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Owzzat? Anyone play cricket games? Discuss them here


fat flatulent git
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11 minutes ago, gossi the dog said:

 

It wasn't that the commentators themselves (I like Michael Slater), it was the complete nonsense they spouted. 

Nah, their delivery was horrible. James Taylor was horrible and stilted, Slater sounded overexcited and Mel Jones - whilst probably sounding the most naturally flowing - just didn't get anything interesting to say.

 

35 minutes ago, Death Adder said:

Yes, Golding's thoughts on what goes through a bowler's mind after he's just been hit for six, Warner's musings on the hook shot and Greig's thoughtful picking his all-time 11 were excellent and really added to the experience.  Even the PS1 Brian Lara had some funny snippets from Aggers and Boycott.  The commentary on Big Ant games has just been unbelievable in its crapness.

Exactly. The actual cricket from Big Ant is actually very good - but the presentation is pap. Both the Codemasters games had good commentary teams and they did have that wonderful conversational style about them at times, it's a shame that series ended, as that played a good game too. I remember it let you set-up the opposition batsmen, where if you bowled three perfect balls of the same delivery in a row (i.e. three outswingers), you could then bowl an inswinger and catch the AI out (depending on their skill, of course). The Big Ant games have never had that, the AI just treats each ball in isolation so you can't try and be clever like that. I hope they've addressed that too.

 

Also - I hope they sort the weather out. In the hundreds of hours I've played across various Big Ant games (starting back with Don Bradman '14), I've never yet had a rain delay and I want one, damnit! :D They also need to provide more stats, given that cricket is as much about that as it is what happens on the pitch.

 

This might be the first game I've paid full price for in years, I shall be keeping an eye out on Steam for in, seems pre-orders will go live in the next week or so.

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1 hour ago, gossi the dog said:

 

You think they'll fix that?

I'm rather naively thinking that Gower and Atherton might bring something to the table, yes. If nothing else they have much more experience than James Taylor in commentary (I realise doing soundbites for a game is completely different, but they have long broadcasting experience to tap in to.)

 

The commentary has been criticised for years on their forums and Planetcricket - which seems to have be the main unofficial forum for all cricket games - so I'm hoping they have taken that feedback onboard and yes, perhaps it might actually be good now? 

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2 hours ago, Gabe said:

I'm rather naively thinking that Gower and Atherton might bring something to the table, yes. If nothing else they have much more experience than James Taylor in commentary (I realise doing soundbites for a game is completely different, but they have long broadcasting experience to tap in to.)

 

The commentary has been criticised for years on their forums and Planetcricket - which seems to have be the main unofficial forum for all cricket games - so I'm hoping they have taken that feedback onboard and yes, perhaps it might actually be good now? 

 

I like the optimism.

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It probably isn't the fault of the actual commentators themselves, but they were inaccurate in their description (frequently describing sixes as "played nicely along the ground" for example), didn't have much variety in what they said, and had infuriating pauses almost every word when they're giving the score and far too often the rest of the time.  England...are...three....for...one...hundred...and....thirty....one.

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  • 1 month later...

That's...not what I'm looking for in a cricket game :blink:

 

Mini-games to boost stats (given that the stats have never seemingly had much impact in the actual matches) is just, no. And I'm not sure how all the life-stuff is going to do anything to impact anything important.

 

Are you able to focus on just one format? I'm not a big fan of T20 or ODIs so I'd like to focus purely on the County Championship and (ultimately) Test matches - but previously you had to either let the AI play (and ruin your stats) or play everything, which massively extends the playtime for bits I'm not all that interested in (and, again: I don't to mess with my stats).

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Indeed, there is plenty that needs improving in the game.  Graphics, commentary, smoothness for starters.  Talking to the press and farting around in the gym is not playing cricket.  The last fomula one game I played really pissed me off with the interviewer coming up to me and asking questions from a tiny list of them after qualifying and racing.

 

I'll still buy it though - probably double-dipping on Bone / PS and Switch.  Hope Switch gets a physical game this time.

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It's weird, because I'm pretty sure no fans of the previous games were asking this now when, as you say, there are many other things that need fixing/some polish. It's just so out of place and you just know that because those elements exist, they *will* be forced upon you and you won't be able to ignore them.

 

I don't think I've ever played a career mode on any sports game that doesn't become horribly unbalanced all too quickly, rendering continuing on largely pointless if that's why you were playing (my reference here is the old Tiger Woods career modes, where you could buy all the best equipment either in your first season or not long after, IIRC.)

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I suppose the idea is that the more new stuff there is, the more likely people are to upgrade from a previous version.  Career mode in these games is a big time sink, and it's likely that some people (I'm one) are still in the middle of the first career they ever started in Cricket 19.

 

That said, the additions are annoying rather than interesting to me.  I miss the old days of F1 games which didn't have practice sessions before each race.  Now you have to do them or fall behind.  Hope the same doesn't happen with shitty weight training mini games here.  Just let me bat, for fuck's sake.

 

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15 hours ago, Death Adder said:

I suppose the idea is that the more new stuff there is, the more likely people are to upgrade from a previous version.  Career mode in these games is a big time sink, and it's likely that some people (I'm one) are still in the middle of the first career they ever started in Cricket 19.

 

That said, the additions are annoying rather than interesting to me.  I miss the old days of F1 games which didn't have practice sessions before each race.  Now you have to do them or fall behind.  Hope the same doesn't happen with shitty weight training mini games here.  Just let me bat, for fuck's sake.

 

Yeah, this is my concern too.

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7 hours ago, Gabe said:

Yeah, this is my concern too.

 

I'd assume it depends if you start with a made up player or with an established international cricketer. The previous games gave you additional points to spend upping the stats of your career mode player, which was somewhat pointless if you'd already started with David Warner like I had.

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3 hours ago, gossi the dog said:

 

 

I'd assume it depends if you start with a made up player or with an established international cricketer. The previous games gave you additional points to spend upping the stats of your career mode player, which was somewhat pointless if you'd already started with David Warner like I had.

True, but even starting from scratch with your own player it's hard to feel that the stats make much difference in actual gameplay: As a nobody at the start with zero skills I could still smash the ball around with ease - and now my career player is skilled-up, does it feel any different/better? No. Perhaps the timing windows have moved a tiny fraction but I can't really say.

 

I do accept its always hard to balance stat improvements when, ultimately, success still comes down to real-life skill. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Well, my Xbox copy of this latest game has apparently been delivered.  That's the weekend sorted.

 

I bought the last three on PS4 and the two before that on PS3, but I thought I'd see how the Bone / Series controllers hold up.

 

I'll be double dipping on a Switch copy when that gets a release.

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looking forward to hearing your impressions on it. Not sure if I'd go PC or Switch... or just stick to my old PC version, which I can't even remember what year it's from but not that long ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't had as much time to play this yet as I hoped, but I've done a few matches.

 

Playing on Series X, as opposed to PS4 Pro and Switch in particular, the loading times are mercifully shorter, and the camera no longer stutters as it pans around the stadium.

 

So far I've done the batting tutorial, played the first two tests of the World Test Championship, and created my career character but she hasn't started playing yet, so I have yet to experience the dreaded training sessions.

 

There's a huge download before you start, and once it has downloaded enough to be "ready to start", all you can do is some batting in the nets.

 

The batting seems more in depth to me, but I didn't do the batting tutorials in the last game, so maybe these features were always there and I didn't know about them.  But now there's a specific way to leave a ball (other than just ignoring it), and there's also a way for doing unconventional shots like the reverse sweep.  Not that I use them at all - the basic shot, aggressive shot and defensive shots are more than enough.

 

Graphics look quite a bit better than the last game, and the England men's team, which is whom I'm using in the WTC, certainly look like their real life counterparts.  There aren't as many strange animations as before, such as when the bowler would suddenly hurl the ball to the wicketkeeper even though I wasn't going for a run.  But there are still bugs.  Sometimes I've hit the ball for a four and no fielder bothered to chase it.  Even if it's a certain boundary, you'd think they'd go and get it, but instead it just warps back to the bowler for the next delivery.  Occasionally I've seen fielders run alongside the ball, as if they're racing it to the rope, rather than fielding it, but those times are fe and far between.

 

For the commentary, Gower sounds quite good.  Not natural, but enthusiastic enough.  Atherton sounds rubbish, as if he's reading something that's a few grades too difficult for him.  Mel Jones sounds about the same as before.  Can't remember much about the other two.  It isn't always accurate.  In particular, they are obsessed with telling me off for poor running.  If I ever cancel a run, they'll always bang on about it, using the same phrases, without fail.  And sometimes I'll take a single and not even start a second run, but they'll tell me I'm getting overexcited and reckless for even considering another run.  The score updates are much smoother than before, which is good.  No more of the England (pause) are (pause) three(pause) for (pause) one (pause) hundred (pause) and (pause) thirty-five.

 

They've tried to make the player creation a bit more involved, in career mode, but it's extremely lame.  Instead of just choosing from different options, your agent calls you, and checks that he's talking to the right person.  Something along the lines of "you're that opening batter who bowls fast medium, right?".  If that's what you want to be, you can choose "yep, that's me", and if you choose "no", you then select what you do want to be, and he'll say something like "Ah, yes, thought I was talking to someone else."  I hope he won't be appearing much more throughout the career, and hopefully not at all.  There are more options for player creation than I remember from the last game.  You can now customise each of the four colours on your trainers, for example, and pretty much any colour is available for hair.  As always, I've gone for a 7'3" woman (tallest available), this time from Sri Lanka.

 

You can opt to be a specialist wicketkeeper, which I'll try at one point, as I've never ever done that in a game.

 

So far I'm enjoying it.  If you have a Series or PS5, it's worth it for the loading times alone.  The batting doesn't feel too much different.  I'll be getting the Switch version at the end of the month, and I'll post some thoughts about that too.

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After one match in career mode a variety of batting stats improved.  They include physical, driving, cutting, pulling, and others.  I'm not sure if it improves the skills you use more, depending on your batting.  But anyway, there are more skills than I remember from Ashes 2019.  When the game was over, the coach made me practice in the nets, which also improved some stats.

 

After the second game, the coach made me go to the gym.  You choose an exercise from about five, to improve the stat you want.  I choose the treadmill, for physical, and was treated to a rather boring timing mini game.  Honestly, the ones in Mario Tennis Advance were much more fun.  There were three intensity levels to choose from, which I guess is difficulty level.

 

The coach warned that if I didn't visit the gym enough he'd be on my case.  Maybe this seemed fun in a game design meeting, but I certainly think it's going to be an annoying distraction.  Hope the developers of the F1 games don't take any inspiration from this and have you taking your career driver for fitness and weight training.

 

 

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Did another game today.  The batting really is fun.  Definitely worth upgrading when this is a bit cheaper.

 

It seems the training has temporary effects only.  You can do your coach's recommended training, nets training, gym training which gives you a major boost for a few weeks or quick training, which gives you a minor boost for the next game.

 

You can also do "fatigue management", which is a sauna, a massage or a fancy retreat, which take up one, two or four calendar days respectively.  A bit like not getting burnt out in the Virtua Tennis games on PS3 and Vita.

 

A sub menu in the Player menu gives sponsor options.  Equipment sponsor, beverage endorsement, corporate endorsement and charity endorsement are all there but "not yet earned".  I don't know if it will make any difference to anything except the equipment.

 

There's more feedback about your batting, bowling and feedback stats that in the last game.  They just seem to improve automatically - no more leveling up to unlock skill tiers.

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What practical benefit is there to the fatigue management stuff? Does the player respond less well if they are tired or is there some other gameplay mechanic that makes it meaningful? 

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I assume it's to stop or reduce the chance of you having to retire hurt in the next game.  There are six calendar days until the next match, so you have to balance upping your stats by training against staying fit by fatigue management.  Each training session so far has taken one calendar day.

 

If you played Virtua Tennis on PS3, it's a bit like that, although so far the training minigames have been much less fun in this.

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