The OOTP series has always been renowned for the freedom it gives the gamer to be able to customize their league in countless ways.
The most innovative baseball simulation game on the planet is on the brink of releasing their latest edition. Anyone that has played a previous version should know just how highly addictive the series is. Anyone with aspirations of working in a front office or managing on field will be engaged in everything OOTP14 has to offer. For you baseball nerds that are unfamiliar with OOTP from years past will soon have a new outlet to fritter away free time during the summer months.
The first thing I noticed were the updated visuals, and I must say the game looks as good as ever. But to be clear this isn't just a fresh coat of paint from it's predecessor. The development team added features as well as some minor tweaks to add to the overall gaming experience.
The roster sets are as impressive as ever. All the legitimate prospects in the Royals system were there. As well as fringe prospects like Brett Eibner and Brian Fletcher. What I also find compelling is the hundreds of real players from the 2013 first-year player draft that have been included as well. It's worth mentioning that they've based ML player ratings on the Baseball Prospectus projection system, which is really cool if you ask me. Most of the players are accurately represented, but if you're a perfectionist you can always tweak players skills if you choose to play in commissioner mode.
I'm enthralled by how the development team has implemented a seasonal period for signing amateur international free agents. You now have the luxury of filling your minor league pipeline with talent by signing players out of that seasonal pool. You do have a cap of $3 million that you will need to stay under or be slapped with cap penalties. Whether you sign several lower upside prospects or splurge over the cap for that potential future all-star is all up to you.
Your head scout will still discover hidden prospects like before and they'll be assigned to your organizations International Complex as well as your own signings from the amateur pool. You can watch them develop and decide when to put them on one of minor league clubs. If you haven't taken any action on these players by the time they're 20 years old, they'll automatically be placed on your rookie league squad.
Established International free agents can still play a part in upgrading your 25 man roster. Maybe the next Yu Darvish will be lurking in your signing pool? Independent leagues are hidden within the game, but you can even sign that long shot player with dreams of having any role in the big show.
You can now get monthly reports on how players across your organization are developing. Whether they're improving skills or regressing, it's easier than ever to stay on top of hundreds of players.
Every year it seems a little easier to navigate around to access the information you need, and this version is no different. As a saber geek I'm sorting through stats quite frequently, but the development team wins big merit points for putting the WAR statistic on the players main profile page Another nice little touch that I took notice in was a graphical depth chart was added. It can come in handy to players that simulate through most of their games and prefer it setting depth charts on the lineup page.
The realism goes unrivaled when comparing this game to any other on the baseball gaming market. All of the new storylines go a long way in making your league feel even more real. The witty stories pop up more frequently than OOTP13. Making you laugh and cringe at the same time when an integral player on your team gets suspended or injured.
The out of the park baseball series has had a solid foundation in place for years, but with the bevy of new features and countless tweaks make this a must buy. OOTP 14 will be released on April 15th for those that missed out on pre-ordering. So take the helm of your favorite franchise and enjoy the ride!