EA Sports Cricket 07 PS2 Review

EA Sports Cricket 07 is EA’s latest effort at knocking cricket games for six, and thanks to a new control system it’s perhaps the most accurate recreation of the sport to date.

It’s not difficult to understand that EA love to make unique use of analog sticks, and Cricket 07 is no exception. The new Century Stick control system gives you a more realistic feel of being involved in a cricket match. Both sticks now act independently as movement (leg selection included if you opt to play it as a full simulation) and batting motions (various shots and speeds can be pulled off with the stick and a button or two). It makes perfect sense, and EA again impresses with their unique use of the sticks.

If you decide that using the stick for batting isn’t for you then you can go back to the face buttons of old, although in all honesty we can’t see the reason why people wouldn’t be content with the new control scheme, as it does its job better than the previous clumsier setup ever did.

Cricket is all about timing, and batting the ball is all about finding those all important gaps in the field, and only going for the big shots when your batsman is confident enough. EA’s game certainly doesn’t stray from realism as a mistimed swing will see wickets being shattered and balls falling into the very capable and careful hands of the opposition. An optional gauge informs you of the timing of your swings, which obviously goes someway to improving your game.

Yes there’s bowling as well, but lets face it many of us do prefer to bat the ball opposed to tossing it towards the batsman. Still, the bowling itself is well done (if a little sensitive and drunk like at times), and fashioning a move, which results in the falling of wickets is always going to be a satisfying thing to do, especially on the higher difficulty levels or against human opposition. Perhaps EA could give us ball throwing control with the analog stick next time?

Returing to the subject of improving your game, Cricket 07 comes included with an excellent tutorial and practice mode. The tutorial mode walks you through the games new features with commentary from Mark Nicholas, whilst the practice mode is a suitable way to horn your cricketing skills.

Cricket 07 is a cricket fans dream come true as the game literally has mountains of modes to let your batting and bowling loose in. There’s international and domestic options, and obviously the Ashes series is included for us England inhabitants to take our national team and win with them like last year or perhaps taste bitter defeat like they did this year, Australian players will meanwhile want to repeat this years real life cricketing success.

Graphically the game is a little disappointing and low in detail, although the bowling and batting animations are superb. Whilst in the sound department Mark Nicholas and Richie Benaud take their places in the commentary box, although the script is basic and limited, so much so that some people will feel cured of something nasty when they turn it off.

EA Sports Cricket 07 is a fine simulation of the sport with a lot of things going for it, and if you are a fan of cricket you’ll feel like you are in dreamland thanks to the sound mechanics and the generous amount of options.