Learning curve & Training Nets: Very Good
Don't expect to win matches right away. There is a reason behind the training nets making an appearance in this game which is well made and is really useful. Spending a couple of hours on these gets you going on the two aspects of the game i.e. batting and bowling. You will learn to bowl precisely with respect to line and length which every bowler dreams of. You also get to learn to time your shots perfectly while batting. You may choose to play your shots early or late and the in-game voice comments during training helps you in these. Follow the tips given to you in the nets and playing the game becomes more challenging and exciting.
This is disappointing. Though it is much better than the previous versions, its nothing in comparison to the other EA Sports games or the games of the modern era. Players have blocky looks with no emotions, there's nothing distinguishable between the stadiums the game provides and the player movements are robotic. This game does not have the licenses for all the teams. As a result my favorite player looks totally different in the game which is a bit annoying. Replays are very well made with a T.V. style presentation and with lot of angles just like Fifa 2005 but you can't save them. They are wonderful to watch after you've played the ball right into the stands or you've got a batsman bowled with your spin bowling or when a batsman has been run out.
Sound & Commentary: Poor
This game doesn't make you feel like you are playing in a stadium. Lacks stadium ambiance completely. One would expect to hear trumpets blowing, drums beatings especially when you are playing in the Indian subcontinent or in the West Indies, but they are completely ignored. Occasionally, you will hear the crowds cheering over a boundary scored or on the fall of a wicket but even this are not consistent. A cricket game cannot be excellent minus a good commentary and that's where this game fails completely. For a change, I wished Richie Benaud and Jim Maxwell would be replaced by Geoffrey Boycott or by Chappell. But EA has retained them as commentators and their monotonic voices are very boring. Moreover, the commentary is erroneous and buggy to such an extent that it makes it insanely hilarious. For instance, once when I was bowling, I gave away 21 runs in 5 balls and Richie said that its turning out to be a good over for me. I couldn't stop laughing for a moment. The commentary is very badly made and needs a lot of improvement.
Gameplay and A.I. : Average
Well its time to deliver what you had learnt in the practice nets. Once you are through with the training, playing with the default controls is a lot more comfortable. There is no option to customize your controls but the default controller for the keyboard is easy to use. Also while bowling, the keys assigned to specific bowling variations are displayed. This makes bowling a lot easier. You may opt for manual or automatic fielding. The A.I. of this game is very poor. Just as I got used to this game I started beating every team and winning every match even on medium level. I could score more than 500 runs in 50 overs and bowl out even the best teams for a score of less than 100 which is unrealistic. The opposition would change the field layout for every delivery in a over. Also the wicket keeper would never run to collect the ball if it's on the pitch and would stand behind the wickets waiting for the ball.
Mutiplayer is possible only with 2 player co-operative play.
The menus are very well designed and easy to use. You can get started right away with a quick match or play for a cup tournament under the International and Domestic categories including the all-new Twenty20 tournament. You can now play with domestic teams and compete in England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Also there are a few options for display, sound and jukebox settings to play with. EA Cricket 2005 features the 'Create Player' menu wherein you can create your own player with customized looks, accessories and attributes.
EA has acquired full licenses from the Cricket Australia, ECB, NZ Cricket, the South African Cricket team while the other cricket games have none. If you are a die hard cricket fan, buy this game. It will keep you entertained for a while. If you don't know about cricket or you have other buying options please don't bother.