BLIC - Compareview by Willow Genius

Discussion in 'General Gaming Chat' started by willow_genius, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Introduction - My compareview (Because I compare this with EA cricket as I review!) is based on the single-player and multi-player games that I've played in COUNTY difficulty on XBOX. I have made comparisons with EA very often and this is inevitable. I'm not a EA fanboy and I prefer PES over FIFA and I'm not a Codies fanboy either and I didnt like Club Football. I'm just a fanboy of good games rather than that of any developer. I'm in my late twenties and I've been a hardcore cricket fan for the last 15-20 years (this declaration has become very important in this context). I was playing casual cricket till few years back. I spend around 5-10 hours a week on playing games.

    Presentation - 7/10 : The presentation was very good and nothing much to compain about. But sometimes the menus were not that user-friendly when you wanted to swap to players in a squad where it took more time than you would expect. Certainly EA's presentation was more attractive, colourful and eye-catching than BLIC. But as well all know the presentation does not hold a major weightage in judging a game.

    Gameplay - 8/10 : All in all, gameplay gets 8/10 for the gripping ODI feeling that BLIC gives and the complete control over the game that you can feel. Let me comment on the gameplay in a detailed manner.

    Batting - 7/10 : Batting is fun in BLIC. With the range of shots available and a relatively easy timing for the shots, batting is real fun. There are no front/backfoot option but I did not miss that at all. In EA, all shots that we play are pre-meditated shots because we know the line and length of the ball few seconds before you play the shot and you cant move the pitching marker once it has been set. In BLIC, the bowler can always move the marker even after setting it and interestingly even until the shot is played. This is very interesting because, I cannot afford to have one pre-meditated shot for a ball because, the oppponent can move the marker anytime. I need to think of few possibilities and I need to have some more shots ready to play if the ball is moved. For me, this is more like real cricket.

    One more good thing is, in grounds like MCG, I ran 4 runs which I dont think is possible in EA (you get 2 or four, even 3 is rare in EA). If your opponent sets the right field and bowls the right line and length, batting is not as easy as many people here think. I do miss the sweep shot but I'm happy that I'm not sweeping Shoaib Akhtar for a six. Atleast the advance shot should have been included. And finally, the tailenders bat like tailenders. I love the way they swing and miss. This fact makes us protect the wicket of one good batsman if you want some good score on the board. May be, EA does not make this distinction in the batting capabilties and you can socre a 50 or 100 even with Glen McGrath.

    Probably in future versions, they should include sweep shot and advance shot and make the timing a little more difficult and then you would go crazy with BLIC batting.

    Bowling - 9/10 : With no autoplay option, I was more or less forced to bowl and I was pleasantly surprised. Initially, it took time for me to understand the controls and once ot hang of it, man, it was more fun than batting. As I mentioned before, the option of moving the ball marker at any point before the shot, really really gives a lot of strength to the bowlers. As we all know, the bowling speed is a big disappointment and this should be fixed atleast in RPIC. Though it is painful to see Brett Lee bowling at 70kph, it did not affect my game big time. I still went head and enjoyed the game with this limitation and got adjusted to the timing. It is possible to bowl at the same spot throughout the over. This needs to be fixed as not all bowlers can do that and not certainly possible to bowl with that discipline when you're being belted around. The ump was a little lenient with the wides. I saw some deliveries which are clearly wide as per ODI standards let off by the umpire.

    Fielding - 9/10 : The change of the fielding set-up is very very user-friendly. In EA, to have a custom field you would need to go to the menu and it is very frustraing to set a custom field of your choice. BLIC custom field set up is very quick and easy. The drag and drop of fieldsmen in the field setup screen is a nice idea. And I was impressed by that little notification saying "fielding restrictions have been lifted". That's as a very useful info to have, in the middle of the match.

    The 'mandatory' manual fielding is joy as well. This makes things under our complete control and we take the blame for not running out or spilling catches. Might also be good to have a button press which should make the fielder closer to the ball, run faster. Sometimes, I've noticed indifferent style of running by the outfielders. There are no desparate dives to save a boundary. The catching animations could have been better. Many non-slip catches are taken below knee-level. Also, I find that the catching by the bowler,keeper and the slip cordon is not controlled by the user. This has been excluded may be because the reflex time is less and you need to respond instantly after you bowl. May be even this can be brought under our control i.e matrix style, once the ball is nicked, the travel to the keeper is slower than normal for the user to time the catch. Third umpire decisions are not a real thrill or suspense in BLIC as in the real game.

    Artificial Intelligence (?) - 3/10 : The major let down of BLIC is not the sweep shot or advance shot or the bowling speed. It is the incompetent and poor AI. Having scored 94 runs in 10 overs as India, I dont expect the AI to complete 10 overs with 30 runs for 5 wickets as Austalia. That's what happened and AI didnt even give a fight. I would been somewhat okay with 30 allout but to stay at 30-5 after 10 overs with Symonds and Clarke at
    the crease is not really good. When the AI is so poor you cant take pride in winning matches against AI. And if you dont take pride in winning, you may not play. The incompetency of AI also includes the easy singles bug where AI denies a single when easily available. Add to this AI, not taking wasy single and this way its score is less by 30 - 40 runs in a 50-over match which can be very crucial. In EA, the AI is much better, it will make you sweat for your victory. With a better AI, this would make a great game and this would really widen the gap between BLIC and EA.

    Multiplayer - 9.5/10 : All those who are not happy with AI of BLIC, should definitely try the multiplayer game in BLIC. The multiplayer experience was wholesome and fantastic. I played a 30-over match with my friend yesterday where he was playing as India and was bowled out for 128. When I chased I collpased initially and recovered but fell short by 3 runs.

    This match had all the ingrediants of an ideal ODI. It had clean bowleds, run outs, very good catches, drops etc. Even the run rate was very realistic around 5.00 to 5.25 which is more like inernational cricket. We were really creative with our field setup and bowling changes. It felt like we were playing a real match or something.

    The drawback in multiplayer is that the bowler being able to bowl at the same spot thoughout the over. AI will bowl at random spots but we cant resist humans from exploiting this. We do have a gentlemen's agreement of bowling a maximum of 2 yorkers per over when field restrictions are on and a maximum of 3 per over otherwise. In co-op, the concept of once player doing the bowling and the other taking charge if the fielding is very refreshing and very interesting. As someone mentioned, in co-op play, the striker makes a call and makes both the batsman run. In EA, co-op allows the striker and non-striker to run independently of the other, which is more like real cricket.

    One caveat - Dont play in TEST difficulty in multiplayer games. My human opponent couldnt play the Akhtar deliveries I was bowling (I couldnt play his Lee deliveries either). If you play in TEST difficulty, it will soon become a pointless match with unrealistic scores. PLAY IN COUNTY difficulty in multiplayer games, and I'm sure it would be a cracker of a game.

    Audio - 5/10 : The audio in BLIC is so-so. Good commentary team. In the absence of the player licenses, they are not able to say the players' names in the commentary which is very unfortunate. To fill this gap, they comment on various things about cricket which sometimes overlaps the occurrences on the field. Crowd reactions are very good. The in-game sound effects of ball hitting bat and stumps are also fine. I dont know whether many people noticed this, In EA Cricket, when a player fields a ball or receives a throw, the audio you hear is that of ball shattering the stumps. No such goof-up in BLIC.

    In-game presentations - 6/10 : The graphics and player animations are excellent. I would say much better animated than EA. The game can be slowed a little (only a little) to appreciate the codies hardwork and intelligent strokeplay. That is, when AI square cut a ball, and even before I could see the shot to my satisfacton and realise whether it was well timed or ill-timed, the next screen is the third person view of fielder trying to catch the ball. Sometimes, I've held catches without knowing whether I caught with the mid-on fielder or mid-off fielder.

    The 'LOADING' screen before every over is not much of a problem but could have been avoided. You get to see the scoreboard everytime you lose a wicket. And also whenever a bowler starts his over, the bowling figures of that bowler are displayed. I liked these small things which are very nice to have. But generally, I like the speed of the game. It is now possible to play a 50-over match and complete it in good time.

    The lack of player license is not really an issue but for the commentary. Because there is a 'edit player names' option where you can edit all the names or if you have a PC version you can upload the names. Each squad has 16 players and thats it. Some squads are not updated and hence either you need to rename some unwanted player with the player name you want, provided they have the same kind of profile (Right Arm Fast etc). The other option is to create a player and include him in the squad. EA's squad list is incredibly comprehensive and exhaustive.

    The day/night matches in BLIC is a welcome feature as EA does not have day/night matches. The variable weather feature is also something that is missing in EA. With variable weather, conditions during the match keeps changing you need to be good captain to take advantage if this. And you can save at the beginning of each over. This save option was such a relief after EA missed out on this in the Xbox version. Hawkeye is a BLIC special but does not add any special value to the game. But it is nice have though. EA has much better post-game stats and graphs.

    How it compares with EA - 70:30 - On the whole, if you want a wholesome and entertaining cricketing experience, BLIC wins hands down. BLIC is not the best simulation of cricket but this comes closer to real cricket than EA Cricket. EA Cricket is good but you may not really enjoy due to the slowness, limitiations and bugs. Whereas in BLIC you would certainly enjoy all departments of the game and you may be bored with AI opponent but never with the human opponent.

    Final Conclusion 8/10 : Very good first attempt by Swordfish and a good comeback by Codemasters. Before the release of BLIC, I had rated EA Cricket 8/10 but now with BLIC in the picture, EA should be downgraded to 6/10. You certainly would not regret buying this game. The best cricket game in all respects has not arrived yet. But when it arrives it would surely be from Codemasters and not from EA.
    ________________________________________________________________

    Chat, discuss & argue on Cricket - http://willow.ezforum.org/
    Chat, discuss & argue on Cricket - http://willow.ezforum.org/
    Chat, discuss & argue on Cricket - http://willow.ezforum.org/
     
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  3. Ripper

    Ripper Guest

    Did you really have to post this twice?
     
  4. kaftka

    kaftka Guest

    This is the first I've seen.
     
  5. Ripper

    Ripper Guest

    He posted it in Nazi #1 (NZL Fans) topic.
     
  6. Hi Guys!

    Sorry about the double post. I screwed up somewhere.

    But what do you think about the review. Do you agree or not to my views/opinions?
     
  7. kaftka

    kaftka Guest

    Two things, fromw what I've read, I do agree. And secondly, are you the arsehole that thrashed us all at iSketch?
     
  8. To start with, Im not an arsehole and I dont know what this isketch is!
     
  9. NZL Fan

    NZL Fan Guest

    not sure about your conclusions???

    You give the AI (one of the most important things in any game, especially for single player) a 3/10 but the overall game still gets a 8/10??(also considering you give audio 5/10 and graphics 6/10)

    Not disagreeing though with your AI rating - this game has probably one of the worst AIs of recent sports games to come on the market...........on the hardest level I played a 4 over "double wicket" game (me: Astle/Styris vrs Clarke/Symonds), I scored 44 and the computer controlled team scored 0 (no runs made at all, defending hitable balls well into the last over).............

    Yes it is the best cricket game on the market - but really it pales in comparison to other sports titles currently on the market..........
     
  10. kaftka

    kaftka Guest

    Oh, okay, my bad.
     
  11. Despite a 3/10 AI score, I rated this game high because, I play only multiplayer games in BLIC. Four of us play (two against two) for 30-over matches. Almost all matches have been very nail-biting. And there is so many mind games going when you're playing against human opponents.

    Play multiplayer and you would know what I mean. Some people have rated this game 10/10 for multiplayer experience!
     
  12. NZL Fan

    NZL Fan Guest

    Multiplayer is definitely great fun, and where this game shines - but again is only one of many available modes (and not the most commonly used for buyers of this type of game)............

    If the game was designed strictly with multiplayer in mind (ie. It says so on the cover) then I'd agree with you, however it has a fairly deep single player element which is rendered useless by VERY poor AI.
     
  13. Los Lover

    Los Lover Guest

    A few things that have to be said:

    - Hard/Test level tests and odis are hard (no fielder on fine leg boundary for odis on county or test (the latter is optional as test level is hard) - thus ai is fine. If you think about it - ai in cricket is impossible as cricket is a mood game and ai can't create this - thus you have to facilitate it...same as editing rugby 2005...don't do it...you won't enjoy it...and will be a whinging broken record like our nzl fan is.

    - the 'feel' of the game is great - still (I've had it for a while now) and most sports titles DON'T get this right.

    - It has many, many options.

    - building your created player is fun...I just surpassed astle on the batting stats.

    - Longer odis balance out...and if you are playing county you can do the half 20 over chase....If I chase a 20 over total and it is county level - I have to get it in 10.....What do I do when I haven't reached it? you say. GAME OVER. Stats lost...game skipped.......simple.

    - There ARE run outs if you have 'the touch' =

    Dilshan RUN OUT (Franklin) 7.................and by a metre too.

    Wahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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