OOTP 13 Review: Best Baseball Video Game Ever?


Vitals:

Game: Out of the Park Baseball 13
Platform: PC
Developer: OOTP Developments
Modes: Franchise
Cool Features: Incredible contracts system, massive player and coaches database, complete customizability, and plenty of add-ons.


Here’s my video analysis of the game. It’s long and full of jumpy cuts. You’ll hate it.

Categories:

Realism: 10/10.
Graphics: 7/10.
Difficulty: 10/10.
Details: 10/10.
Playability: 10/10.
Intangibles: 50/50.

Total Score: 97/100 (A+)

Pros:

• Amazing contract details (arbitration, minor league contracts, team/player options, waiver wires, Rule 5 drafts, etc.).
• Massive and accurate rosters.
• Detailed scouting and free agency.
• Massively customizeable.
• Advanced-stat friendly.
• New, cleaner interface.
• Real-time simulation options.
• International leagues.
• Online/multiplayer functionality (I did not try it yet).
• Authentic and unilateral rule changes.
• Authentic (i.e. slow) development for rookies and prospects.
• You can get fired.

Cons:

• Loading screens. Many and lengthy loading screens.
• Several in-game bugs, particularly in foreign leagues.
• No BABIP for hitters.
• Unpleasant in-game interface — busy, ugly, and unchanged from OOTP 11.
• Don’t start unemployed. It’s like trying to become a GM while starting as a blogger.

…For poos and chuckles, I started my first game unemployed, I had to simulate the entire first season because no one would hire me (i.e. there were no openings) mid-season. This is a bummer, but as a result, I can offer complete 2012 season simulations results for OOTP 13:

Division winners:

Tampay Bay Rays (99 wins)
Detroit Tigers (84 wins)
Texas Rangers (94 wins)

Atlanta Braves (101 wins)
St. Louis Cardinals (89 wins)
Arizona Diamondbacks (92 wins)

Wild Card Teams:

New York Yankees (92 wins)
Boston Red Sox (86 wins)

Philadelphia Phillies (93 wins)
Miami Marlins (89 wins after a game 163)

Marlins beat Rays 4-1 in the World Series.

Also worth noting: CF Yoenis Cespedes got traded to the White Sox midseason for John Danks. The A’s, who finished with 78 wins, were the second wild card team at the time of the trade.

The long story short: This is an incredible game with an active AI, an improved interface, an unmatched financial aspect, and an altogether addicting gameplay. It will not get your adrenaline going like MLB ’12 The Show or MLB 2K12, but it is nonetheless an amazing game.

Purchasing: ($39.99 at OOTPDevelopments.com)

Other Reviews:

96 A+ MLB ’12 The Show (PS3)
79 C+ MLB 2K12 (PS3, XBOX 360, Wii, PC, etc.)




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Bradley writes for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @BradleyWoodrum.


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Mario Mendoza of commenters
Guest
Mario Mendoza of commenters

Re: BABIP for hitters, you can export pretty much any stat table you want. I made an excel file that I just past the whole table into and then it calculates BABIP and a few other things for me. Then I could pore over it while no one was looking at work.

Sound crazy? Play the game. That’s just the BEGINNING.

Sadly, since I couldn’t convince any unpaid interns to work in my OOTP Front Office, I had to fold up shop.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman

As an avid OOTP 11 player, I’m thinking about making the switch. I’ll check their site to see if an 11 saved game will export directly to 13.

Question for fans of the game: how do you approach managing the individual games? In my current venture (as the ’12 Brewers), I played one season largely skipping in-game mode but now I’m experimenting with a full season of managing all 162 myself. Curious how others handle it.

Finally, Bradley… that is a professional moustache.

JordWindy
Member

Englishman — You can port a OOTP11 save to OOTP13, but you’ll need to download the OOTP12 demo at the least to make the transition.

Also, nothing really beats an online league fictional experience with OOTP. :D http://www.thecbu.com Lots of fun there.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd

13 is a huge upgrade over 12 in terms of feature and layout, and is totally worth it in my opinion. OOTP still has the absolute best contract negotiations system, and the expansion draft feature is fantastic as well.

That being said, I remain frustrated with the ridiculous trading AI/execution system. It’s so messed up that it isn’t even worth it for me to start listing the reasons why. Baseball Mogul’s trade AI/system, while not close to perfect, is way better.

1
Guest
1

So the Marlins tied for the second wildcard and went on to win the WS? That’s entirely fitting. I hope they were in 4th place in the division on the last day of the season too and won to tie with the Nats.

Big Daddy V
Guest
Big Daddy V

Mr Woodrum: Your beard is weird. Furthermore, your stache is trash.

magnet
Guest
magnet

OOTP13 does add a bit of customizability to the in-game screen, which was not present in 12 or 11.

It’s still not where I want it to be personally, but it’s getting there.

Pacoheadley
Guest
Pacoheadley

I think I mentioned in a comment a while ago that you guys should review this! :)

Brett
Guest
Brett

Can you explain what Superstar mode is? I have last years game and don’t recall it being in the game. Nor can I find anything about it on the OOTP website.

The Enigma
Guest
The Enigma

I appreciate this review a lot. I’m not very new to Fangraphs but never considered the possibility of there being robust baseball simulation games. I am now strongly considering picking up either OOTP or Baseball Mogul after some further research.

Matt
Guest
Matt

You can customize the in-game screen and there’s a good amount of options to put in. I’ve been playing OOTP13 for the past few months and it’s an amazing game. If anyone is on the fence about buying it, do it. In addition, the online OOTP community is extremely helpful.

overlookhotel
Member
overlookhotel

I have to lodge a complaint. Upon reading this review, I purchased OOTP 13. I began the 2012 season running the New York Mets, because when I play video games I like to feel as though I’ve wasted my time. In the second game of spring training, with one Robert Alan Dickey pitching perfectly through 2.6, Starting Pitcher Tommy Hanson hit a home run to left field. I promptly stopped playing the game, and may ask for my money back from the game’s developers.

ThickRichardScary
Guest
ThickRichardScary

There is a MAC version… I am playing it right now!

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