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August 30 2007
Ricky Ponting 2007 Pressure Play - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
27/9/2007AtariCodemastersIR Gurus1-2$69.95

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The game looks pretty nice actually.
Well the footy season is almost over for another year (it is for me as an Essendon supporter at least!), and we now move into the cricket season. In March 2007 we saw the magnificent Ricky Ponting Internation Cricket 07 released on PS2, and now Codemasters are set to bring the franchise to the PSP this September. Ricky Ponting 2007 Pressure Play (or Brian Lara 2007 Pressure Play as it will be known in territories outside Australia) includes much the game gameplay as its PS2 brother but adds some all-new and exclusive features to this PSP title.

Thanks to the official licenses Ricky Ponting 2007 Pressure Play allows you to play as all the starts of World Cricket in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 game mode. In fact the game includes 16 licensed international teams, 240 licensed players, and 4 officially licensed World Cup stadiums. The good news is that the developers (who happen to be Australia's own IR Gurus) have updated the stats for players and teams given the amount of time since the PS2 title was released and that the World Cup is now well and truly over.

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Let's hope it also moves well!
The big feature of this game is the all new and exclusive "Pressure Play" mode. This mode offers a series of challenges which covers every aspect of the sport. From easy 'hit-a-six' challenges to difficult 'one-ball left-to-win' situations, Ricky Ponting 2007 Pressure Play allows the player to train and learn the sport of cricket via specific objectives. There are 17 unique missions to master ranging from Knowledge, Winners, Classic Matches, Masters and 'Googly' categories.

In terms of general gameplay you can now edit any preset field rather than only editing a custom field while the developers are promising an 'Enhanced AI system' which the developers claim will make for a far more authentic and exciting cricket experience when playing against the CPU. One can only hope that the developers also bump up the overall difficulty level which was set far too low for the PS2 title.

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We'll say that's Daniel Vettori
Ricky Ponting 2007 Pressure Play also features multi-player through the PSP's Wi-Fi connectivity. Two players can compete in a one-on-one ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 warm-up match. As there has been no mention of Game Sharing from Atari or Codemasters we must assume that each player will need a copy of the game in their system.

Graphics in the game are also pretty solid. Not only have player likenesses been reproduced but the game includes instand Hawk-Eye access so you can analyse every ball of the match and will use enhanced TV styled camera angles for authenticity, replays and in-game stats.

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Not a good time to go for a quick single.
Time will tell if this game is worth your time and effort and we certainly hope that Codemasters have listened to comments from many that the PS2 game released earlier this year was way too easy. This game is being developed in Melbourne at IR Gurus - a company who developed the brilliant Heroes of the Pacific title on PS2, but also the rather poor AFL Premiership titles for Sony. At least in terms of features - including the new Pressure Play game mode - and visuals this PSP version looks to be hitting the right notes. Expect Ricky Ponting 2007 Pressure Play to be released in late September - just as the cricket season gets underway for Summer here in Australia.