CGR Undertow – ALL-STAR BASEBALL 2003 review for Nintendo GameCube


Before you say anything, before you ask why
I’m bothering to review a baseball game from 2003 in 2014…this is probably a good time
to clarify some things. Look, this channel? These videos? They’re not about…what you
want. They’re about what I want. People don’t watch CGRundertow to see…what you want.
It’s about me. I’m like Derek Jeter. Look at that play. I’m the guy. I know your parents always told you that you’re
special. I’m more special. Why am I reviewing All-Star Baseball 2003? Because I want to, that’s why. Because I’m
Derek Jeter and I want to. Actually, it’s because you guys keep sending
old-ass sports games. You go to your used game shops, you see these laying there for
two bucks a pop and you send them to me. So don’t hate me, hate yourselves. All-Star Baseball
2003? This is all your fault. You think I want to live like this? What are you smiling at, Jeter? But you know what? All seriousness? This isn’t
a terrible old-ass sports game. In fact, back in the day, this was one of the best MLB games
on the GameCube. And playing it now…it’s not as bad as most of these old-ass sports
games. Like, this one doesn’t seem as old-ass. I mean, it’s got a couple quirks that are
obviously very 2002, but…it’s also a game that was doing some pretty cool things for
2002, as well. So, as with most modern sports games, it’s
all about content. All-Star Baseball 2003 has more game modes than I would even ask
for, in a video game. Like, if a developer told me, “Hey, you can have whatever you want
in this game, we’ll put it in there,” that game would still have less stuff than this.
Also, Emma Watson would be my starting right fielder. But nonetheless, you have 10 game modes here.
Ten. That’s crazy, especially for an old-ass sports game. There’s the typical exhibition,
and season, and career modes…but there’s also a franchise mode that lets you control
a team for up to 20 years. Like, that sounds made-up to me. Like a made-up game mode. Who
would ever actually do that? It’s not even a game, at that point. It’s
a life decision. Actually, there’s a lot of team-building stuff
here, for simulation junkies. You can even create your own franchise. Like, pick the
city, name the team, all that stuff. So if you’re into the whole management aspect of
modern sports games…you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much this one has. Way more
stuff than I would’ve expected for a game from 2002. But for me, personally…the thing I care
about more than anything else in a video game is the gameplay. If the gameplay’s no good,
who cares about modes? And it’s not that the gameplay here is bad, but…it’s not exactly
a stand-up double, either. So it starts with the hitting. And it’s a
classic case of modern sports games trying to do way too
much. You have to move your little sweet spot around the strike zone, basically guessing
where the pitch is gonna be…and if it’s there and you hit it, you’ll make better contact.
And of course, it’s crazy hard to get it there and hit it. And honestly, it’s like, half
luck. It’s a guessing game, which real hitting can actually be, but…this is a video game. I just want to hit the ball, and have fun. But fortunately, you can actually turn off
the sweet spot and just do easy hitting, which is your basic “just swing at the right time”
mode. And it’s way more fun than the default hitting mode. Pitching, on the other hand, is actually awesome.
You pick a pitch, you pick your location. It’s that easy. And if you know your pitcher
and how his pitches break, you can really do some work on the mound. You can paint corners,
you can start a fastball over the plate when you know it’s gonna cut away…I mean, I had
a blast pitching in this game. But unfortunately, defense is a huge step backwards. It’s slow,
and clunky…the fielding AI can be awful, too. And just throwing the ball to a base can be
tricky. Because there’s so much animation, your throws always feel late. Like, there’s
always a delay between fielding and throwing, which can be really frustrating. It’s like
you have to throw before the ball even gets there. And that was stupid before I even tried it. So the gameplay? Kind of a mixed bag. Great
pitching, overcomplicated hitting that’s much better on the easy mode, awful fielding…it’s
hit and miss, so to speak. But where this game knocks it out of the park…is the presentation.
This is a beautiful GameCube game, and it’s incredible how much detail went into this
thing. From the stadiums to the players…I mean,
some of the player models are spot on. And again, for a 12-year-old baseball game…I
was honestly super impressed by All-Star Baseball 2003. If there’s one thing I’d point out, though…it
takes up a lot of blocks on the old GameCube memory card. In fact, you should really pick
a separate memory card just for this game. And if you’re a GameCube owner who’s in the
mood for some old-ass baseball? Interested you should be. This game is way better than
you’re probably expecting. The graphics and sound are fantastic, the detail is great…the
gameplay’s a bit underwhelming, but hey, it’s a modern sports game. That’s sort of how it
goes. Okay gameplay, but a ton of freaking ways
to play that okay gameplay. It’s not the GameCube’s best baseball game…but
it is the GameCube’s best baseball game, that doesn’t involve plumbers. It’s All-Star
Baseball 2003, sent to us by our friend Daniel from Palm Coast, Florida.

15 thoughts on “CGR Undertow – ALL-STAR BASEBALL 2003 review for Nintendo GameCube

  1. I remember this game :/ could never save when it came because i didn't have a big enough memory card for it, but it was still a fun game regardless especially with the little brother.

  2. Go back to doing updates, giving us your thoughts and feelings on everything from bret hart to sin and punishment! specially like to hear your thoughts on nintys e3!

  3. If you love a good baseball sim and you want to invest some serious time in multiple seasons, this is the game for you

  4. I love the way Americans call it the world series, yet the only country that participates is the U.S of A

  5. I think I got too much too early. I had 04 (a decade ago, replaced today) before 03 (today) on my PS2, and 04 was the final one on PAL, and it was the first one where I can create unicorn pitchers and demigod version of Ichiro.

    Because of 04 over-delivering, 03 feels underwhelming to me.

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