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EA Sports has been the uncrowned king of the sports game developers for quite a some time now. They have undoubtedly produced some quality games like, the FIFA series, Superbike series, NFL and NHL series and not to mention NBA Live franchise. The last three of the aforementioned series never actually found much fan in Bangladesh, where one doesnít see these sports played in real time and action. But one game that the Bangladeshi people adore is CRICKET. Yes, this game should be our national sports, not something like Kabaddi. However, EA Sports and Creative Assembly brings forward Cricket 2000 and lets see what it really has to offer.

Cricket 2000 is the sequel to Cricket 99, duh. Well itís a huge improvement over the original and lets just say we should thank EA for that. The previous issue, Cricket 99, was a game that was shipped way before it was finished. The flaws being led by the glowing absence of left-handers who in real life sums up around 40%-45% of the whole international roster. Funny isnít it. There were more shortcomings in Cricket 99 but lets not look into the past anymore, itís the present that we should discuss.

The game boasts of over 600 motion-captured animations, true-to-life bat and ball physics, and updated game stats (this, by the way, is not that accurate). A good number of cricket grounds are available to exploit. There are Lords, Eden Garden, SCG and several others in convincing 3-D details. Creative Assembly has carefully thought out animation for all actions. The player reactions shown after certain occasions like catches and bowled outs are something that the developers can be proud about. The players stretch their bodies while on the field. Pretty impressive!!! 

The game formats are pretty simple. Only problem is itís only about ODI and the World Cup 99. There is no Test Cricket, which is certainly something that the gamers will look down on. The ODI format is pretty well set though, featuring all the 12 countries that participated in the 1999 WC in England. That means Bangladesh, Kenya and minnows Scotland are there to battle it out against the regular 9 teams giants, in the different modes of play. There are the friendly matches where two teams go one on one. There is the World Cup mode. Choose a team and go win the prized Cup. Then there is even a Super Six tournament. There are two groups, 3 on each and the top two teams battle it out in the final. The multiplayer option is restricted within the single keyboard-sharing play. Its better if you have a gaming peripheral. The game of Cricket is a lengthy one and this sim wonít let you forget that. Each match is pretty lengthy and thus the friendly matches will be more preferred. There are options for skipping overs and balls, as well as batting. The computer plays out the mentioned overs and you can select highlights like fall of wickets, and 4s and 6s to be shown. Personally I love to use this option and skip the bowling part of the game and move on to batting as fast as I can. The absence of Test Cricket may be a problem. There is a ball by ball game commentary delivered by Richie Benaud and David Gower. Itís inconsistently interesting with the tilt on the boring side. The game replays add a great deal to the gameís plusses. The replays can be viewed from virtually any angle and can be zoomed in and out to any degree; only problem being there is no sound during replays. 

The controls are pretty good, with a cone-based system for batting and the conventional bullís-eye system for bowling. There arenít much of buttons to learn about and it can be mastered pretty easily. The Physics feature is pretty good and the weather effects are clearly noticeable. The condition of the pitch really is vital for bringing out the best on a given day. There is a cool training mode to get those moves right.

The game AI is as dumb as a doorknob. Its not been worked upon after WC99. The developers should make a note of this while working on the next game of this series. The game is really imbalanced thanks to the pathetic AI. Minnows like Bangladesh can very easily shrug off the Australian team. I ended the game without any problem from any of the tougher teams playing as Bangladesh. There should have been atleast one competitive match. To add to this there are clipping problems which allows players to pass through their teammateís or other playerís body. Looks like a horror flickÖ 

The game is a good one sparing the flaws mentioned. The game features support for resolution up to 1920x1600, so enjoy the graphics if your monitor supports up to that much. Buy the game if you are a great fan of Cricket. If you are just trying it out, wait around till the next issue. I am a cricket-enthusiast at heart and the game though didnít promise a lot didnít disappoint me that much.


Game Info

Game Name: Cricket 2000

Genre: Sports
Publisher: EA Sports
Reviewed by:
Mail him.

Game Score: [Five lightning rating]

Story / Plot:
Reviewer's Tilt :

Game Tested on:

- PIII 800 Mhz
- 128 MB RAM
- Savage 4 16MB
- Windows ME

The Good: Easy controls, Support for very hi-rez, features all the 12 countries, including Bangladesh.
The Bad: Stupid AI, No Test Cricket, Graphics could have been way better.
The Ugly: Took them three games to get here.