now that the toronto blue jays'magic number for getting into the post-season is officially 2002, the closest anyone around here is going to get to baseball in October is in front of their television.Even with one of the most interesting title races in recent memory heating up, Dreamcast's World Series Baseball 2K2 makes a strong case for staying inside and creating your own run for the championship. Sure, putting Boston Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez on the cover of a game called World Series Baseball might be tempting fate -- and the Boston curse -- but you can't argue with the guts of the game.
As usual, the Dreamcast graphics are stunning, and the feel of the game is eerily realistic.
Players stand and throw like they do in real life, Ichiro Suzuki hits anything you throw at him, and if you want to prove a point, you can intentionally brush the opposing batter back or even bean him with a wild fastball.
As manager, you have total control over your squad if you sign on for a full season, creating prospects, drafting young players, tweaking your pitching rotation and compensating when your star player goes down with a groin strain.
It looks fantastic. What World Series Baseball 2K2 lacks, though, are the details. For all the fancy graphics, the play itself is wooden and awkward, with none of the fluidity that can occasionally make baseball seem like high art.
The game also sounds bizarre. As important as a good play in baseball is the commentary that tells you what just happened. 2K2 ditches a known play-by-play commentator for the anonymous voice of someone who seems to be watching baseball for the first time and spouts gems like "Toronto is a city in Canada with a domed stadium."
They should have signed up Buck Martinez. After this season, he probably could use the work.
WORLD SERIES BASEBALL 2K2 for Sega Dreamcast, $70. Rating: NNN
GRAPHICS: Sharp, right down to the scowl on Pedro's face when he strikes you out.
ADDICTIVENESS: Nine innings is a long time.
PROXIMITY TO THE REAL THING: As realistic as Astro Turf.
ANTI-SOCIAL FACTOR: It takes two for a real game of beanball.