with the second “season” well underway.