It’s Ashes time and the return of the cricketing competition for possibly sport’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’ve caught the cricketing bug from the just-finished series with their timely title. It’s not the superb switch-hit for six of a game we hoped for, but it’s well worth going ‘over.’
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’ll have to decipher who’s who from their name-alikes. You control everything with the Wiimote – 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 – while it looks okay, Ashes 2009 hasn’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’re never quite sure if you’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