Out of the Park Baseball 24 Review
With the 2023 baseball season just around the corner, you may be in the mood for a new baseball video game this year. Are you interested in simulating seasons, making trades, and generally managing your team? Then Out of the Park Baseball 24 will be right up your alley. While other games may have more of a focus on the actual baseball gameplay aspects of the sport, Out of the Park Baseball 24 focuses only on the management aspects of the game, leading to a more robust and focused experience.
Personally, this was my first foray into the Out of the Park series, with most of my baseball video game experiences coming in the form of gameplay-first games in a variety of different franchises. It’s safe to say that I have purchased at least one baseball video game every year for more than the past 20 years. Despite this, Out of the Park Baseball 24 has been the most intricate and detailed when it comes to the various management aspects of the sport.
Playing The Numbers Game
That being said, it isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to learning the systems and even understanding the various real-life management portions of the game. As someone who doesn’t just play baseball video games but follows baseball closely and partakes in yearly and dynasty fantasy baseball leagues, there was still a lot of information to take in, process, and understand. While the learning curve was steep for me, and likely steeper for others, it is worthwhile to learn and helps spark a greater appreciation for the numbers and people behind the players on the team.
Players are provided with a few different game modes: Standard Game, Historical Game, Custom Game, and Perfect Team. While those are the main modes, there is also Quickstart Game and Historical Exhibition. That second mode is essentially a tournament between historical teams. Standard Game is the “main” mode, which utilizes current rosters while Historical Game allows players to begin a game in any year. A Custom Game is just that, with players able to create a completely fictional league with custom divisions, teams, and more. Lastly, the Perfect Team mode is an online competitive mode akin to being Out of the Park Baseball 24’s Ultimate Team mode.
History in the Making
Most of my time (so far) has been spent on the Standard Game and Historical Game modes. The Standard Game is what you would expect, with various goals set by the owner of the team, such as winning a championship or making a marked improvement at a specific position. Acting as the General Manager of the New York Yankees? You can bet that you’ll have loftier expectations than if you were the General Manager of a non-competitive team.
For the Historical Game mode, an interesting aspect of that is the ability to start a season in any year while randomizing when players join the league. Pair this up with an initial draft and you’ll get to be introduced to a bevy of players you’ve likely never heard of before. Draft a shortstop who rakes non-stop that you’ve never heard of? He was likely a real-life player at some point in time, batting .300 before it was cool. If you don’t care to manage a roster that may have Ichiro leading off in front of Babe Ruth, you don’t need to enable this feature. You can simply start a game in any year as any team from that year and try to change the future.
There is a lot to go over for Out of the Park Baseball 24, and there simply isn’t any way to cover every single aspect. If you’ve been picking up what we’ve been laying down, give Out of the Park Baseball 24 a try. Despite being a heavy simulation-style game, there is also a graphical portion that displays on-field events. It may not be the greatest but it does the job of showing the on-field action for those who prefer to “watch” the teams they put on the field. As I have not played previous iterations of the game, I cannot speak to the year-over-year improvements and changes.
While the game may be overwhelming for some at the start, Out of the Park Baseball 24 does have several tutorials available to help get players started. Learning curve aside, Out of the Park Baseball 24 has been the most in-depth baseball simulation I have ever played in my life. While I enjoy both gameplay-based and simulation-based baseball games, Out of the Park Baseball 24 will be my exclusive simulation baseball experience of the year.
*** A review code was provided by the publisher ***
- Deepest baseball simulation around
- Historical Mode is a blast
- Steep learning curve
- “Spreadsheet game”