VR Baseball 99 has been touted by some to be the best baseball simulation on the PlayStation today. And while the game does have some refreshingly good AI, the game as a whole is far from being the best at anything, let alone best simulation.
VR Baseball 99 has all of the standard features you would expect from a PlayStation baseball game: all 30 of the MLB teams and stadiums, over 750 real MLB players, and the usual baseball game modes and options - exhibition, season, and home run derby. The game also has three levels of difficulty.
VR Baseball 99 is easy and intuitive to control - almost too easy. When batting, all a player has to do is push the D-pad in the direction that the ball is heading and hit a button at the right moment. Pitching is even easier. Simply push the D-pad in the direction that you would like the pitch to end up, then press the button to throw the ball. No targets, no menus - nothing. After playing other baseball games, the control setup is so easy and plain that it seems kind of boring - especially since there are really only three levels to hit the ball: high, medium, and low.
Visually, VR Baseball 99 isn't quite the gem that some other PlayStation baseball games are. Mainly, the game suffers from a sluggish frame rate that makes the player movement very jerky. This is far from helped by the game's "smart cam," which falls behind on occasion when tracking the action. The field, the stands, and everything else look rather poor. The game just doesn't have the polished look of Triple Play or MLB.
The sound and music in VR Baseball 99 are noticeably good. All of the upbeat techno songs that play at the menus are good. The in-game sound effects, announcer, organ music, crowd noise, and umpire calls mixed all together sound just like being at a real game, especially if you have a surround-sound setup.
All in all, VR Baseball 99 is a good baseball simulation. But to claim that the game is some sort of diamond in the rough is just plain wrong. It's got decent AI, great sound, and a few cool features. But with its flat play control and funky graphics, VR Baseball 99 doesn't come anywhere close to delivering the overwhelmingly entertaining experience of Triple Play 99.