Some of you may remember from last year’s OOTP 11 review and season preview (or were reminded in my iOOTP review of last week) that I’ve been a pretty regular player of the OOTP game since its early versions. I participate in an online multi-player sim league using the game and fictional players, and I have to say it is one of the better baseball engines available for both multiple season career play and multi-player simulation.
OOTP makes starting up a quick MLB replay easy, just hit the button on the opening screen:
From there, for the purposes of seeing what OOTP would produce for the 2011 season (and unfortunately Cardinal fans, starting a 2011 game has Adam Wainwright already on the disabled list – realism!), I set Fake Tony La Russa in charge of making most of the roster decisions, etc throughout the season (I know, that’s how it was anyway, right?!) so I could simulate through and see what results the game would spit out.
The Cardinals got out of the gate quickly, and then injuries started to derail their season – including a torn thumb ligament for Albert Pujols following a collision on the basepaths (no, I’m not making this up). This is one area of the game that you might elect to adjust – pretty much everything within the game is adjustable with either sliders or number modifiers – as you can see below, injuries were a story for the Fake 2011 Cardinals.
The Cards proceeded to fade down the stretch, finding themselves ending the season without outfielder Matt Holliday, who was suspended thirteen games following a brawl and ejection:
As for the rest of the Fake 2011 Cardinals? Here are the leader boards…
I think I’d take that performance out of Jaime Garcia, but the others just couldn’t string any healthy time together.
Other highlights from this simulation of 2011:
Red Sox won it all by beating the Braves in seven games
David Ortiz won the American League Triple Crown
Matt Holliday won the National League Batting Title
Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols won Gold Gloves
Tsuyoshi Nishioka won American League Rookie of the Year
Freddie Freeman was National League Rookie of the Year
Terry Francona (Red Sox) and Jim Riggleman (Nationals) were Managers of the Year
Justin Verlander won AL’s Pitcher of the Year
Chad Billingsley was NL’s Pitcher of the Year
David Ortiz obviously won the AL’s Hitter of the Year
Albert Pujols was NL’s Hitter of the Year (even injury-shortened)
One of my favorite features of the game is the depth of player development and controlling a full minor league system, and in these ML-style games, they include names and ratings for players actually in the system – so you can see that Fake Shelby Miller struggled in 2011 between Springfield and Memphis, and Fake Steven Hill was a monster in Memphis.
Like any game that attempts to simulate a game with human input and failings, OOTP has its hiccups – mostly in artificial intelligence trying to re-create a Tony La Russa and/or any other manager for that matter. You’ll obviously see variable results, as it’s meant to be a game and not a historical replay.
With a vibrant community of players and the developers taking part too, OOTP is a wonderfully supported game – both by the production company in terms of support and patches as well as the player-created mods that have appeared over the years. OOTP 12 was just reduced to $19.99 in anticipation of release of the new game, OOTP 13, in April sometime. If you’re jonesing for baseball and early Spring Training isn’t doing it for you, I recommend picking up OOTP 12 on the cheap with an eye on getting the new game in April if you find you enjoy it.
I’m looking forward to another edition of the game, and hopefully better results for my Fake Cardinals in 2012!