Codemasters has continued its unprecedented run of success with cricket title Brian Lara International Cricket 2005, with the game boosting its sales once more this week to secure the number one place for the fourth time.
The top three have remained strong in the UK charts, as Codemasters' Brian Lara has held its number one position in the UK, as did Activision's movie licenses, Madagascar, and Fantastic 4 in their respective two and three positions.
Codemasters' Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 has stepped up to the number one position in this week's UK sales charts, making it into the first cricket title ever to top the ranking since its origin in 1997.
The balance between attack and defence is always a difficult thing to get right in team games. In football, for example, you've got 11 players with different roles, but apart from a few tactical variations both teams are essentially competing for the same thing at the same time. Playing a team-based shooter like Counter-Strike is a similar equation; there's push and pull, but you can usually rely on consistency of personnel and technique.
To stick with CS, making cricket work as a game must be a bit like giving the Terrorists a stash of sub-machineguns and a lone Counter-Terrorist nothing but a riot shield - and telling him to defuse the bomb in-between being shot repeatedly and then having his bullets bounced back from all corners of the room. Imagine trying to balance that so both sides are having fun.
Swordfish Studios must be applauded, in which case, because Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 is decidedly entertaining and convincingly balanced - even if there are a few occasions when you feel like you're the bloke with the riot shield and someone just knifed you in the leg for good measure.
Codemasters has revealed that tit-loving cricket fans were very nearly in for an extra treat with Brian Lara International Cricket, thanks to the actions of one cheeky artist who's a big fan of glamour model Lauren Pope.
A playable demo of Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 is now available on Eurofiles. It's the one with commentary now and everything.
With just over a month to go until it trots out from the pavilion, Codemasters has revealed the various game modes that will make up Brian Lara International Cricket, and released a new promotional trailer that you can grab from the "downloads" sections of the official website.
You can find some brand new screenshots of the Xbox version of the game here. It's also due out on PS2 and PC - all three landing on July 21st.
As you might imagine, there's a mixture of quick-fire and more extensive gameplay options, ranging from Exhibition mode to customisation options that let you create your own cricketer using kit from real manufacturers and even custom teams, cups and leagues.
Codemasters has revealed a few more details about its forthcoming cricket title Brian Lara International Cricket, which is due out on PS2, Xbox and PC this July.