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Forget Brian Lara Cricket. Don't even think about the new Cricket 2005 from EA Sports. This is where it all began! EA Sports original production - Cricket 97.
With the slight boredom of a jobless summer hanging over me, I opted to whip out this quite literally, old-school game, and then it struck me...what if I can actually review it?!?
And low and behold, I could! So, here's my best attempt...and please bare in mind how, in just nine years, the world of computer gaming has drastically changed.
Put it this way...it begin with, the case holding the disc features a picture of Ian Botham playing a cut shot, in early-nineties one-day clothing... oh yes, we're getting retro here
So once you've installed it onto your computer…oh and trust me, nowadays, there's no way your computer won't be compatible for it!! Through the advice of Richie Benaud, you can get stuck in straight away - opting for a difficulty setting of easy, normal or hard…however badly tested you want to be I guess! With it being the first of it's kind, don't expect a mammoth amount of options - tests, one day games or a "World Challenge", with multi-player options, are available with all the test playing nations at the time (Bangladesh and Zimbabwe therefore aren't included)…however all the players names are not that of actual players. If you so wish, you can edit the game accordingly to accommodate real players, or maybe you fancy changing it so it's your actual local club that's representing England!!
Then the fun begins. Match commentary is supposedly by Richie Benaud and Ian Botham, however you only ever hear Botham at the beginning of the match during the pitch report, and at the end of the game when he sums up what's happened. Other than that, it's Benaud and his many famous idioms.
During the game, considering it's the first of its kind, the options are very good. Each bowler has six potential deliveries, regardless of his action, and the batsmen can play shots all around the wicket, although obviously the delivery will determine which shot you should actually perform.
You can set your field however you wish to, be it an already made one, or a custom one which you design…and whatever you do, Benaud will come out with his own ideas on what you've done, be it good or bad!
The game play itself is somewhat bizarre, as I find with many cricket games. To combat what boredom can come from test cricket, runs are aplenty here - basically to begin with when batting, you'll probably only score runs in boundaries. One error in the computer fielding is if you attempt a run, but go back, the fielder will still throw at the stumps, which more often than not means you can make a run afterwards…a cheeky way to score extra runs!!
Also, quick game saving options are available at any time, not just at the end of an over for example like in some cricketing games, which is a handy convenience.
The odd unrealistic moment is bound to happen, such as coming down the track to a spin bowler, and then somehow smashing the ball onto your own set of stumps! But that's allowed for game this old.
So, if you've got it, blow off the dust and relive it. If you haven't…well eBay or a car-boot sale may be your best bet!! Oh, and a special mention must go to the awesome backing music - some excellent air guitar jamming! This can now be described, as retro gaming at it's best, especially considering what's on the market these days. But for what was once state-of-the-art, it certainly is no longer, but at least it's aged superbly!
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Ive played quite a few cricket games, didn't have a chance to play this one though. By the sounds of it the games haven't actually improved to greatly through the years in terms of gameplay that is, in particular with EA Sports who just seem obssessed with getting every tiny graphical detail right. Cricket 2005 was disaster though, because the batting was awful despite some clever ideas in principal. Brian Lara 2005 was pretty good though.
eve6kicksass 24.07.2006 17:20
I'm not really much into video games, but this was a fine review here...Chris :)))
missy0303 24.07.2006 12:28
Must be the Scottish in me but I think I'd find playing this incredibly boring lol x
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