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January 22, 2007
Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
28/3/2007AtariCodemasters1-4$89.95

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The in-game viewpoint with HUD.
While Australia has been killing England in the cricket this Summer (in particular the 5-0 whitewash of the Ashes Test Series) for the majority of cricket playing countries the focus will be well and truly on the West Indies this March and April with the World Cup set to keep us glued to our TV's for several weeks. To coincide with that tournament Codemasters are just putting the finishing touches on Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 (which will be known as Brian Lara International Cricket 2007 in other parts of the world).

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Official bats are in the game.
The great news for cricket fans is that Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 features the official ICC World Cup 2007 license as well as the official Cricket Champions Trophy 2006 license meaning that over 400 real player names and likenesses have been used in these tournaments. The game will include One Day Internationals, Test Matches, Tournaments, Double Wicket Quickmatches and even Historical clashes.

In terms of actual gameplay there have been some improvements. Players can now move all around the crease to position themselves for the perfect shot while the developers have also included the sweep as a playable shot. Fielding AI has also been beefed up while there is now wear on the ball which affects how it acts in the air when being bowled, and off the pitch. I guess the most important thing to remember is that Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2005 was one of the most entertaining cricket games of all time and with futher improvements and refinements we expect this title to be even better. Compared to Electronic Arts' titles this will be a Mona Lisa.

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He won't catch it - he's a pom!
The game will further increase its level of authenticity with a multitude of officially licensed bats, balls, pads, arm-guards, gloves, helmets, wicket-keeper pads and gloves from renowned cricket equipment specialists such as Kookaburra, MRF, Dukes, Gray Nicholls, GM (Gunn & Moore), Morrant, Newbery, Slazenger and Albion.

One major disappointment for PS2 owners is that we won't be getting any online play at all. The Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game will include online modes so you can set up tournaments, compete in matches, or even have up to 8 people spectating a match at a time. While PS2 owners miss out on this the game will support up to 4 players at a time in a variety of game modes.

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That should be a four...
As you can see the graphics in this game are pretty nice. The PS2 is being pushed pretty hard late in its life and this game, while not vastly superior to the previous game has shown some improvement with hundreds of players now accurately modeled and stadiums recreated. Commentary is being provided by Bill Lawry, Tony Greig, Jonathan Agnew, David Gower and Ian Bishop.

Codemasters' Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 looks like being the best cricket game on the PS2 - and possibly of all time. Electronic Arts are still floundering with their very poor efforts so it's great to see Codemasters continue their series beyond a one off title - which it may well have been had it not sold in solid enough numbers. Keep an eye out for this game in late March - just as the World Cup kicks off in the Caribbean. Go Aussies!