| 31 October 1996|
Crystal Dynamics, BMG
| Crystal Dynamics|
PlayStation, Sega Saturn
NA: October 31, 1996
JP: February 28, 1997
NA: November 30, 1996
JP: January 31, 1997|
Single-player video game, Multiplayer video game
Crystal Dynamics games, Other games
3D Baseball, known as 3D Baseball: The Majors (3D ベースバール ～ザ・メジャー～) in Japan, is a sports game developed and published by Crystal Dynamics. It was released on October 31, 1996 for the PlayStation version, and on November 30, 1996 for the Sega Saturn version. It features CNN sportscaster Van Earl Wright as the announcer.
3D Baseball Wikipedia
There are over 700 major league players included with their own statistics and batting stances (50 of which are included). Each team plays in their own stadium rendered after its real-life counterpart.
In the season mode, which is a full season of baseball, players can play it with an arcade setting or can be the general manager of the chosen team. Being the general manager means players will have to actually run the team. Players have to pick line-ups and the pitching rotation, substitute batters and runners, trade players, etc. This also allows players to build their very own dream team featuring their favorite players. Players can play a short or extended season or opt to play a quickie arcade game against the computer or friend.
The player animations were created using a new animation process called Real Motion Control, which involved motion capture. Game designer Sam Player explained the concept behind this process: "The reason everything always ends up looking choppy in [most motion capture] games is that the machines can't store all the frames necessary for the full animation, and they end up showing every fifth frame or so. What we do is build polygonal models, break each model up into joints, and then follow the curve of each joint in motion. Then we save those curves instead of each individual frame of animation."
The game received favorable reviews from critics. GameSpot praised the realism and the voice of Van Earl Wright, but criticized the absences of Major League Baseball teams or logos, that players can only take the field in four "imaginary" ballparks, and that it lacks all-star, home run derby, and playoff modes. Game Revolution praised the game's "outstanding" 3D graphics, real stances and swings, "excellent" sound effects and commentary, competitive gameplay, and real teams that can be updated through trades.