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For years there was only one game for fans of cricket. No other game ever game close to Brian Lara cricket and like Lomu Rugby, code masters had that corner of the market sewn up. That was until EA sports decided to start making cricket games to rival Lara cricket. I have to admit that Cricket on a console does sound rather boring and if Im totally honest for the most part it actually is. The main appeal of this type of game is in the multiplayer rather than playing against the computer.
The game itself features 12 international teams including the likes of Australia and India. There are also 6 all star and alternative teams, which can be unlocked the better you do in the rest of the game. You can also choose from 22 different international stadiums where you want the game to be played. So whether you wish to play at Lords or in Cape Town the choice is there. Each stadium has been designed to look like its real life counterpart and this adds a good sense of realism to the game.
As with all sports games there are different types of game modes you can play. These range from all the major Cricket tournaments such as the World Cup to one day internationals and test match series. The variety of game options means the game covers all aspects of professional cricket. As well as game types you can also choose the type of pitch, the weather and even the temperature. All these add up to give the game the feel of real cricket. Anyone whose not too hot at cricket can even practice the skills required in the practice net sessions, designed to help you with batting and bowling.
Once you have set all the options for the game its then onto actually playing. You can change the line up of each team within the squad if there is certain people you want playing, again providing the feel of a real game of cricket. One tip I will give before you get started is to make sure you have auto fielding turned on as you can spend hours trying to get to one ball.
Now thats out of the way whats it actually like to play. Well in all honesty its quite simple. When you are bowling you are given a large circle, which you place in the position you wish the ball to pitch. That is easier said than done though. The circle is quite large and very sensitive so can take a lot of practice before you are bowling every ball in the right place.
Its when you start batting that you really start to have problems. You are shown where the ball is going to pitch in a similar way to when you were bowling. The problem is that the shots are quite hard to play and runs very hard to come by. This means that from a ten over match its very possible you might not get over 15 runs, which doesnt make for an enjoyable game. One bonus is the small screen at the top, which tells you if there is a run available to prevent you getting run out when there is nothing on.
What the game lacks in the single player game it more than makes up for in the multiplayer. Once youve chosen your teams you both play on the same screen. One player takes on the roll of the batting team and the other the bowling. It makes the game a lot more enjoyable as more mistakes easily slip in. This makes it more enjoyable than playing against the computer as it rarely makes any mistakes at all.
The game is let down a little by the game play as the graphics look quite good. The game uses the normal EA match engines so all the players look quite realistic as do all the surroundings. Each team has the designated one day kits, which look quite impressive. There is plenty of colour about the game and it looks as though a lot of attention has been paid to making the game look as realistic as possible.
Likewise the sounds used in the game are spot on. The commentary on each game comes from Richie Benaud and sounds quite realistic. To accompany that all the crowd noise has been added in and even the communication between the players. Both of these factors add a little more realism and enjoyment to the game.
Overall the game can be quite enjoyable, more so if you like cricket admittedly. There have been newer versions released since, each time improving the game slightly. This makes for a good bargain game though and can be picked up second hand for about £8. Its suitable for all ages and once you get the hang of it can provide hours of fun. If you want a budget game, then Id suggest this, however Id suggest buying Cricket 2004 as its slightly better.
Recent years have seen a painfully slow improvement for cricket fans, we've had Brian Lara Cricket, a decent all round game with good graphics and Cricket 2000, which was very disappointing in my view. Now, for PC and PSX2 we have Cricket 2002 from EA Sports. There was quite a lot of hype from cricket fans before this game was released and understandably so, the screenshots looked great and the game features were impressive. The game has a nice, easy menu system which means you can pretty much pick it up and play, it is quite similar to BLC in this respect. All international teams are included with accurate player statistics, the players can also be edited which is a good thing. It would have been nice to see county teams aswell. The game features a whole range of competitions to keep you occupied, from a basic knockout tournament to a full World Cup and of course you can play Test Series. The gameplay is fairly straight forward but there is certainly enough variety for cricket lovers. When batting you have the option to either play a normal shot or big-hit, you can even charge down the wicket against spinners. Bowling also has it's variety, mainly with spinners. With fast bowlers it seems very difficult to get bastmen out which is disappointing. Fielding is a rather tedious affair and best left to the computer I think. The game has impressive graphics and contains lots of great features: there are action replays, close run-out decisions, lbw appeals, multiple camera views, batsmen reaching milestones and other nice touches. It all adds to the realism of the game. There is also plenty of audio in the game which helps the atmosphere, crowds chant and cheer in reply to the action and realistic match commentary comes from Richie Benaud, although this inevitably becomes repetitive after a while. This could be a brilliant game but there are simply too many errors which should have been picked up on, these include: wicketkeeper and ump
ires vanishing between deliveries, crowd sounds often disappearing after a boundary, white lines appearing on the pitch and lots of other little niggly faults. Cricket 2002 is probably the best cricket game so far but it can still be improved on!
Bat, bat and bat some more. Great game and you can even make England win - Advantages: Fantastic graphics, Easy to get the hang of, The thrill of hitting it straight back over the bowler's head - Disadvantages: Bowling gets dull, Fielding is far too hard!, Commentary is repetitive
If cricket is one of my most loathed sports, why is it I can?t stop playing Cricket 2002? This game is absolutely fantastic - there really is no need to play the actual sport thanks to EA Sports? PS2 offering! I cannot stand watching cricket on the television, nothing ever seems to happen, but at least the sport was the inspiration behind this game. My perception of Electronic Arts is rapidly changing for the better. SSX and Tricky were fantastic sports games, if a little crazy, they?re fun to play in one or two player games, and believe it or not non-extreme sports other than football can actually make a decent video game. If cricket is to you as it is to me then it?s simply about batting and bowling, with a few other players scattered about the field. Find a few mates, one is all you need though, choose a couple of teams, select a 10 over match, read the on screen control instructions and away you go! The first notable aspect of Cricket 2002 is the brilliant graphics. It?s as close to watching the real thing on the Tele, only without all that waiting. The player animations are superb, very smooth indeed ? everyone looks at moves in a far more realistic way than in previous sports games. The textures and colours are all first rate, the crowd and stadiums are all accurately represented ? I?d say it?s on a par with Fifa 2002. The commentary is supposedly insightful from Mr Richie Benaud, everything is remarked upon, which can be useful if you?re playing manual fielding ? ?that one?s right up in the air!? you?ll learn whether it?s possible to catch the batsman out, or when to run in order to prevent them hitting the boundary. Of course when you perfect your bowling you might be able to send the batsmen walking straight from the bowl. Anyway, the commentary is realistic, although some phrases aren?t put together all that smoothly. The crowd don?t make much noise ? it?s just like the real thing! The presentation is all very EA, wit
h suitably low key menu music, as you?d expect ? very professional ? the menus offer game modes from Exhibition Match, Tournaments, honing your skills in the Practice Nets, you can even edit all the player details, why not put yourself in the England Squad! If you?re like me and can?t be hassled to change anything, then go straight through to ?Play Now?, select everything including the weather! Select from the likes of India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia and England. Go with a high ranking side if you?ve never played before. When you?ve complete certain sections in the game, won tournaments and so forth you?ll be able to play as the unlocked All Star squads too. As ever, start off with the coin toss to select the starting positions. Here?s where the fun starts?I?m much more a football or basketball person, yet for me the gameplay in Cricket 2002 eclipses the very best of other sports related computer games. If you?re bowling you?ll have to set your target from the moving circle, set the pace from the ball bar (make sure not to over run the line or get a wide ball) and away you go. I would advise leaving auto-fielding for your first few games, leaving your only responsibility to bowl to your heart?s content. Make the batsmen work my adding spin or blistering pace (I didn?t know it could get up to 130kmh!?). Batting is much more fun ? slog the ball at your peril, play the safe shot and don?t run when the signal is ?no run?! It?s a great feeling to get a 6 or a boundary, watch the umpire wave his arms about as you get 4 runs. What a game! For the fanatics, or those who know more about cricket than me, there?s all the up to date 2002 statistics, all the official players, 10 international teams and 22 magnificent stadia. I still wouldn?t sit through 30 minutes of cricket; I?d rather play tiddlywinks than actually play ?real? cricket, but for some reason Cricket 2002 offers superb gaming for more than just
fans of the sport. 1st class delivery from EA!
Ah, Cricket. The sound of leather on willow. Sipping cider on a sunny saturday afternoon at Taunton as the mighty cidermen cruise towards another triumph. You just can't beat it. There, at least you know where I'm coming from, because I do accept that the majority of the population thinks that any sport that takes several days to finish is an utterly stupid idea, so this review is written essentially for the cricket enthusiast (cricket's just not the type of game the casually curious might elect to buy a computer game about, as opposed to, say, snowboarding). Up until now the finest cricket game on any format has been Brian Lara Cricket; kind of strange when you consider that bowling the other side out on any level was just about impossible with their infallible batting. Previous EA Sports attempts to emulate cricket have been frankly abysmal, suffering from gameplay problems such as being able to sweep any ball for 2 runs no matter where it pitched. EA have at least done the decent thing and recruited the developers from Brian Lara setting them loose on the Playstation 2's more powerful hardware. So what have they come up with? For a start the presentation (as it always is with EA sports) is excellent with a nice intro sequence and slick menus that are easy on the eye. The game comes with a number of options to ease you in such as 3 levels of difficulty, auto-fielding and an indicator when you're batting to tell you if a run is available. All the international teams are present with up to date squads, although disappointingly for buffs there are no county sides. A neat feature is the ability to unlock all-time great sides from the past for each country, such as a West Indies side featuring Viv Richards and Malcolm Marshall. These are obtained by doing things such as winning the World Cup or (for a real challenge) beating Australia in a test series, and act as an extra hook to keep you playing. The game itself is on the whole a very creditable performance. The graphics of the grounds are excellent and the players are well drawn. I do have 2 gripes, though. First the motion capture is oddly stilted; as another opinion mentioned the stilted running is oddly reminiscent of Andy Caddick (and the animation of him stomping back to his mark with a scowl on his face is so real it's uncanny), but it's strange to see young athletic players animated in such a fashion. Secondly the crowd are very 2-dimensional; fine when the action's in the middle, but hitting the ball into the grandstand isn't quite so satisfying when all it hits is an army of John Smiths cardboard men. On the other hand the diving fielder animations are perfect and lead to some stunning catches that look great on replay. The sound features commentary by Richie Benaud and is no more repetitive than any other game and links in well with what's actually hapenning. They've also captured the essential "Thwack" sound very nicely. One thing I can't knock is the gameplay. The batting is superbly executed with different buttons for front and back foot shots (drive a bouncer and pick it out of your teeth if you want), and leaving the ball. The feeling of timing on the shots is just right and creaming a cover drive to the boundary is difficult but immensely satisfying. One of thee shoulder buttons is a power button and holding this as you play the shot means that you belt the ball through the air, although risks spooning a catch straight to the fielder if you misstime the shot. This is the first cricket game I've played where they've really captured the effects of different pitch conditions. In slow wet wickets you really have to wait for the ball to come on, while in hard dry conditions you feel rushed in your shots. The pitch also affects the difficulty dramatically - playing the Aussies on a green seamer at Headingley I was reduce
d at Lunch to about 30 for 6 (emulating real life almost exactly). Bowling took a little while longer than batting to master - the umpires are very strict on wides and no-balls are also easy to bowl, and like all cricket games is slightly less satisfying in that you often need the computer to make a slight error to achieve success. At least it's an improvement on Brian Lara and there is an autoplay feature to generate the innings if you don't want to bother with this 1/2 of the game. The developers have clearly made the right decision here in concentrating on the real cricket fan to pitch this game at. It's full of little touches that will be appreciated by anyone who plays or watches the game even occasionally. They've also concentrated heavily on 1-day cricket and you spend more time belting the ball over deep midwicket than grinding along at an Atherton-like pace. Cricket is a notoriously difficult sport to capture in a computer game and this is a very creditable attempt. As such every cricket fan with a Playstation 2 should own this game.
For those of you who played Brian Lara Cricket (Shane Warne Cricket in Australia) on the PSone or PC, EA cricket 2002 will feel instantly familiar. This is because Cricket 2002 was made by the developers behind BLC (published by Codemasters). As a result the game feels more like a sequel to BLC and this is a good thing. BLC was the best cricket game available, and this improves upon it. Gone is the dodgy third umpire feature; now replaced by one that actually works. All the other bugs from BLC seem to have disappeared, although my PS2 did crash on one occasion and the commentator (Richie Benaud) does still seem to predict boundaries with the kind of foresight that would make even Russell Grant jealous. The shot selection is the most notable improvement. The player can now dance down the wicket to any delivery and choose to play off the back or front foot through the use of two separate buttons. Always wanted to play a hook shoot to yorker? Now you can. But, don't blame me when your middle stump is uprooted (another nice addition). Real-life cricket fans should look out for the fielders (poor) running animation. Which is remarkably reminiscent of Andy Caddick's delivery run-up. The fielders ability to throw the ball in the direction opposite to which they are standing remains, but this does not detract from the enjoyment. Game types include: One-day matches and Tournaments (In coloured kits); and Test matches and Test Series (In, traditional, white). There is also a practice nets option which lets you hone your technique. Be warned though; like in real life, you seem a lot better in the nets than when you play out in the middle. The option to edit player names is available. However, the option to edit stats, appearance and team names, is not. Edited player names will not be read aloud by Richie of course. Bowling types are Pace/Spin and Swing. With the familiar sub-divisions
. Bowling is now controlled by aiming your delivery with a cursor, and then timing your button press in order to get the maximum amount of pace/spin/swing, without bowling a no-ball (this will happen a lot at first). The pitch and weather conditions will also affect the amount of seam/spin/swing/bounce you get (details can be found in the game manual). A save game option is available at the end of each over as well as other features such as Scorecard, Batting/Bowling Stats, Batting Graphs, Fielder Positions (You can make up your own or choose from templates). There is also the option to declare at any point, or to have the computer generate play up to set points in the match (including end of innings, fall of wicket etc.) Therefore, it is possible to play a match in which you only control your team when batting, and let the computer generate the opposition's innings for you. Camera angles can be changed at any point. There are roughly 10 different views available, but the majority of these are only of any use for replays. The atmosphere in this game is pretty good, and the best yet in a cricket game. The crowd ambience is realistic, changing between a general bustling to large applause for boundaries and football style chanting at intermittent periods. The batsman animations between deliveries bolster the 'TV style' presentation well, including players padding the turf with their bats. All in all this is a loyal simulation to the game of cricket. If you don't like cricket, chances are you won't like this game (In fact, why would you even be reading this?). If you do like cricket, as I do, then your luck is in, as this is a 'must have'.
If you think Brain lara Cricket is the best cricket game ever made, you got another thing coming. It's Cricket 2002 on the PS2. If you are a cricket fan and own a PS2 you definetly need to go to the shops and grab yourself a copy of cricket 2002 NOW !!! The games features are amazing. There is intuitive batting and bowling control which allows you to play off the front or back foot, it also allows you to spin,seam or change pace of the ball. Cricket 2002 has DEEP GAMEPLAY, there are one-day games and test matches. The game includes 10 international teams and 22 international stadia, plus much more. You can score big boundaries and also uproot the middle stump. The game also features play by play commentary by the legendary Richie Benaud. Realistic player and team statistics that are constantly affected by changing weather, pitch and match conditions. The crowd can intimidate your team. There are also unlockable tournmaents and historical teams. This game is a must have for cricket fans!!! "IT DOES'NT GET BETTER THAN CRICKET 2002 " This review was written by PAV BATTH
Apart from brian lara cricket this is the second best cricket game there is, after watching the stunning video i amazed at the detail in the pitch and the players. However i was not convinced by the way the ball flew in the air and when the players caught it, it didn't seem very realistic. Apart from this the controls are the easiest i know and you dont have to wait for the ball to go back to the bowler. Wouldn't recommend it to fanatic sport cricket fans because the game isnt amazing.