Out of the Park 2007 was a hit with me and many baseball enthusiasts. The ability to run your own league, however you wanted, online or off, was absolutely dazzling. Now, however, just about 7 months after OOTP 2007’s release, Out of the Park Developments has released a new version, Out of the Park 8. Is it worth your money? That depends on how you look at it.

This is a game that stands on it’s own merits. With an integrated historical database, CATO history import functions, A.I. tweaks, and a few new bells and whistles, this is still a solid game. It’s still worth it’s asking price, which can be very reasonable, but more on that later. You can also import all of your old league with no hitches, so you can pick up right where you left off in OOTP 2007. All of your art will also cross over seamlessly, so that’s another potential pitfall patched before it even existed.

For those not familiar with this series, I suggest you read my OOTP 2007 review. In short, this is a general manager wanna-be’s dream come true. You can create a league of almost any style, any place, with almost any rule sets or play style you want. For instance, I run an Ohio Baseball Federation league with teams from around Ohio. I use two leagues with four divsions per league. Two divsions have three teams and the other two have just a pair, making for 10 teams per league. You can actually have up to 50 teams per division, with a similar amount of divisions. The game will randomize team cities and names seperately, and you can add any number of miuor leagues and college or high school feader leagues. It also includes some basic filler leagues based on real leagues if you just want to import them and go. However, this year there’s a catch; they’ve included something fans of the series have wanted for a long time.

One of the biggest draws, to me, was the inclusion of real MLB teams and rosters. You need to supply logos, uniforms, and caps yourself (something that’s almost sinfully easy with places like PadresFan’s OOTP Baseball Mod Website out there). They also include teams down into the minor leagues, including even the obscure single-A and Rookie Ball leagues. That is a great achievement, indeed, and really adds to the ‘wow’ factor. They’ve also added a slightly superfluous but still neat milestone tracker page. With that, you can track who is approaching the hallowed marks in your league.

The appearance of the game hasn’t changed, but that’s not a bad thing because the look still works. I have run into a few hitches in my time playing it, though. For one, when you delve into the historical data on the teams in the included MLB roster (of which there is a ton), you’ll notice that while the yearly pitcher rosters are accurate, all of the position player listings are wrong, and show one player per year playing all positions. It’s unknown as of yet whether this is a game problem or a roster one, but it is slightly distracting if you’re into that kind of thing. Also, I’ve been unable to export or view HTML profiles over the 20,000th player. This is another bummer, since my league has some 24,000 players, which means that there are 4,000 or so players I can’t see the HTML profiles for.

Other then that, it’s still the same game as OOTP 2007, just more polished (if you disregard that there were two patches within the first two days of it’s release). As an added bonus, owners of OOTP 2007 can get a $15 discount off of this version, which makes it just over six dollars. For six bucks, you can’t go far wrong. I highly recommend this. Alphasim out.