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Cricket has the uncanny ability of making time pass slowly. Here, for those who wish to re-invest that warped time wisely, EA bowls several cricket events: the World Cup appears alongside two domestic Australian cup competitions, numerous international tours, one-day tests, and the English County Championships. There's something for fans of every leaning. The action is delivered with aplomb. Sharp visuals, combined with TV-style camera angles and live commentary from Messrs Benaud and Maxwell (the modern-day voices of televised cricket), complete what is the definitive video game for cricket fans. --Jonti Davies
With new motion capture and a new development platform, not to mention the inclusion of form and injury, gameplay is more true to life than ever before. And for the cricketing buff there's no end to the detail. A large variety of statistical graphs will be available including run rate and wagon wheel graphs, as well as a huge amount of statistical data on every player that tracks over the course of a tournament. The game revolves around a full TV style presentation including a full action replay mode, third umpire, animated ducks, TV style overlays, field position editor and much more. The field position editor allows for auto or manual fielding.
Over 75 stadia are modeled from all over the world, including Lords in England, Calcutta, Melbourne, Auckland, Cape Town, Barbados and Lahore; the detail in the stadia is amazing. Lighting and shadows of the highest grade together with real time weather all add to the authenticity of the playing experience.
My first impressions of the game play were, it was not as much fun as 2002, but wait, giving it 8 or more hours of practice and play I must say this is far, far more realistic and challenging than 2002. This is much more a sim than 2002 and will appeal more to the real cricket fans than the arcade slogging kids. And yes its still fun, just learn it.
Batting, you can’t just start slogging from the outset, there is a batsmen’s confidence meter that has to build up with well timed shots before you can hit the big ones. Careful shot selection is the key. Be patient and the big hits will come, but now they will seem more satisfying as you have worked the batsman up to it. Lose his wicket and you feel genuine disappointment as you now have to build the new batsmen up all over again. You will have to get used to the new keyboard layout; it’s sort of opposite to 2002, with the arrows now used to control direction and w and s, front and back foot shots. It seems awkward at first but is actually is a much more sensible layout and makes controlling the menu system much better.
Batting for me is still the most fun part in the game. As Australia in a 10 over match Vs India I average 80 runs and have one time only kept them below there target. So I need more bowling practice.
Bowling to me is even more improved than batting, on the PC version anyway. I actually hated bowling in 2002 and always auto played around it. With 2002 the bowling marker seemed to skate all over the place, making it very difficult to place the ball correctly. Now in 2004 it still moves around a little but generally is much more controllable.... Read more ›
However, once I got out in the middle, I found out that this is about 10 times as good as Cricket 2002. This is a proper cricket sim, rather than a smash every ball arcade game. The graphics aren't what you'd call stunning, but they are good and realistic, and most of the players are recognisable. Though the commentary is a bit repetitive, and contradicting of what has just been said, you can't always expect new comments every ball with computer games.
In my opinion, batting is the most vastly improved part of the game. The batter's confidence meter is a great addition as it makes the game more realistic. If you ever bat for your local club and have just come in, you know just how it feels to go out there and then having to get the ones and twos and the odd four before you start going over the top. The slogging version, once you are confident enough to use it, is also a lot better than before, for now you must get in the right position and time it perfectly to have it go for six. The batting is also more of a challenge than before, if your not on easy level, because you need to get into good position and time the ball well to see it race away. The keyboard layout, with w and s as back and front-foot shots respectively, and the arrow keys as the different shots, is a lot more sensible and therefore I have had endless joy batting in this game.
The bowling is also improved. The chance of bowling a no-ball has been decreased as the run-up meter fills more slowly.... Read more ›
One thing that really attracted me to this game is the 61 stadia. This is phenomenal compared with the 22 in Cricket 2002. These stadias have very good graphics aswell.
The best new feature of this game is the world tour mode. You can do an entire tour with warm-up matches, test matches followed by a form of one-day series.
One other thing that pleased me was the fact that on this game there is not inncecent appealing for a run out when the batsmen is clearly home.
The sound however is not great. The commentary becomes boring and repetitive before long, but it is worth keeping the sound switched on as the crowd noises are of top quality.
Be warned, you will have to get some batting and bowling practice in the nets before you start playing the real thing. It is difficult at first but as you get used to it, you will enjoy it. On the batting side it is good that you have to settle in first before playing the big shots. It is more realistic and is far better than having 10 or 12 an over run rate in test matches like on Cricket 2002.
Cricket 2004's all round game is far better than the 2002 version. It is a must have for all cricket fans. Everything is much better and I would recommend it to anyone. It gets 5 stars from me.
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