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International Test Cricket

 

Stan said on 5 August 1999

I downloaded the Brian Lara cricket 99 demo from the official CODEMASTERS site.  This demo does not require a 3D video card.  It has two D3D options and a software option.  After playing the demo for about three weeks on the first D3D option for MGA - 200, Intel i740, Savage 3D, Rage Pro, Permedia chipsets, I have to say that this game is the best cricket game out on the market today.  It has a fantastic view of the stadium graphics even if you don't use a 3D card.  When you hit the ball in the air, you can actually see the seam on the ball moving as the ball travels.  Don't want to waste too much time talkin' about that stuff, cause everyone already knows the fantastic features of this game.  The demo puts you in a very good situation for the end of a match.  Again, since everyone already knows that or can find out by reading the "readme" I don't want to waste time chattering away about it.  BOTTOM LINE- BLC99 is the best game for a true cricket fan.  If you want tons of outstanding features from a cricket game demo, I would suggest downloading this demo..it is really worth it!

New PC Format Demo

The March issue of PC Format has an 'exclusive' demo of Brian Lara Cricket.   This demo is 90 Mb in size and nearly all the additional size is commentary (70Mb as opposed to 10Mb for Internet demo).  The scenario is also  different, the last 3 overs of an International 1 day match between South Africa and the West Indies at Cape Town.  South Africa scored 246 / 7 off their 50 overs and the West Indies are up against it at 218 / 7 with 3 overs left but Brian Lara is at the crease on 66 not out.

The first good news is that this demo now comes in 3 flavours: 3Dfx, Direct3D high res and Direct3D low res.  There is still no software only support in the demo but Matrox G200, ATI, Permedia 2, Savage 3D, Mystique, Riva TNT and Riva 128 3D chipsets are all supported.

The date of the main executable is a month later than the earlier demo but I could not see many changes.  I did not notice any real difference in commentary despite the extra sound files.  'X is not going to catch that' still crops up for far too many boundaries.  One change was for 3rd umpires decisions a small picture of the 3rd umpire appeared.

The demo was easy to achieve the target required as the skill level is set at village level and I have mastered the controls a bit better since playing the PC demo and the Playstation version a lot.  The demo does not add a lot over the previous demo but still leaves me anticipating the final PC release.

This demo is not yet available on the internet and I will not be uploading it due to its size and lack of web space to host it.  If it does become available I will mention it in the news pages.

If you have played the PC Format demo please send me your feedback of it.

Rob Myers said on 16 March 1999

Well Brian Lara Cricket is what I've hoped it to be since it was first announced.  The gameplay is very simple and after about five tries at the demo scenario I was starting to get my timing on my shots down. However, the skill level did provide me with some difficulty and it wasn't just easy to hit a six with the special "six hit" key as in previous cricket games on the market.  Even playing on the software only option since I do not currently own a 3D accelerator card, the background was still adequate and I expect that it will be still better with the full version.  Playing this for only 30 minutes got me anxious and now Friday can only come to quick as I await for my copy of Brian Lara Cricket to arrive in my mailbox.

Chris Hayes said on 16 March 1999

I finally got shane warnes cricket demo. I like it very much and plan to buy the full version as soon as it comes out. I find The running is a lot different from games like cricket 97. I got a voodoo 2 and I run it in 3dfx, looks really good.

Sridhar Ramaswamy said on 15 January 1999

Well I finally got to the Play the Demo. I bought a New 3DFX card worth $200 (My wife thinks I am crazy!!!). Once I installed the card the demo worked.

The first impression was really good. The Graphics, Strokes, Players action and the scenery were all good. I had some problem in playing but once I figured out how to play it was very easy. The commentary is really good compared to Cricket97. The Options for the camera are good.

There can some improvements. Like the Bowler walks right over the Stumps and the Umpire. The fielders are not that attacking. When a batsman is dismissed the fielder runs from Mid-on and stands in the Mid-off position for no reason.

Bottom Line This is good software and I hope all the bugs are corrected before the final version.

I have now played the demo a lot and have a few more points to note - some contridactory to my original thoughts :-)

The 6 hit is not as dangerous as it seems if you pick the shot and look at the field settings.  Once you get used to it, boundaries are easy to score.  The fact that McGrath always bowls the same over is very disappointing.  1s and 2s can be picked off quite easily and have now managed the odd 3 using the late cut.  Still wish the batsmen would accelerate when in trouble.

I stand by my opinions of the graphics.  They are not as good as any of the recent soccer games.  The players are very samey with just different coloured hair and skin.  The grass and pitch textures are very pixelated and really do look poor to grass textures in games like Fifa.  The bowler walking back regularly passes through the umpire!

Can any one beat my record of wining the game in just 5 balls!  A single for Hick, followed by Gough hitting the yorker and bouncer for 6 then smashing the next 2 balls for 4 and 6 over long on.

Still play the demo but need a longer version as now nearly always beat the demo.

Geoff said on 6 January 1999

I'm just going to pick on a few little things now

bulletDuring some shots, especially the slogs, the batsman appears to lose his bat, and then regains it. The bat also appears VERY flat.
bulletBoundary fielders are very slack when the ball approaches the boundary, often slowing down and watching it trickle past their feet.
bulletSingle-saving fielders watch the ball travel between their legs if it's going it fast enough. I'm yet to see them dive.
bulletTwo problems with boundaries A) 4 is often given before the ball reaches the boundary. B) The ball doesn't collide with anything, it just disappears through the stand.
bulletUmpires look ridiculous, especially when signalling six.
bulletThe interchanges between movements such as turning to walk back to the bowler's mark are very jumpy, like from one frame, it advances 3 and moves half the width of the pitch(hard to explain, must see for yourself.)
bulletI hope this isn't the case in the full game, but in the demo, the bowlers the same deliveries every time I play, i.e. McGrath bowls a yorker, followed by good length outside off, followed by bouncer on off, every time. (could be a designer ploy to encourage buying the full game?)
bulletThe pitch, which is 98 overs old, isn't showing ANY signs of deterioration (could just be undeveloped part of game)
bulletInstant replays only show last 2 or 3 secs, not whole delivery's action (annoying for those big sixes and high catches)
bulletWhen a batsman goes out, he doesn't walk off, rather he is immediately replaced by the next batsman's model, often meaning that in runouts, a new batsman is slowing down after the run. I hope this gets better, because it is the only area in which this game is WORSE than C97ATE!

Those are all the bad points I can think of that haven't already been mentioned, now for the good stuff

bulletAside from afore-mentioned bat probs, the strokes are very realistic.
bulletUnlike Dan, I am able to hit just the right amount of twos and threes, especially considering it's the last two overs, and shots into the outfield SHOULD only get one ;)
bulletThrows from the outfield are realistically flat, unlike C97ATE.
bulletA good amount of stats are available in-game, and with the addition of worms etc. this will be an impressive aspect of the game.
bulletThe field placements seem to be good for the bowlers, i.e. Mark Waugh bowling off-spin in the last over has a packed on-side boundary. The fields also change depending on where you hit the ball (usually).
bulletI've yet to hear ANY advertising in the commentary! ;)
bulletThe commentary seems to be good, especially considering there will be 250megs of it in the full game! (only 10megs in demo)
bulletThe control system is VERY easy to use, whilst still incorporating most shots in the game( an 'improvise' button would've been cool for charging, playing reverse sweeps, paddles, etc.)
bulletUnlike in the EA games, it's very hard to run yourself out by accidentally pushing the run button (up in EA, enter in BLC, though can't be done once ball is dead)

P.S. Dan-About the cameras press space and select the camera through that menu; it should then stay that way for at least that entire delivery.

Asif Pesnani said on New Years Day 1999

Well it was probably one of the best games I have ever played. One fault I noticed was difficulty in running you are not sure whether there is a fielder charging at the ball or not. What they could do is that on the field setting window in the right bottom hand of the screen show the movement of the ball so we know whether to run or not.

Having played the demo briefly these are my early thoughts

bullet

The demo says you are chasing 224 when it is in fact 233!

bullet

There is no support for joypads or mouse at the moment.   Hopefully these will be added.

bullet

Can only play as England so can not try out bowling by playing as Australia.

bullet

The grass and actual pitch graphics look quite pixelated which I would not expect of a 3Dfx game.  That said the graphics are much clearer and superior to the Playstation version which they should be.

bullet

Batsmen if anything seem to run even slower than Playstation version.  Still very hard to hit 2 and I have never hit a 3.

bullet

Boundaries seem harder to score although it could be me not quite used yet to different timing.

bullet

Can easily switch camera views (7 in all) at any time but always switches to default camera when actually facing a delivery although if you are quick you can switch the camera and still play your shot.

bullet

Codemasters seem to have trapped the PrintScreen key so when I tried to grab in game shots it always put up a Loading screen.

I will play the demo more and it has whetted my appetite for the final game which is still scheduled for a January launch.

If you have downloaded and played the demo please send me your feedback of it.

Revised: Saturday, 16 March 2013.
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