We've seen a lot of efforts in recent years from the game developers to make a pure simulation video game of the sport. Many of them have been successful like Brian Lara International Cricket 2007 and EA's most addictive Cricket 2007. But after the last releases from EA and Codemasters, no one looked back to the gentlemen's game and sure the gamers were far more than disappointed. EA Cricket 2007 got the custom IPL patches from the individuals, but it wasn't enough to excite us about such a buggy game. Now it's time to get your hands on the new Major release based on the Australia and England epic rivalry - the title is Ashes Cricket 2009. So let's get started and explore the game as much as we can...................
The game uses some new cool looking graphics and probably the best since Brian Lara International Cricket 2007. The players look so real and the clothing is done very well. Talking about the kits, these things have just got awesome. Everything is so good to see, better textured and the best available at the time. Gloves, Helmets, Pads and arm-guards are all the things you look for and they are just great. The Stadiums also look realistic and the scaling is also real, same as the originals in Australia, England, and New Zealand etc. Grass on the grounds is the thing to look for and it is so well detailed for the Indian sub-continent. The viewers are for the very first time used in 3D models and they can be called the true fans as the sounds and animations are just satisfying.
The gameplay is just fantastic and never seen before in any of the titles. It offers full 3600 freedom to play your shots in any direction. A particular shot hitting area in triangle shape appears that you can rotate in any direction to play the shot and choosing front foot shot and back foot shot will make it get even thinner so that the accuracy is good between the gaps in the field settings. This is just amazing to see yourself clearing the gaps well and getting runs easily. But that's not the real deal as the timing is also important. Shots with early or late timings will go straight to the fielders and send the batsman to the pavilion. The shots are updated and the animations are also appealing. But some shots like playing the back foot six hitting shots on full length balls and also playing front foot on short balls is so stupid to see n such a good game. It ruins all the fun to see some unbelievable shots taking place like these. Playing the game on easy or normal level is good for beginners. But the experienced players might kill the bowling side on such difficulty levels.The most enjoying thinhg I saw in the whole game is Sehwag's Upper Cut and it is just the most awesome thing rightly done. The sizes of the stadiums also differ and some like Harare Cricket ground help you clear bondaries easily, may be six on every ball.
Even I easily manage to hit any of the bowlers for more than 15 runs an over to maintain my run-rate healthy and get jaw-dropping scores in limited over games of 5, 10 and T-20. The aggressive shots give you full advantage to clear the field in early overs and it's good to see that they are not a six every time, so great optimization in the gameplay. Advanced shots to the spinner are so lovely but some unreal shots exist in the list as well. So for me, batting is just a walk in the park.
Game uses some high tech stuff like Hawk-Eye, wagon-wheel, delivery graph and other things that current matches on international level have offered. So the technology is up-to-date. This is a very good thing except one thing and that is the game uses Hawk Eye more than too much and it's just crazy.
Don't want to talk about bowling as it isn't any fun to bowl to the CPU batsmen. They do a lot of silly things like getting you for a six on any delivery and then getting run out without a reason.........So many crazy things ruin the gameplay and you better simulate the innings to get the match result. Type of deliveries offered are just good and if you're playing with someone else, you're going to love seeing his face tensed to face the next surprise. Adjusting pace and swing on the bowl makes you the winner because most dismissals take place due to the inaccurate shot timings. Multiplayer allows you to get your hands on others waiting for some punishments of fours and sixes. So to be said, Co-op game play and Multiplayer is just fun and give you 100% of the game.
The fielding, this time its semi-auto as the catches are your responsibility. When a shot goes n the air, the ball appears with red, yellow and green colour combinations. The red means that the catch will be dropped, the yellow means it is a 50-50 chance and the green is 100% sure. Hitting the ENTER button gives you the result according to your timing. The CPU fielders on the other hand is a great fun . The fielders will drop your catches frequently in the game and it is done too much. Fielders look so silly to drop that many catches and what else can make you laugh!
All the players have their own fielding attributes and gauges. Best fielders get more slow motion time and green circle on the ball longer depending on their customization.
The game also offers customization of your team players depending on their individual performances in the matches. Hitting a definite number of Good-Ideal shots, boundaries, catches and wickets earn you extra points to make your player better.
There are some pace errors for different bowlers and the medium pacers look like spin bowlers on many occasions. Getting custom profiles from other users on the internet will solve the problem for you as it usually happens in the games because of developer's ignorance. Licensing is another issue for Cricket games as the game only offers Australian and England players with their actual faces and other profile elements. The number of stadiums is very few. More and more, English county and Australian Domestic Cricket is not in the game, so no way to think about IPL.
Sound was the part left, to be honest - this section is just fine and to be left untouched.
It's a game full of fun, bugs, simulation errors turning into imaginary stuff etc.
But overall - Cricket is Cricket and that's what makes its lovers play this game so much and for unlimited hours together. For me - its 7.5/10.