EA SPORTS Cricket 2005

Published Date
01 - Aug - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Aug - 2005
EA SPORTS Cricket 2005
if at all! If anything, there's a little too much reality here when batting, and Sachin Tendulkar would struggle to reach double figures!

Graphics: Average
Let's start with the graphics, as all gamers would want to: two words, "nothing special!" Sure, fans of EA's Cricket series will now commission mercenaries to fetch them my head on a platter, but the truth is the truth! Look at it from my point of view, I've just finished playing Half-Life 2 for the 9,826,283,745th time, and then I pop this game in and roll on the floor laughing uncontrollably at the pixellated look of the players!

Interface: Good
Next comes the menu interface: simple, easy to use, and with a decent amount of tweaking allowed in the settings. So far so good.
I'm impatient, so I decide to start a quick game just to see what all the fuss is about. Ahh! A screen that shows me the controls. Huh? Where did it go? What was that second button for? Yes, the keyboard controller map is shown before the start of each game, but only for about 0.0023485872534 seconds. So I had to read the manual, just to see which button did what. Any game that makes me read a manual isn't very user-friendly in my humble opinion.

Controls: Good
Oh well, on with the game. It's Australia vs Bangladesh, and I am Australia (obviously!). Gilchrist walks in with Hayden, the stadium is beautiful, and packed to the brim with screaming fans. Gilchrist takes his stance, some Bangladeshi bowler runs up, I keep [Shift] pressed (this is the "Six Hit" button) and press [S] [Down Arrow] [Left Arrow]. The ball goes sailing over the long on boundary and into the second tier of fans amidst much cheering. "I love this game," I yell!

Five minutes later, Australia are all out for 9, and those three extra runs came from leg byes or no balls! Every time I play a shot, it goes straight to a fielder. Every time I try a "Six Hit", I get caught!

AI: Ridiculous
I can never seem to find the gaps-well actually I do, but these fielders make Jonty Rhodes look like Lord Nelson running a marathon!
Yes, to say the fielding is a little too good is an understatement! Every single player can run faster than the wind, has the throwing arm of Hercules, and can break the world long jump record AND take a catch-all at the same time!

Practise: Good
I realise I have jumped straight into the fire and decide I need a little practise. I head off for the nets. Bowling isn't really that hard, so I choose to practise my batting.

I learn that it's almost impossible to time a ball to perfection, and that you should never try a sweep shot to a bouncer! After an hour, I figure out how to time the ball. I think I'm ready!

Next I do what most Indians would do: choose to be India, and play a match against Pakistan. I should have opted to be Pakistan!

The Game: Average

Pakistan wins the toss and elects to bat-typical! Afridi tries to hit Zaheer Khan for a six, first ball up, and holes out in the deep-also expected. Then Inzamam smashes a six, and I start bowling length and short out-swingers to end the over. Ajit Agarkar gets smashed for a six as well, and then next ball clean bowls Inzi. It's the same throughout…
bowl a loose delivery, or try anything new, and you're smashed for a six-even by tailenders! Every now and then, a bowler gets a "power-up", which lets him bowl a "special delivery," but nothing seems special about it!

Attention to Detail: Poor
I should also mention that EA has done a terrible job with the player's faces. No Indian player looks anything like the real deal. And will someone please send the folks at EA a picture of Sachin Tendulkar! The master blaster is depicted as a skinny, tall, dark-skinned player with a moustache!

Commentary: Hilarious
The commentary from Richie Benaud is boring at best, with stupid comments about why players wear coloured clothes for day and night matches. Then I start to notice the bugs… he often mentions that India needs to pick up the run rate, but it is Pakistan that's batting! Then I bring Tendulkar on to bowl, his first four balls are smashed for sixes, and Benaud says something like, "This is turning out to be a good over for India." While I contemplate on whether to laugh or cry, Pakistan are all out for 92.

Batting: Impossible
Now comes the dreaded time, batting.

At least Shoaib Akhtar looks like his real self, and his bowling is just as lethal. The score goes from 1 for 1, to 2 for 2, then 3 for three, and India are soon bowled out for 14. I knew I should have opted to be Pakistan!

Only once did a smile appear on my face during the torturous 10 overs of batting, and that was when "Dada" got out for a duck!

Overall: 5/10
Overall, this game loses out on three factors: it's too tough to play, the graphics (especially character depictions) are pathetic, and the AI (fielding) is too powerful to be enjoyable!

It does win in terms of replay-ability, and other options such as creating your own player, playing different tournaments, playing domestic cricket, training in the nets, etc.

If you have money to blow, are a sucker for punishment and love to have the stuffing beaten out of you in games… play DOOM 3 in Nightmare mode without cheats. EA Sports' Cricket 2005 is strictly for cricket fanatics in India, and since there are millions of them, this game might do pretty well. The rest are advised to check out the demo first.

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