Out of the Park 20 Review: A Stats Guy’s Dream, a Newcomer’s Nightmare

Out of the Park Baseball 20 is easily one of the most involved, creative, and time-consuming micro-management games ever made. What it does, it does damn near flawlessly; this is a die-hard baseball fan’s dream come true. For those whose year isn’t defined by Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter; but Pre-Season, Regular-Season, Post-Season, and Off-Season, will find themselves consumed by OOTP 20’s buffet of game modes and management options.

That being said, die-hards are just about the only type of person that will fall in love with OOTP 20. It takes a particular kind of gamer to find themselves invested in a game with no gameplay. Give Out of the Park 20 to a stat guy, and they’ll go to the World Series in a season. Give it to a casual fan, and they’ll find themselves fired before pre-season is over.

That’s the game’s biggest problem; it’s not easily accessible. OOTP 20 is exceptionally complicated and involved. There are dozens upon dozens of moving parts that all have to be kept track of simultaneously. While the game can be made easier with options to let parts of the game manage themselves, doing so detracts from the experience. The tutorial section is a link to a 70-minute series of Youtube videos that explains how to navigate the maze of menus and play the game. An hour-long tutorial is exceedingly gratuitous, especially in this hard-to-stomach form.

It’s unfortunate that Out of the Park 20’s greatest strength is also it’s greatest weakness. What makes it unique is the sheer broadness and depth of its “gameplay.” OOTP 20 is not an example of “ocean wide, puddle deep.” It might as well be on the job training for managing a baseball team. The game has live updates to make sure every statistic is as accurate as possible. You make decisions that affect every facet of the team from trade deals to the starting line-up. It’s expansive but seriously intimidating. You can and will spend hours going through every nook and cranny of the game’s slew of menus to make sure your team is successful, and your boss is happy.

To the guy who needs to know every stat about every player, OOTP 20 probably sounds like the perfect way to spend all their free time. However, the casual fan who loves the “MLB The Show” series probably won’t find OOTP 20 so appealing.  

Though it caters to a niche audience, it cannot be understated just how impressive Out of the Park 20 is. There is no baseball management simulator this accurate and expansive. OOTP Developments did an incredible job delivering this experience. Long-time fans of the series will adore the latest entry in this long and storied franchise. You can tell how much love and thought was put into the game. Every part of the experience is customizable from UI themes to the outrageous number of game options. The ability to custom-tailor the way you play is like no other game. Any entries in the series after this one seems pointless. Out of the Park 20 is one of the most complete and polished games the micro-management/strategy genre has ever seen.

Good:

A Polished and Realistic Experience:

OOTP 20 is about as close to managing a Major League Baseball team as 99 percent of fans are ever going to get.

Bad:

Intimidating and Inaccessible:

The depth of the game is also OOTP 20’s greatest weakness, the tutorial videos are a chore to watch, and the nuances of the menus are hard to learn.

Final Thoughts:

There are no other games like OOTP 20. It’s a game made for a particular group of people, and to those people, it is beyond perfect. To anyone else, a more traditional baseball game would probably be more fun.  

mm
About Matt Hirsch 89 Articles
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Matt Hirsch discovered his love for video games when his father brought home a Nintendo GameCube, along with Luigi’s Mansion when he was five years old. Since then, his passion for games, as well as professional wrestling, music, anime and movies has inspired him to pursue a career in media and journalism. He graduated from Midwood High School in 2014 and spent three of those years as captain of the varsity Bowling team. These days you’ll be able to find him in comp queue in Overwatch, or Squadding up with some friends in Fortnite.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply