Sunday 13 December 2015

Graham Gooch World Class Cricket (Amiga review)

Developer: Gary James Gray
Publisher: Audiogenic
Released: 1993

Graham Gooch World Class Cricket is a sports simulation that was also released on the Atari ST and IBM PC.

There's ten international teams but you can make your own and save them. Unfortunately only single matches can be played but you do have lots of control over your squad by selecting their Batting Style, Bowling Style and Average Runs. Match settings are also available including Period (between 1-5 days), Innings (1-2 per match) and Overs (20-90 or unlimited). Bowling is simple as you move the cursor to your desired location and waggle the joystick to build up speed. Different types of bowlers are here such as Off Spinners, Swingers and Fast Bowlers and some allow you to change the path of the ball. Unfortunately the constant joystick waggling can be tiring and playing the minimum 20 overs is very taxing on the arm. Fielding is automatic and the computer doesn't always select the best player to chase after the ball; on top of this, better positioned teammates sometimes stand still! You also have no control over which side of the protected area you want to throw to and players make ridiculous dives when they're nowhere near the ball! Batting is intuitive and involves moving the batsmen's feet to lie up with the ball before hitting the fire button to swing the bat. At the same time you can hold the joystick in one of eight directions which correlates to the type of shot you want to perform (i.e. Hooks, Straight Drives, Leg Glance). It works well and it's enjoyable lining up your shots and using timing to counteract the strength and spin of your opponent's bowl. The SFX are disappointing as they mainly consist of muffled yelps from the crowd that sound like a toilet bowl flushing! There's also no ambient noise so the atmosphere feels a bit flat.

Graham Gooch World Class Cricket plays well enough but it's unremarkable and comes across as a rather bland simulation of the sport. It's just a bit too stuffy and in my opinion realism was clearly the developer's main focus rather than outright fun.

Random trivia: Two updates were also released on the Amiga; Graham Gooch's Second Innings and Graham Gooch World Class Cricket - Test Match Special Edition.

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