Hexacto’s Baseball Addict

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INTRODUCTION

    From the early days of coin-op

gaming, machines have been dedicated to reproducing

the thrill of Game Day at the local ballpark.

The electronic gaming scene has always included

sports games.

   

Of notable exception, however, is the Pocket

PC, whose sports games seem to have been limited

to versions of golf, for the most part (I can

think of no less than six different versions

of golf for the Pocket PC!). That is, of course,

until Hexacto came on the scene last year with

Tennis Addict. We all figured it was just a

matter of time before a faithful version of

America’s Favorite Pasttime was ported to the

Pocket PC. Hexacto has delivered again with

the highly anticipated title Baseball Addict.

   

Title Screen

   

Having played other Hexacto titles, I was

excited to see Baseball Addict finally released.

I have been really disappointed in sports

gaming on the Pocket PC. Hexacto’s products

are a breath of fresh air!

SETUP

   Setup of Baseball Addict is

extremely simple (as with other Hexacto

products). Simply download the executable

file and run it on your desktop PC. Installation

is automatic.

PROGRAM FEATURES

    Baseball Addict takes a few

seconds to load on my iPAQ 3750. I really enjoy

the familiar Hexacto user interface, and the

game controls which are geared towards a touch

screen.

   

Main Menu

   After

loading, the game menu displays. With this menu,

the user can change sound settings, view the

ingame help file, which is a control tutorial,

and view your running statistics.

   

My stats…lots of strikeouts!

Sound Options screen

   

Baseball Addict has three games types, eight

different teams, three different difficulty

levels, and three different stadiums.

Choose the type of new game…

then your team.

Select one of three stadiums

 

   

The three basic game types are: Exhibition,

Tournament, and Homerun Derby. In Exhibition

mode, you can play as any of the eight teams

against any other team, at any stadium. In Tournament

mode, you play as any team against every other

team in a single elimination tournament. If

you win the tournament at the Rookie difficulty

level, you can then play at the Pro level. If

you win the tournament at the Pro level, you

can then play at the All-Pro level.

   

Tournament brackets

   

Homerun Derby mode is a good mode to practice

your batting. You play against another team,

or against a human opponent. Every homerun is

a point, and every foul ball or strike is an

out. You can play as many innings up to nine

as you want.

   

Pitching — notice the batter info menu

…batter info menu can be closed.

   

Getting ready to nail it.

Base hit?

   

…nope, out at first.

Deep center field, but pop out.

   

Next is a strikeout!

Three outs and change sides.

   

In-game controls are smooth and intuitive. Pitching

is accomplished in a three-step process. First

you select the type of pitch you want to throw.

Then you select where the target is by pressing

that location with the stylus. As you hold down

the stylus, a power bar pops up and you select

the desired power by letting the stylus go once

the ower bar reaches the desired level. Sounds

easy doesn’t it? Actually, its easier than it

sounds.

Fastball, sinker, or slider?

Chose your location…

   

Be careful not to wear your pitcher out, though!

   

Batting is accomplished by tapping the stylus

in the location where the ball crosses the plate.

This is much more difficult than it sounds,

but gets easier with practice. The better the

player, the larger the interior red box (see

screen shots).

   

Crowd the plate.

Practice, practice, practice.

 

   

Fielding is really fun. The player closest to

where the ball is heading will automatically

field the ball (this is nice in the beginning,

when first getting used to the play of the game,

and you can take over control by tapping the

stylus).

   

Fly ball can be a sure out.

   

There are two ways to throw the ball to another

player. The first is by tapping the desired

location on the miniature diamond in the top

corner of the screen. The second is to press

the D-pad (up is second base, down is homeplate,

etc). Pressing the stylus in the game field

will cause the player with the ball to run to

that location.

   

Just tap the base…

…or press the D-pad.

 

  

I found that using the D-pad was convenient,

however if the first baseman fields the ball,

pressing the D-pad to the right will cause the

first baseman to throw into the outfield. I

recommend getting used to tapping that little

diamond.

   

What about the “feel” of the game? I found the

in game music and sound really enhanced the

gameday experience. There is no annoying, out-of-place

music, and the sounds were appropriate. The

crowd cheered louder at all the right times.

You can even hear the ump call “You’re Out!”

on a strikeout – although I still haven’t figured

out what he is saying during a foul ball! You

even get to watch your MVP make that run from

third to homebase as the crowd cheers after

a homerun – its a lot of fun!

Scoreboard celebrates with you.

Very satisfying watching the winning homer!

   

And, of course, as with other Hexacto titles,

you’ll get access to ScoreCast, where you can

compare your Baseball Addict success with others

over the Internet.

HELP SUPPORT

    The explanation of basic

controls is comprehensive and straightforward.

The instructions on how to run back to the base

your runner just left never seemed to work for

me, for some reason. I tried starting my runner

to the next base only to find I couldn’t get

him to run back, so I suffered an easy out.

   

Just press and drag to advance your runner.

   

All the other controls worked just fine.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    Baseball Addict

only runs on StrongARM CPUs, and requires Windows

3.0 and above. As seen on Hexacto’s website,

Baseball Addict only runs on the @migo 600-C,

Casio E-200, Compaq iPAQ, HP Jornada 56x, O2

xda, Toshiba Genio-e, and other compatible devices.

    Baseball Addict requires

4.1 MB of storage memory and 7 MB of program

memory.

BUGS

AND WISHES

    GREATER

RE-PLAYABILITY. Baseball Addict is at the expensive

end of the cost spectrum for Pocket PC titles.

The quality of their product does not disappoint.

But a game that is this expensive should yield

a lot more playing time, in my opinion. For

example, it took me three exhibition games (at

3-innings) to begin winning my games handily.

I played several more, and then played the Rookie

Tournament, which I won.

   

Perhaps causing the user to control the other

players more would create a slightly more difficult

game, and one that would be much more satisfying

to win.

   

Perhaps have a larger league. Eight teams is

not really a lot.

   

Something else I noticed was that although I

had the tournament set to 5 innings, the games

ended at 3.

   

The other thing I noticed was that the different

stadiums added nothing to the actual gameplay

– the in-game graphics didn’t change.

PURCHASING

   

Baseball Addict can be purchased from

Hexacto’s website and costs $29.95.

   

Follow this

link for more information about Baseball

Addict.

   

The demo can be downloaded here.

PROS


  • Great

    graphics


  • Brings

    that gameday feel to your Pocket PC


  • Appropriate

    sounds


  • Very

    solid user interface


  • Great

    stylus control


  • Quite

    fun to play, while it lasts

CONS


  • Expensive.

    Relatively short playability, based on cost


  • Limited

    number of teams


  • Could

    stand to be a little more difficult


  • Some

    minor “glitches”

OVERALL

IMPRESSION

   Baseball Addict was a highly anticipated

release from Hexacto. It does not disappoint.

Baseball Addict has great gameplay, directed

by a group which has demonstrated an uncommon

level of understanding the platform, and great

Pocket PC controls. Add some more replayability,

a little more difficulty, and graphics that

change with the venue and you have a classic

Pocket PC title.

    Baseball

Addict also delivers to those who love the game

and are hungry for the ballpark experience,

though hotdogs not included!

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