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Part of the Humongous Sports series, Backyard Baseball 2001 is a customizable sports title featuring the Backyard Kids, as well a few smaller versions of Major League pros. Children can select from 30 Major League Baseball teams and compile their rosters any way they choose. Kid versions of Randy Johnson, Ivan Rodriguez, Mo Vaughn, and Cal Ripken, Jr. are just a few of the choices available to comprise a team. Players are then given the option to play a single game or start a series.
As with other titles in the Backyard series, the game begins in the clubhouse where players view and select their many options. Team logo, difficulty settings, sound effects, and player positions are some of the customizable options. After selecting a team, game type, and six or nine innings, it's time to play ball! When up to bat, players use a window that displays a "swing spot" to help time the swing. When pitching, a locator indicates where the ball will cross the plate. Power-ups are available for both pitching and batting. Batting power-ups include Aluminum Power, Crazy Bunt, Screaming Line Drive, and the Undergrounder. Pitching power-ups include the Big Freeze, Corkscrew, Crazyball, Elevator, Fireball, and Slo-mo ball. Pitching power-ups are earned with every strike out.
A juice box stamina meter will indicate how much "juice" is left in the pitcher. When the meter gets low, the pitcher's accuracy wavers, requiring a relief pitcher. Statistics for pitching, batting, and fielding are saved by the game. Win/loss records are also kept and players can view these informational screens along with a "meet the players" screen. Besides viewing the many statistics recorded, players can scout the other team. Additional features include gamepad support and online play for Windows users. ~ Jennifer Beam, All Game Guide