Out Of The Park Baseball 16 Review
In anticipation for the 2015 playoffs, I take a look at this year's edition of Out Of The Park Baseball 16 (OOTP16), a game produced by Out Of The Park Developments.
The biggest change that I noticed right off the bat from recent years is that the coaching system was completely overhauled. First, let's take a look at how the user works. In the past, the user was both the GM and the manager at the same time, but could still hire a manager to take over the duties of running the day to day aspects of the team. As a result of how it was set up, if the user team received Manager of the Year Award, the user would win, not the hired manager. This year, you can choose how you want to do it. You can play as just a manager, taking care of the day to day problems and strategies for the team. You could also play as just the General Manager, making the deals and signings to make your team the best. Finally, you could do both, where no manager would get hired, and you'd be responsible for all aspects.
Another change to the coaching system is the personality for coaches. This affected their strategy, whether or not the General Manager was allowed to over rule them on lineups or rotation/bullpen, as well as how players viewed them. This is a great addition and really adds a dimension that has been lacking. In the past, there was no reason given for why a player wouldn't want to play for a coach. Now personality conflicts brings to the forefront another aspect of how the reality of baseball is.
A new feature for the user, when playing as a GM, is goals from the owner. This keeps you responsible to more than just a record. In the MLB, it isn't just all about what your record is, there is so much that goes into whether or not a General Manager is let go, including how well he gets along with the owner, and follows what the owner asks of him. The addition of this aspect helps moreso in the game's credibility as the top baseball simulator.
However, OOTP16 isn't all sunshine and roses. There are some familiar traps that this game falls into. For instance, it continues to lack an understanding for loyalty. Players still take cuts to stay with the team they've spent a lot of their career with, and also to go back to their home. Players are willing to take cuts to go certain places, yet in this game it's just a bidding war for every player with the highest bid winning. Another continuing issue is the lack of known coaches in the coaching list, except for those already employed with a team. If they aren't employed with a team, they are a made up coach. One final issue is that there is still no owner mode. Hopefully this will be the next step, however until this mode is introduced, it will be a hurdle for this game to jump.
Despite the flaws that this game has, it still brings a lot to the table. No baseball simulator can even come close to matching OOTP16, whether in realism, or in the advanced statistics, nor the excitement it creates. The flaws hinder it a bit, but overall OOTP16 hits it out of the park.
Rating: 10/10. It is worth the purchase, especially now that we are headed into the playoffs. Try to change destiny and get your team into the playoffs if they didn't make it, or see if you can match your team's season if they did.