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Decent enough cricket sim
Allan Border is not the only cricket star to lend his name to a video game, with Ian Botham Cricket and Shane Warne Cricket also offering celebrity-endorsed action. While it might not be the best such game on the market, it does provide some enjoyable cricketing fun for hardened fans and may just be what they need to get through the winter. However, non-cricket followers are unlikely to find that it will convert them to the sport's peculiar joys. The game features a nice range of options, similar to the kind of things you find in the best soccer games, with one day matches to Test cricket, and much in between. There are all nine Test-playing international teams to choose from, plus some Australian ones too, while players can also edit their team. The game is played out via an overhead view, with some decently animated and fast moving sprites to capture the action. The game makes use of a sliding cursor to control bowling, while batting requires careful timing and selection of a number of different shots, while fielding is handled by the computer. As a cricket sim, this certainly isn't actually bad. The game rattles along at a decent pace, (certainly faster than many real life matches!), and while the control system isn't the easiest to get the hand off, you can soon pick it up. The graphics too are quite charming in that slightly old-school fashion, so if you are in the market for a retro cricket game, this is a reasonable bet. The more recent Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 from Codemasters offers a flashier and slicker experience, but if you've played that, this is worth a look.
Will not turn you on to the game: too iffy and complicated
Cricket is not such a hard sport to understand or to get to like, but like many gentlemanly sports it has that level of rules and regulations that makes it quirky naturally. Imagine then a simulator that lacks polish lacks a good vision when it comes to the controls and also, lacks a proper tutorial. This could only spell disaster. Now, the game might look a lot like baseball but the rules are a little different. Certainly, a more in depth explanation on how to approach each step of the game would have been great, but it's just absent. Otherwise the game looks nice graphically; the animations of the players are good enough. However, you won't really concentrate on these when you play, you will most of the time lock your eyes on the minimap which is so small and so hard to read that is almost useless. Frankly, I don't see why anyone would want to try this game. It may have been an OK title for his day and age but today it offers nothing that a more recent Cricket sim can't, and with a much simpler and straightforward control scheme and interface.