Baseball Mogul 2003 Review

As far as trades go, they are more annoying than anything else.  Playing through a season will subject you to a peppering of trade offers that range from the absurd to the pointless.  After the first few times you look closely at a proposed swap of six journeymen players for another six of the same quality, you'll quickly begin to simply kill each trade offer that comes by without giving it much of a glance.  First place teams trading hot prospects for a proven veteran?  Mutually beneficial star swaps?  No and no, you'll never see these types of offers come by.

This brings us to the financial side of the game.  With your owner's hat on, you'll need to raise the team's revenue to ensure that you can pay for all of those players you signed as the GM.  To do this, you can set your ticket prices, concession prices, set your TV deal, and create a budget.  Unfortunately, when working with ticket and concession prices, the game uses slider controls that let you specify your prices with respect to the league average without ever letting you know what that average is.  Is a soda that goes for 4% more than the league average way over-priced or are you giving fans too large of a bargain?  Why can't you just specify that a large soda should go for $3 and be told what kind of profit margin that that would net you? 

The team budgeting screen is not much better.  You can specify the number of points to spend on the farm system, scouting, and medical staff, and are told where your numbers lie with respect to the rest of the league.  As with other aspects of the game, the point system is not very intuitive, and it is difficult to tell how much a different there is between buying the most expensive training staff in the league or going with the barest minimum.

In its favor, Baseball Mogul 2003 has licensed the use of actual major league players in the game, giving it more of a real-world feel than can be gained from rosters full of fictional players.  Although it does not have a license for the use of team names and logos, it gives you the opportunity to enter different team names at the very start of the game, so after couple of minutes of typing you'll have a league that resembles the real majors.  The game's statistics engine does a pretty good job of simulating a baseball season.  The game results and player statistics generated by the game during a season are realistic, so you won't encounter an army of .400 hitters or teams winning 120 games.  Also, the numbers generated by the licensed major leaguers stay pretty true to the players' real life statistics.

To its credit, Baseball Mogul 2003 is pretty easy to learn and you can begin playing in a minimal amount of time.  Part of the reason for this is that while the game does cover a lot of the aspects of running major league franchise, it just doesn't do so with much depth.  As such, it is ultimately unsatisfying for the hard-core baseball fan that is attracted to games like this.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 58%. A good stats engine and simple interface might make it appealing to the rookie baseball management sim player, but veteran players and die-hard baseball fans will probably find it too simplistic and ultimately unsatisfying.

System Requirements:  100 MHz Pentium CPU; 16 MB RAM; 4 MB Video RAM; CD-ROM; 160 MB Hard Drive Space; Mouse.

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