Ashes Cricket 2009 (Wii) Review

By James Temperton 06.09.2009 13

Review for Ashes Cricket 2009 on Wii

Test cricket is a game for purists. Not that it need be stuffy and boring; it is great theatre, great spectacle and great fun. Sadly, it always struggles to make the transition into being a good videogame. Numerous attempts at making 'good' cricket games have failed, resulting in disappointing hack and slash affairs that are simpler than Twenty20 and strange players called Flantiff and Streuss. Ashes Cricket 2009, rather irritatingly, only serves to continue the trend.

What's immediately obvious about this game is that it is somewhat rushed. Graphically it looks like most the players have been fed through a blender and the crowd is barely even two-dimensional, let alone the full three. The whole thing just looks awful. Grainy, blocky, ugly and with poor animation to boot. The presentation is sloppy too, with big ugly buttons and turgid, washed out colour schemes.

But I could forgive it looking rough as a dog if it played well. Alas, it doesn't. Whilst the developers have clearly had the first thought of Wii controls = waggling, they never move beyond it. Just about everything in this game can be achieved by furiously shaking the Wii-mote at sort of the right moment. This doesn't require skill, this doesn't require any ability and this doesn't create any sense of fun...at all. The whole gameplay mechanic is flawed in that shots are directed using the d-pad, the only shots you can play are a lofted shot, a 'normal' shot and a defensive shot. No cutting, pulling or sweeping...just really badly ani-mated slogs over mid-wicket for six or four.

A quick run-down of the how game fits together then. In batting, A is a defensive shot, B is a lofted shot and simply waggling is an ordinary shot. You direct the ball on the D-pad and shuffle about your crease with plus and minus. Bowling, you shine the ball by waggling furiously and tediously (before every sodding delivery), you place the ball by pointing at the pitch and pressing A, then bowl either a quick ball (B) or a slower ball (A), you add swing or spin to the delivery by twisting the Wii remote sideways when you waggle it about to deliver the ball. It owes about as much to cricket as a prostitute drenched in lukewarm custard.

Screenshot for Ashes Cricket 2009 on Wii

The whole game just lacks any sense of depth. There is no variation in the shots you can pull off, no variation in bowling (apart from fast, slow and 'swing' ) and the less said about the fielding controls the better. Simply put, there aren't any, it's all computer controlled and it is all rubbish. The computer is also very stupid, it drops catches, jogs instead of runs, ignores the ball when it rolls past them and the bowlers, for the most part, refuse to field off their own deliveries. This all makes for a hugely frustrating and limiting experience.

A good example of how 'simple' this game is comes in the form of the 'perfect delivery'. This is achieved by bowling three 'really good' deliveries to give the bowler enough confidence to bowl the 'perfect' ball. This ball, if placed correctly, will nearly always take a wicket. That's another problem as well; no matter how much I played and how well I bowled, I could keep the score down but very rarely could I take a wicket.

Whilst the focus of the game is clearly on Ashes Test cricket, you can also play 50 over, Twenty20 and 'Double Wicket' cricket. There are also various other cricket nations avail-able for selection, even if they aren't licensed and don't have any of the right names or, in most cases, even vague likenesses. You can play in various different stadiums and in overcast or sunny conditions and not much else. I'm really struggling to think of positive things to say about this game. Yes, it might be sort of fun to have a slog against some mates if you have enough Wii-motes, but there is so little skill and so much goes for six it is just frustrating and tedious. A real shame.

Screenshot for Ashes Cricket 2009 on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, but I was expecting more than this. The whole package is just lazy and doesn't really owe anything to the game of cricket. Graphically it wouldn't look out of place on the N64, the controls are barely functional and it just plain stinks.

Developer

Gusto

Publisher

Codemasters

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I think almost any game based upon a sport that isn't global is doomed to failure. I imagine the budget and time allowance for this game was pitifully small, and necessarily so considering it will not sell anywhere outside of the UK and Australia. It's unfortunate. I'd actually like a good cricket game. I love baseball, and I hear the two are atleast similar to some small degree. I actually have a bat and ball from a vacation over there. Playing a video game is often times the easiest way to learn the rules.

Nice review James. Smilie

Let's just hope the rumour of EA's Cricket game coming to Wii are true, and that it takes full advantage of the MotionPlus technology. Cricket is one of those sports that seems perfect for Wii...sadly, as this review shows, more than a little time and effort still needs to go in to make the final product decent!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

huzzah! Cricket!
Baseball but dedly :O
well looks alright

[/img]
John:
I..I can't watch porn. My Mommy finds out
:}

Jacob4000 said:
I think almost any game based upon a sport that isn't global is doomed to failure. I imagine the budget and time allowance for this game was pitifully small, and necessarily so considering it will not sell anywhere outside of the UK and Australia.

Thing is, the XBOX 360 version is actually pretty decent...ish. Good graphics, decent controls, well put together. The Wii version is just utter trash. Real shame.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

I played the PS3 version, and was entertained by it. Shame they didn't put the effort in on the Wii version.

I knew it would be shite as soon as they confirmed no motion plus support. The wii remote on its own just cant handle the small details. Should have included classic controller support.

Lrrr said:
I played the PS3 version, and was entertained by it. Shame they didn't put the effort in on the Wii version.

I agree the 360/Ps3 versions were not a bad adaptation of cricket. Sure some things were shit but for a fairly small sport IP, it played out nicely

meeto_0 said:
I knew it would be shite as soon as they confirmed no motion plus support. The wii remote on its own just cant handle the small details. Should have included classic controller support.

CC support would have been one option, definitely. The other would have been to make the game less 'serious', a bit like how EA successfully implemented its 'All-Play' idea into games like FIFA and Madden in recent years.

However, there will indeed be more cricket from Codemasters. Why? Well, the Wii version has been out-selling the other editions here in the UK thanks to the Wii-focused advertising campaign. Another Third Party success on Wii is definitely a good thing!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

What a missed opportunity!

jesusraz said:

However, there will indeed be more cricket from Codemasters. Why? Well, the Wii version has been out-selling the other editions here in the UK thanks to the Wii-focused advertising campaign. Another Third Party success on Wii is definitely a good thing!

That's going to be a whole lot of disappointed people. Whoops!

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Sadly a lot of the casual folk that pick it up probably won't know better...

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Im not sure this game selling well is a good thing. There was a time when a crap game mostly sold like crap. But the wii allows for crappy games to grow simply because a few tossers are filmed having \'fun\' playing the shite game.

Does this in turn produce better games or does it allow devs to be continuously lazy

( Edited 07.09.2009 17:51 by meeto_0 )

There was a time when a crap game mostly sold like crap.

I don't think this was ever true. There isn't really any correlation between sales and how good a game is (maybe a minor one); the only factor is how many people want to buy it. Crappy games have always sold well across all platforms for a variety of different reasons.

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