Title: Cricket '97
Publisher: EA Sports
Released: 1997
Platform: PC

Yet another EA sports production. Commentary was provided by Richie Benaud, to many the voice of Australian cricket. All the test playing nations were featured, and you could make your own teams. In the summer of 1997, this was a very exciting game indeed.

A grand total of sixteen different shots were available to the player, from cover drive to leg glance to late cut and everything in between. The field settings were infinitely variable, and the bowling was just as exciting.

Bowlers were crudely divided into quicks and spinners, but within these broad groups, further definitions were made. People could be specialist off-spinners or outswing bowlers, and of course this affected how well you could deliver what the player would ask of you. Each bowler group had eight of its own balls, with only the guileless 'straight' ball in common. So spinners could try their hands at topspinners and arm balls, and quicks could cut the ball either way or even york the batsmen. This was, as you can see, very exciting.

There were three settings; easy, medium and hard. In easy there was very little user input; you just told the computer how hard to hit the ball. In Normal, everything was standard: the AI, the shot selection, and when you were batting you could see the little dot showing where the ball was going to pitch. In Hard, the AI was better, and you didn't get this very helpful dot. You had to play on reflexes.

The best thing about the game, however, was the AI. It would adapt to your style of play such that you could not stick with one strategy, as the computer would learn how to cope with it. Thus you'd have to keep switching and devising, etc.

So, in terms of bells and whistles, this game is only what 1997 could produce. Like Tetris, however, the gameplay surpasses the interface.

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