It%26rsquo;s Ashes time and the return of the cricketing competition for possibly sport%26rsquo;s smallest trophy: the Ashes urn. It looks a little silly being hoisted aloft, but who cares when you beat the Australians. Codies will be hoping you%26rsquo;ve caught the cricketing bug from the just-finished series with their timely title. It%26rsquo;s not the superb switch-hit for six of a game we hoped for, but it%26rsquo;s well worth going %26lsquo;over.%26rsquo;
The fully licensed kit, grounds and players for the Aussies and England is a solid opening partnership for the game while the other nations also feature for exhibition matches or scenarios. However without the licenses for these cricketers, you%26rsquo;ll have to decipher who%26rsquo;s who from their name-alikes. You control everything with the Wiimote %26ndash; and while rubbing it against your thigh to simulate adding shine to the ball is a nice gimmick, it quickly becomes wearing.
Matches against the AI are well balanced, while up to four of you can battle it out for a spot of multiplayer competition. But here comes the googly %26ndash; while it looks okay, Ashes 2009 hasn%26rsquo;t really advanced on from the Brian Lara International Cricket series. The same problems from that game remain: unintelligent, automated fielding, a lack of shot variety and dodgy collision detection meaning that you%26rsquo;re never quite sure if you%26rsquo;ll nick it, sky it for a dolly of a catch or smash it for six.
The cricket sounds that emanate from the Wiimote and easy-to-customise field settings are nice touches. But overall, Ashes Cricket 2009 falls short of the boundary between average sim and comprehensive champion.
Aug 20, 2009