August 28th, 2009, 13:10 Posted By: westy118
Ashes Cricket 2009
Published by Codemasters
Platform: PC, Wii, PS3, XBOX360 (version reviewed)
Well for those of you who enjoy cricket Codemasters has released Ashes 2009 just in time for the end of the series. If anyone in the gaming world is still bothering to read this review then you’ll be sad to hear that the game suffers in much the same way a movie tie-in game suffers. I have the distinct feeling that this games was rushed out to capitalise on the sports popularity for the summer.
There are some very nice touches in this game, when you first start it asks you to pick your international team and the menus are decked out in that teams colours hence forth. When you look at the menu screen you realise there really isn’t that many options -play cricket, legends and an online mode is about it in terms of playing the game, the rest are basically options. Within the play cricket menu there are four options - Ashes 2009, One Day, Test, and 20 Overs.
I chose the 20 Overs first simply because it was the closest thing to an arcade experience. The first thing I noticed when the game started was how poor the stadium looked, it was like something from the PS2, a 2D crowd and shoddy looking camera men. I went to bat first, holding down the left bumper or left trigger will chose if you’re batting off the front foot or back foot, and not touching either it will do it automatically. X=a defensive shot, A=attacking and B=a Loft shot(what you want if you’re smacking for a six), use the left analogue stick to aim your shot. The first bowl came in and I was out immediately, seems I had been holding down the B when all it really need was a tap. It’s all in the timing, you have to get it right or more often than not your gonna be out.
If your shot stays within the boundaries you have to choose whether to run or not, one tap of the B to run once(note do not keep tapping B, cause they’ll just keep running!) and a tap of A to stop.
I was soon out and it was my time to Bowl. Firstly you must choose where to place your fielders, a little over my head but I’d say cricket fans would enjoy this. When you’re bowling, choose where your aiming for and the bowler will begin his run up. A power meter will come up much like in golf, hit one of the face buttons(which are different types of bowls like inside, outside, slow and swing) when you want to stop it an away he bowls, Pretty simple.
Now I wanna talk about this games problem, I quite like the game play, but for me some of the animations are done so well it really lets the game down when there are ones that aren’t. It just feels like a few weeks more and they would’ve nailed all of it. For example it looks great when the bowler has a short run up, but in his longer runs ups he looks like a two year old who’s just deuced himself. The crowds look awful and the outfielders look hideous when diving for the ball. Some of the players don’t look anything like their real life counterparts and some even seem to suffer from big head syndrome.
Having said all that, I am well into playing an Ashes series and am enjoying it quite a lot, I’ve started to really think about where I’m placing my outfielders and it’s quite satisfying getting someone out, especially when playing on the harder difficulties, and smacking a six and watching the replay is great. There are also some good moments of tension too - the Umpire checking the video replays to see if you’re out or not is very well done, and the commentary hasn’t become annoying yet either which is a plus.
I can see there being problems with replay value, the lack of variety and the fact that there are only national teams and no leagues either hinders the game. It could really do with getting the IPL or county teams, World 20/20 or World Cup to enhance the one player experience.
Overall a worthwhile game if you’re a serious fan of cricket, worth renting for a weekend if you’re a casual fan, and you’re probably not even reading this review if you’re not!
3 out of 5
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