June 6, 2012

EA Cricket 2004 Full Version Free Download

Converting cricket into a video game is not the easiest task in the world. Many have tried to simulate the Newzealand's summer game but always seem to fall short with titles that lack depth and extended playability. Over the years there have been a small fan base of cricket followers that have the ability to put faults aside and just blast away and have fun with what is given to them. If you are one of those people then I've got good news for you, Cricket 2004 is here and it continues the tradition of previous titles in the series. It also brings in some nice new game play's features, full licensing and a professional presentation but continues to display the flaws that we've been seeing in Cricket video games for the past ten years. 
The title has been developed by HB Studios, the same team that brought us Rugby 2004. With 18 months of development they have managed to make a few improvements here and there on Cricket 2002 but by in large the game play engine is largely unchanged. Looking at Cricket 2002 and Cricket 2004 side by side, it's hard to notice much difference in the way the game plays out on the field in terms of gam eplay and the visual engine. There are some improvements to various fielding and bowling animations, the stadiums are slightly improved but these changes don't do much to cover up the holes in the game play and the various bugs littered throughout the game. 
Controls are the same as they were in Cricket 2002 so anyone who has played that game will be right at home with it's follow up. To bowl players most first select the type of delivery they wish to bowl – slow, normal or fast. Once this is selected a green dot will appear on the pitch and this is where the ball will be bowled. For about 5 seconds players can move the dot around to where they want. The dot doesn't move as you would expect and it's hard to control but this is deliberate otherwise every bowl would be a perfect length yorker on middle stump. 
As the bowler runs in a meter will charge and players simply press x, triangle or circle to stop it charging and the ball will be bowled. The higher the meter is the faster the bowl but players must be careful not to let it go too far otherwise they will be pinged for overstepping and given a no-ball. Swing and spin can also be controlled on a separate meter and this is manipulated by using the left analogue stick. The bowling isn't as challenging as it could have been and it's too easy to bowl consistent yorkers and this ruins the balance between bowling and batting. 
As with the bowling arrangement, batting remains largely unchanged. To bat players move the batsmen around with the left analogue stick. As the ball comes in you can choose to play either a front foot (x) or back foot (triangle) shot. The type of shot will depend on what direction you are pressing the left analogue stick. To charge (come down the wicket) the ball you simply press circle as the ball is bowled and then choose which ever shot you wish to play as normal. To duck or not offer a shot, square is the button of choice. Holding R1 will give your shot a 'power boost' which pretty much means your shot will go through the air. It's riskier but the rewards are far greater if you get the shot right. 
There are a variety of shots players can pull off from gracious drives through to powerful cuts but because you always know where the ball is going to land it doesn't have the unpredictability of a real cricket game and therefore it is far easier to pile on the runs. In Cricket 2004 the developers have included a confidence meter. This meter builds up as the batsmen scores more runs and spends more time at the crease but will fall if they are facing a good bowler or other conditions change. It's a bit of a gimmick and I don't even look at it and my ignorance of it didn't seem to change my performance. 
Perhaps the biggest problem with Cricket 2004 is the buggy gameplay that in line with the average graphics and lack luster audio makes it hard to enjoy at all. A good example of the buggy code is running between the wickets. The button pressing seems lagged and when you press square to change your mind and turn back it seems to take an eternity for the batsmen to even start trying to turn around. The fielders also seem a little idiotic and the wicket keeper always seems out of place as a ball in thrown in the field. You can guarantee that 90% of the time he'll be on the wrong side of the wickets and facing the wrong way only to turn round at the very last second to catch the ball. Sometimes the keeper will have the ball in his hands and be standing right next to the wickets and the batsmen will set off for a run and the keeper will just stand there and do nothing as they take a cheeky single. 
Another annoying bug is that the ball seems to go at inconsistent speeds across the grass. When players chip it over the in field and it comes down at a high angle it should in theory stop dead with no horizontal velocity yet in Cricket 2004 the ball will happily skip to the boundary for four runs. A peculiar problem is the amount of replays the game tries to throw at you. After a wicket falls the game will show you the play at every angle possible in slow motion and this further emphasises poor coding with players looking in the opposite direction as they catch a ball or diving the opposite way to stop a ball. Thankfully this is one niggle you can tap x to avoid, if only it was as simple for other bugs. 

Controls:
The first big plus. Batting is instinctive, very similar to 2002, but when you are on the hard level, you realise how finely tuned the batting side is. You really need to have a good idea about your shots. So direction - WASD keys for shots (combo for 45 degree shots, cut, glance, on drive and cover drive) as per usual. "Leave" key and "advance" key. All I will say is that all of these have more animation and variations than 2002.

 In 2002 the number pad as shot selector, number pad 0 as "power" or "six hit" selector, and the arrow keys for back foot, front foot etc. 2004 won't let you map to these, but it soon adapted to a different method.

Features:
  • Over 50 teams and over 1000 players
  • Domestic teams and players.
  • Full licenses from the PCB, ECB, NZ Cricket and the South African Cricket team.
  • 61 accurately modelled stadium, including various pitch types and conditions, detailed real time weather effects, and night modes for Day/Night matches.
  • Astonishingly high detail in the players' faces and bodies, including varied player sizes.
  • All new Motion Capture allowing improved player animations including form and injuries.
  • Commentary by the legendary Richie Benaud, Jim Maxwell.
  • Huge depth of game-play including domestic teams and tournaments.
  • Simple and intuitive controls improving on the best features from previous cricket games.
  • Huge 3D stadium sound effects based on real crowd sounds from all over the world.Crowd effects change to reflect peaks and troughs in the game.
  • Pitches reflect the real conditions around the world and will wear over the course of a test match.
  • TV style game-play including TV overlays and a detailed replay feature allowing the player to view the action from an infinite number of camera angles.
  • Highlight Save Feature – PC
  • Full Player Editor allows players to change/create features of players throughout the game.
  • Flexible play allows the player to be fully involved in the selection of batsmen and bowlers, the placing of fielders. Chose manual fielding, or simply let the intelligent AI position your fielders for you.
  • 4 Player, (consoles), with 2 player co-operative play
 
Cricket 2004 is a very impressive piece of code and it is nigh on impossible to come up with any real niggles about how the game plays or the presentation â?“ although some of the controls take some mastering before you start to become a real class act. Merely placing the ball when bowling on the critical spots takes some juggling around but once mastered you can further refine things and move on to a â??Warneâ?? level of competence but that will take a long time.

Screenshots:



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31 comments:

  1. Replies
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