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EA Cricket 2005 (full version) review



OK hired this sucker out today, took a deep breath (tried to get "anti EA" thoughts out of my head), and played a 20 over game with NZL (me) vrs Canada (comp)on normal.

Before the first ball: The good - Up to date squads, overall pretty good player likenesses, nice cut scenes. The bad - players look like they are on steroids (Vetori looks like "the rock"!), some players look odd (Shane Bond?)........

I lost the toss (which you still don't see)and Canada decided to bat on a pretty lifeless pitch.

Bowling:The good - much more fun then in cricket 2004 with good bowling rewarded with "special" deliveries. Ball seems to move around more off the pitch and appears to beat the bat more. The bad: Bowling is rea...ll..y sl......o......w. Bowlers seem to take an age to run in and regardless of the speed radar bowl at a horrible loopy pace. Ball seems to move in the opposite direction to what you are trying to move it. Ball physics are poor (takes off on unbelievable angles, especially off the pads). Same tricks for bowling out the opposition in cricket 2004 are still evident here (for more info on this read below in "Computer batting AI".

Overall bowling is an improvement on cricket 2004 (though that isn't too hard is it?)

Computer fielding AI: the good - Can't think of anything off hand. The bad - where to start!?? fielders run around like they are 100m sprinters on fire (cutting off most possible singles) and throw like the bionic man. There are far too many dropped catches and misfields. In two overs I had 4 (yes 4!) easy skied catches dropped inside the inner circle (2 conseq. balls off Vetori) and 7 catches dropped by the NZL fielders during the 20 overs. Outfielders seem to run in a big circle instead of running directly to the ball (thus conceding unnecessary boundaries). When the bowler runs to the bowlers ends wicket he stills face down the ground even though the ball has gone square of the keepers wicket.........

Computer batting AI: the good: It hits the ball occasionally. The bad: The sweet spot is still there for the left hand spinner (a slow turner just outside leg stump). Vetori bowled three batmen like this and would have bowled more but for me giving the opposition a chance to score. Bowling short pitched slow balls (by any bowler) results every time in either a wicket, play and miss, or a body blow for the batsman. If you pitch the ball short of a length just outside off stump 9 times out of ten the batsman will get caught at deep extra cover (I got four wickets in this way). Like cricket 2004 the "confidence meter" doesn't seem to apply to computer controlled players as they can sweetly time 6's off the first ball faced, and can get increases in the confidence meter for just spending time at the crease (unlike when you bat). Ball seems to sometimes warp from a good delivery to a position where the batsmen can smack it, and the batsmen sometimes starts to play a shot before warping into another shot animation (again so the ball is smacked to the boundary). Batsmen seem to only score in ones (not many) 4's and sixes, due to the bionic fielders and RIDICULOUSLY SMALL grounds. Batters have no concept of overs gone/to come, blocking balls in the last over even though they have wickets up their sleeve.

Canada scored 130 all out, but I didn't change my field at any stage and stopped using the easy dismissals method. If I hadn't done this I could have got them out easily for less then double figures.

Batting: The good: VERY DIFFICULT. The bad: VERY DIFFICULT. Catch 22: The confidence meter only goes up for the human player (unlike the computer player) when you score boundarys - however boundarys are hard to come by because without much confidence you can get no shot power to pierce the inner ring, and if you try a big shot (to go over the inner ring)it always balloons up for possible catches regardless of how well you hit it. Shots are exactly the same as cricket 2004 but seem less responsive to execute. Batsmen is frozen very quickly and the bowling circle only appears at the very last moment so positioning is a real lottery.
Batsmen when running do not slide their bats (I lost one batsman due to this even though his front foot was almost on the line - if he slid his bat he would have been easily in).

Computer bowling AI: The good: The ball eventually makes it from one end of the pitch to the other. Some "no balls" The bad: No different to cricket 2004. No variation, a tight line, and basically every 3-4 balls an over are pitched at your crease line. Unlike BLC2 no individual bowling animations. "special deliverys" have no bowling circle for computer controlled teams, so when one is activated you can have a wild swing (9 times out of ten the delivery is a yorker though) or front foot block - rendering the special ball useless.

Getting frustrated by unable to pierce the field along the ground (the players may look like wrestlers but they hit the ball early on in their innings like primary school children), and only able to very occasionally go over the top, I got all out for 30.

Overall impression

Though there have been some improvements in the bowling side of things, the computer controlled fielders are laughable (worse then cricket 2004)and the batting has been made too hard for most players (re: a chore rather then a pleasure). It is no coincidence that the people rating this game highly are predominantly the people that play 50 over a side one dayers and full test matches in the game. With that much time you can build an innings and get the confidence meter up over time (say 10-15 overs). However most normal people (those that have a life outside of gaming) want to play realistic 10/20 over a side type cricket but because the confidence meter doesn't fill quicker to reflect the shorter nature of the game you just become frustrated and bored batting. All HB studios have done is stop you timing any big shots until your meter reaches a certain level (regardless of how well you time the shot) thus taking control away from the player. The pitch conditions/timing/power of your shot/players attributes in combination with the confidence meter should dictate how well you can hit the ball from the outset of your innings. The numerous (and obvious) bugs also become unbearable (even after one game) which also ruins any possible enjoyment. The commentary is the same old rubbish (with the very odd new piece) that again talks of things unrelated with the current play ("that was off the pads" when it comes off the helmet, and "thats his first boundary" when your outfielder once again drops a sitter and concedes a single.

The game looks as rushed and unfinished as previous versions, but if watching paint dry is one of your hobbies, you have the patience of a saint, and like playing one day cricket computer games that take hours to complete one 20 over game, this may be your ticket - 4/10
Give it a hire and form your own opinion..............I come from the perspective of the gamer that doesn't play rugby 2005 for 80 minutes (real time), pes4 for 90 minutes (real time) so don't expect to get the most from a cricket video game by playing up to 100 overs (in realtime) of a one day game........
To put it simply, this game could make you fall asleep its that boring. Gfx are ok but thats when it stops... their soooo lazy at HB - the menu's are Rugby 2005's, exactly. The gfx are r2005, the commentary is c2002

the gameplay is worse than c97
Cricket 97 was preety fun, athough for some strange reason, despite the easiness of it, Cricket 96 is probably my all time favourite cricket game.

So... When's Ricky Ponting/Brain Lara due to be released? I sold off 3 games lately so Im looking for some new ones to keep me going for a couple of months.
Originally posted by NZL fan@Jul 14 2005, 05:11 PM
Give it a hire and form your own opinion..............I come from the perspective of the gamer that doesn't play rugby 2005 for 80 minutes (real time), pes4 for 90 minutes (real time) so don't expect to get the most from a cricket video game by playing up to 100 overs (in realtime) of a one day game........
I generally play 15-20 minute sport games.

I think I'll be satisfied with BLIC anyway.
Its funny, on the back I has some **** about "EA have developed a game the looks and feels like the game we all love". Right below that is a picture of a guy on his knees playing some sort of baseball cover drive with his wrists and bat at a 90 degree angle to the ball. Real realistic EA.
Yep, the cover drive and backward square cut in c2005 AREN'T. There isn't any.

Also hitting down the ground is impossible, it just goes to the fielders either side of the wicket - unlike BLC where its possible. crap c2004 gameplay
Yeah, we got it in on Tuesday, but it didn't look like it would be worth the effot of taking home.
I had a 5minute dab at harvey norman on tuesday

i could NOT put bat to ball

i wasnt complaining...........coz BLIC's is coming

seriously tho, its as bad as everyone says

anyone that says its a good effort are brand new to these games and dont know it the same product of the last 4 yrs...nor must they know about the BLIC revolution

sorry if i sound like i am an official from BLIC's/Codies

But deadset its great
Brings the fun, the rants, the bragging all back into one room - feels like the JLR days only cricket.
I posted my review on the cricket 2005 forum of planetcricket.net, and though I expected to be flamed there over 120 people have viewed with NOT ONE complaint over it..............

I just posted this there as a final thought............

"Basically my final thought is if you want to play full one dayers (50 overs a side), test matches (full sessions) then this game is for you........

However a majority of people want to play the 10, 20, 20/20 games, where you do not have time (or want to) have to bat yourself in for a majority of those overs availiable to you.

It is no different then Konami making the most realistic soccer game (PES4)play at its most realistic when playing 10 minute halves (real time) each way, and not 45 minute halves (real time).

My question to you guys is "if the bowler bowls a poor ball to you first up, and you play the correct shot for the situation, time it perfectly (in favourable conditions), why shouldn't it go the boundary???"........

........HB studios have only made a game harder by denying the player the opportunity to get off to a quick start. This is just shoddy programming on their behalf, and follows on from rugby 2004/5 where the game was made harder on higher difficulties by simply denying the player any possession - wheres the fun in that?? Instead they should have improved the bowlers AI so that if it was getting hit for boundaries early on it would change tactics/bowl with more variety/set traps in the field/become more defensive.

....and I just realised why Shane Bond looks so funny (and it pretty much sums up HB studios)......for rugby fans out there - Shane Bond has the face of Justin Marshall from rugby 2005!!!"
yeah i hired out this game yesterday, and i had fun playing it. I didn't like the comentary that just sucked so i put some music on. Decided only to play 10 over matches (as i got it on xbox and couldn't save it in the middle of the game)

yeah its harder and all that, i think my higest score was 49 all out. I created my own player and had him in the main team
new zealand

I didn't like their first choice squad though so i will ahve to change that at some time.

I enjoyed the bowling which isn't like me at all, (i am a keeper in rl) i was taking wickets pretty easily, tried not to do the same dismisals or same type of ball to much, just tried to ristrict their scoring.
First game against aussie i got them 6 down in 10 overs, which was great (bond does look like marshall id idn't notice until you said something) they scored like 140 or something like that, just in the last few overs they were hitting out which i thought was good (am going to have to play a test at some point and its going to be a long one

i got most of my wickets caught at deep cover which was weird, lots of diving catches and stuff, but also agree the fielders were really fast.

only had 1 dropped catch that was a low catch from a leg glance, at least the comentator said it was

batting i enjoyed, after a while i started timing the ball better, still hard to find gaps but after a while and a bit of tinkering i could get some sort of timing. All i did was chose the direction i wanted to hit the ball after he let go of the ball, and it seams to help the timing a bit (well my timing)

I hit a few 6's with astle as soon as he came to the crease (had him at 6 as i decided to open with fleming) he faced 7 balls hitting 17 off an over

there were a few bugs, but if i bought this game it would tide me over til BLC but i think i will resist the urge and play the 50 over demo of BLC
Originally posted by NZL fan@Jul 15 2005, 08:24 AM
....and I just realised why Shane Bond looks so funny (and it pretty much sums up HB studios)......for rugby fans out there - Shane Bond has the face of Justin Marshall from rugby 2005!!!"
this pretty much sums up the HB mob

i will only buy their rugby games only because i have no other choice

hopefully RChallenge 2006 can top HB's effort, so i do not put hard earned into the mits again

they gotto be driven out of this market

its up to us, to keep our hard earned away from them
Having had another go you can hit easy boundaries still (even with your confidence at zero).

Anything pretty full you can hit in the air straight down the ground (either side) or "pick up" down the leg side for easy fours/sixes.

Key to this is to hit the ball VERY late (ie. the later the better). It seems a strange thing to do at first but thats the way to score easy runs early in you innings.

However it doesn't improve the game a hell of a lot, as you'll find yourself having to exploit the same deliveries/shots just to post a decent score, and after a while this would become downright boring......
just playing it now, just finished a random 10 over game NZ vs Canada. I was NZ, after the 10 overs it was my turn to bat, but what the hell i was now batting as canada WTF.
Also for some reason you can only change the fielding camera when you are in batting so this makes it **** if you want to field manually, so really auto fielding is the only option.

EDIT: you can actually change the fielding camera, but only when you have auto fielding turned on. Good work HB, cocks
na i didn't think bond looked anything like him, hell i grew up with him.
can't wait to hassle him next time i am home (if he isn't in zimbabwe that is)

on the other side of things, i can't wait til i get home to give it another go b4 i take it back

god i am bored right now
Funny how after 3 efforts at making a cricket game they still haven't made it look like the bat actually strikes the ball, whereas BLIC does. On replays you look at it and you'd swear its gone through the bat then back again before the shot is played