The Ashes have concluded this year, so we’ll guess you’re swilling down the champagne in various toasts to England’s improbable victory. If you just don’t care about cricket, why are you even reading this? Go on, piss off out of it.
Now that’s taken care of, the remaining lovers of willow and leather can ruminate on the following words. The next game in the much-loved Brian Lara series, Ashes Cricket 2009 is both an attempt to revive a forgotten brand and also a shameless effort to cash in on the hype surrounding the famous series. We can safely say that Ashes 2009 is the best cricket game money can buy, but we could equally say that there are a number of issues that still remain from the previous game (Brian Lara International Cricket 2007).
Some things have definitely been tidied up and it’s now a more accessible game than before. Tutorials are provided by Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne through the Legends training mode, where you go through a series of challenges from basic batting and bowling to advanced techniques and strategies. By the time you get about halfway through these, you’ll be itching to just get on with a proper game.
When it’s time to get started you’ll find the usual raft of limited overs matches and full-on five-day Tests are available, as well as the Ashes itself. Graphics and presentation veer between good and drab, with the crowd looking rather sloppy, which is a shame.
The gameplay is an improvement, with a more realistic feel to the batting, bowling and fielding. However, the AI still has a tendency to run itself out stupidly far too often and the continued lack of proper edges behind the wicket mean having a large number of slips is often completely pointless. We can appreciate it would be difficult to get thin edges simulated accurately, but without them, well, the game just isn’t cricket. Nevertheless, Ashes Cricket 2009 is a decent game of cricket, marred by some classic issues. If you’d sorted out the persistent problem with the edges and runouts, you’d have got a much higher score, Codies.
Aug 25, 2009