Commodore User


Cricket Suite
By Audiogenic
Commodore 64

 
Published in Commodore User #22

Cricket Suite

Supersoft's new release, exclusively previewed to Commodore User's cricket correspondent, has provided the excuse for a pixel and willow round-up of the available titles.

Old stalwarts are Tim Love's Cricket and CRL's Cricket 64, whilst the new pretender is Graham Gooch's Cricket. All three combine in some way simulation and strategy, however only Tim Love's and Graham Gooch's provide the extra element of arcade gameplay.

Cricket 64 is the simplest of the three. It allows you to choose teams and then proceeds with a bird's eye view of a randomly generated game. You are asked after each shot whether you wish to run (Y/N) and you answer depending on the position of the ball and the fielder who is activated. The game is thus lacking in variation and not really to be recommended because of its constricting limitations.

Tim Love's Cricket

The other two make definite attempts to provide as realistic an experience as can be digitally achieved. Gameplay and scoring is as close to the real thing as possible. Where they differ is in the quality of the finishing and the attention to detail.

Graham Gooch's Cricket attempts to provide you with a dose of the real game. It has two modes: simulation and arcade. With the former, you choose your sides and, on the information the computer already has about batting skill, bowling prowess and so on, a game will ensure that is as near to watching cricket as I could have thought possible.

Speed, atmosphere and run rate are all carefully imitated. Your only control is whether you wish to increase the aggression of the batsman or bowler. Otherwise you sit back and watch it unfold. It sounds a bit boring, but in fact it's so good as to be thoroughly absorbing. There is also an option to program your own team into the computer.

Tim Love's Cricket

For my own part I was more interested in the arcade potential of Supersoft's ame. And here is where comparisons can be drawn with Peaksoft's interpretation. When you bat in Tim Love's Cricket the bowler releases the ball and the screen scrolls to the other end where the batsman waits. On the lower skill level a dot shows the direction and pitch of the ball. You then move your batsman up and down the pitch. The ball tends to hit the bat which you simply move up or down. In comparison, in Graham Gooch's Cricket when the ball is bowled the batsman moves into position and his shot is determined by the timing of your strike upon the fire button. Good co-ordination will have your man cutting and pulling text-book style.

The games are also distinguishable in the field. Whereas Supersoft's version moves men towards the ball without you doing anything, Tim Love's Cricket goes through a rather laborious process of choosing a fielder with the joystick each time the ball is struck.

What really separates the games is the graphics. Tim Love's Cricket is by no means poor, but the care and quality exercised over Supersoft's game is far superior. In Tim Love's Cricket, the bowler is a blur of pixels as he runs up, whereas the stroke-making batsman in Graham Gooch is a smooth, fluid piece of graphics. It really is a joy to watch. The latter game also has sound along the lines of 'Howzat', and 'No ball'.

Tim Love's Cricket has proved very popular since it was launched and rightly so, but it'll have to step down now Graham Gooch's Cricket has arrived. Supersoft told their programmer they wanted a cricket game the equivalent of International Soccer and after twelve months' hard work, they got it.

Mike Pattenden

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