Friday, March 25, 2016

OOTP 17 - Cool Changes, Fun as ever!

I received a code to check out the latest offering of OOPT17. I believe my version is still in beta (or something similar).

Those familiar with the OOTP franchise will recognize features from previous versions, though some menus have been moved and/or consolidated, so it may take a little bit of getting used to where things are now in 17. That aside, the game has made some cool improvements that stand out to me for sure.

The main thing that jumped out at me were the team-oriented banners:

When you select a team from the drop-down menu, the banner across the top changes to match the team's primary color and the menus change to reflect the secondary color. This is a HUGE help visually when you are navigating between teams frequently. Even if you aren't, it's a nice touch.

I love the updates to the 3d stadiums as well:

The rendering gives a cool, "you are there" feeling to the game that was started last year but has really been elevated in this version. My understanding is that they are still working on the modeling and will continue to release updates as more stadiums get the improved 3d treatment.

A few of the things I really like: The scoreboard in the left corner, the info in the right corner, and the play-by-play box in the center. The whole layout, really, gives you the feeling that you are watching the game live on your screen.

I did manage to crash the database once, but I think that was my fault. I had started a new game and exited before finishing the set-up. I think I confused the system. Oops!

I also had a heck of a time getting the game to record for YouTube. Once recording kept jumping because it didn't like sitting there without changing. That is, on menu screens, etc where nothing on-screen changed, my recording software thought I was looking at loading screens. That's a flaw in my software, not the game. When I tried recording again, the game got way out of sync with the voice-over I did. I'm not sure what was happening there.

Several times, not while recording, but just while playing, the mouse seemed to get "lost" and did not match up with menu locations on the screen. So, I would point to the "File" button, but the mouse thought it was higher or lower than the button so it would not let me click. I don't know if that is a resolution issue, a "beta" issue, or if that is a glitch in the game. I did resolve it by forcing the game to full-screen. Once in full-screen, the weird mouse alignment issues went away.

It also seemed that the Steam overlay interfered with the game. It's like the overlay made the game slow down at times and/or get jumpy. I am blaming the overlay because it seemed to be worse when I took screenshots or hit Shift-Tab (a Steam overlay function). Not really the game's fault, but something that might need to be checked.

Aside from those weird quirks, the game is fantastic! I loved creating an exhibition World Series between the 1979 Pirates vs the 1948 Indians. I also had a blast creating a game using the greatest players in team franchise history. This pitted greats like Reggie Jackson against Bob Feller and Babe Ruth vs Randy Johnson. I mean, really, does it get any better than that!? That is exactly the kind of thing I like about baseball simulations and OOTP17 delivers.

There may be no crying in baseball, but seeing some of the greats of days gone by take on the greats of today may very well bring a tear of joy to your eye.

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