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Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 Review

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Cricketing heaven on a console near you

★★★★★

Over a decade after its glorious Mega Drive debut – and five years since the hit and run franchise last graced a console – Brian Lara’s International Cricket has finally bowled onto the PS2. But while most fans would have liked to get their hands on Lara long before Sony’s next-gen behemoth appeared on the horizon, BLIC2005 will still be remembered as one of the PS2’s most accomplished sports sims.

As in previous editions, BLIC2005 knocks its rivals for six by paying close attention to bowling and fielding; while many cricket sims have players simply hurling the ball and hoping one of their fielders will catch it, BLIC2005 allows you to vary your bowling techniques and use fielders tactically, creating a tense, complex game where only those who hone their skills will reap the rewards.

Intelligent commentary from the likes of Jonathan Agnew and David Gower, a compelling multiplayer mode that supports four-player action, and all the official strips and players under licence from the International Cricket Council also help make BLIC2005 essential, but it’s the chance to recreate the Test Match of 1882 that led to the creation of The Ashes (in a black-and-white newsreel-style, of course) that will have most fans parting with their cash.

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