Brian Lara Cricket (PlayStation 1, 1998) Brian Lara Cricket was released just before I got a PlayStation. Because as I have said before I wanted to try and collect a game from every sport because I noticed that this one had received good reviews I decided to buy it to experience what a cricket computer game is like. Brian Lara who endorsed the game is of course the West Indies cricketer who holds the record for the highest individual score in a test innings. It does take some time to adjust to how the game works, there are of course several tactics that you can apply and there are lots of different shots on offer. It is very satisfying though when you finally get the hang of it and you start to be able to start knocking the stumps over or hitting the runs with the best of them. The game also features all of the main test players and nations of the time, and it is up to you whether you want to play just a quick one-off game under the floodlights, go through a test series or even play a world tournament to try to become the champions. There are also various grounds from around the world featured so you can play the game in various conditions which will really test your abilities.
Now I must admit that sometimes I do like to use cheats, but only if I get completely stuck, or if I read about some that will enhance the game in an interesting way. Among the cheats available in this game were using an oversized ball, being able to have superhuman batsmen who would hit a six almost every time, making the stumps unbreakable, and having the fielders develop butterfingers when they are about to take an easy catch, which can make all manner of amusingly odd things happen.
Also enhancing the game is commentary by Jonathan Agnew and Geoffrey Boycott, who have covered cricket a lot on TV and radio over the years. Their comments definitely add to the game, although people had noted that they do end up rather frequently saying “it’s in the air, and it’s caught” when nothing like that has happened. There are also great sound effects, action replays, and umpires waving their arms about.
Because I enjoyed playing this game, I also bought a sequel to Brian Lara Cricket on the PlayStation 2 about five years later, and again it is a very good game which definitely gives me a feel of what it is like to be able to play the game properly and understand the tactics because when I had a go in the school playground I was completely useless.