clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Review: Out of the Park Baseball 21

One nice part about coming home to two weeks of quarantine was that the new version of Out of the Park Baseball was waiting for me.

You all know I’m huge fan. If my computer is on, almost always OOTP Baseball is open. Sometimes in the background, but never in the background for all that long.

This year’s game seems as good as ever.

The game does teach you a lot about running a baseball team. I often say you get to deal with everything a GM deals with, without having some blogger complaining about everything you do.

As always there are changes made to the game:

  • You can build your own ballpark. Tired of Rogers Centre? Build your own.
  • New to the game and overwhelmed with the options to start your season. They have a new Game Flow guide to help you out.
  • New MLB rules are brought into the game. I like the 26-man roster. The 3 batter thing doesn’t really effect me much, I really didn’t make use of the LOOGY. They have the new 10 and 15 day DLs for pitchers and batters. I’m not going to be as happy with the 28-man September roster (I imagine you could change this back if you wanted).
  • They have a new ‘follow the ball’ camera, during actual game play, which I had to turn off. I found the camera moving during game play was upsetting my stomach. I imagine it will be tweaked as time goes on.
  • The have added some new stats to help you track your players. Strikeout percentages, walk percentages, strikeout minus walk percentages and others have to added.
  • They have changed how the scouting works. They have scouting ‘accuracy’ ratings Good scouts, will have ‘high accuracy’ especially on players they have seen a lot. There will be lower accuracy on players they haven’t seen as much. As always, different scouts can see players differently. I always hire the best scout I can get as you are rather dependent on their assessments.
  • And as always, there is much under the hood tweaking to make the game run better/faster than before.

If you like the Perfect Team game (it isn’t my thing), they have upgraded that as well. But they have over 4000 player cards if you want to play it that way.

There are always updates as the year goes on, to improve little glitches in the game. There are a few minor problems with the game as it is now, but I’m expecting they will be fixed.

I am enjoying the game. I started a season managing the Blue Jays. The Jays are starting in a much better spot than they did in last year’s version. The starting rotation is much improved (and I have Nate Pearson second in the rotation). In last year’s version, it took me 4 seasons to build up the rotation to get to reasonable. This year’s team? The bullpen needs help. And, like in real life, the outfield, especially center, needs an upgrade. First base might be an issue too.

They don’t have the 40-man roster correct, which is annoying (I only have 27 players on my 40-man roster). Yannsy Diaz is on the 60-day DL.

You come into the game about a week before the start of the season (and yes the season started March 26, no Covid-19 in the OOTP Baseball work, which means, in that world, I’m still in Morocco).

One of the first things I noticed was it is very hard to trade for a good center fielder. I offered up Reese McGuire and didn’t get an offer I liked. If it is this hard in real life to make a trade for a CF, I can see why it didn’t happen. It seems like there is always positions easy to improve by trade and positions that are tough to improve, in each version of OOTP. Last year’s? It was tough to get starting pitching, easy to trade for catchers.

Ten games in, my Blue Jays are 7-3. I haven’t made any trades yet. I have made some minor league free agent signings and a couple of waiver pickups, who I’ve stashed in the minors for now, but no major moves.

My pitching staff (5 star scale, rating where my scout sees them at the moment, Pearson has 4 star potential):

My first hitters after 10 games:

I’m thinking Shaw will end up being dumped, but I’m going to give him a month or so. I could have claimed Mike Moustakas off waivers. The game likes Shaw’s defense.

And the outfield, other than Lourdes, is a mess.

The cost is $39.99 US. For me it is well worth it. If it was double that, I’d still happily buy it. It is sort of like any drug, once you try, it you will pay any price for it. Without real baseball, it’s about as good as it is going to get. And if you are in self-isolation, what else have you got to do?

I am thinking of running a season where I don’t control any of the teams and do game recaps for Blue Jays OOTP games to fill in time before the season starts.

The game can be downloaded here.

Or you can play it through steam

There is a trailer for the game: