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Acclaim Studios Austin
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Acclaim Sports' baseball franchise continues with All-Star Baseball 2003, which features a new Franchise Mode and option for Expansion Play, allowing players to select a city, team logo, and ballpark before drafting from a list of unprotected players from the 30 existing teams. Players can then take their created team through 20 consecutive seasons in an attempt to build a dynasty. During the franchise, players will lose athletes to injury, free agency, trades, and retirement, but rookies can be called up from the minor leagues to help fill the vacancies.
Also making their first appearance are baseball cards, licensed by Donruss, which can be collected, traded, and used to unlock certain features, such as throwback uniforms, classic teams, and legendary players. To open a pack of six cards, players trade in points earned from achieving certain milestones during a game. Three types of stand-alone trivia games are included as well, with two teams challenging each other through a series of questions. Each correct answer results in a type of hit, while an incorrect answer results in an out. The player with the highest score at the end of nine innings wins the trivia contest.
Returning modes of play include Exhibition, Season, All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, and Batting Practice. The action is called by a three-man team of Thom Brennaman, Steve Lyons, and Bob Brenly as players bat and throw using signature stances and deliveries. The batter-pitcher interface is once again cursor based, adjusted to reflect each player's performance during the 2002 season. In addition to all 30 teams and stadiums from 2002, players can opt to play in eight classic or ten fantasy stadiums. A Cooperstown team is also available, featuring such stars as Reggie Jackson and Yogi Berra. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide