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I'm a huge cricket fan and we've just bought a Wii, so I was pretty excited about the prospect of this game arriving, despite reading varied reviews about it online. We actually bought it on eBay for £10 plus delivery, and I see it's available, used on Amazon, for about a tenner, too. Much more if you buy it new. Don't buy it.
What Can You Do?
Well, it promises lots. You can play as an individual, as a team, and you can bat or bowl, you can play in various formats of the game, eg exhibition matches, tutorials, The Ashes itself. So far, so good. And it features voice overs from some old favourites such as Jonathan Agnew and Ian Botham.
But it's just not very much fun. The thing about the Wii games we've tried so far (such as Wii Sports resort and the Wii fit package) is that they're fun to play. They make you smile. The controls and instructions are intuitive. For me, the Wii is supposed to make you feel like a child again, (but in my case a grown up child who wants to be fitter and lose some weight...) And this Ashes game just doesn't do that. It wasn't clear to me, in tutorial mode, how to navigate through the different options. I had to try different things until something worked. Bowling required some skill and was quite enjoyable once I got the hang of it, whereas the batting option is extremely poor. I would have thought the Wii remote would be the perfect 'bat' (it doubles well as a baseball bat/ golf club/ canoe paddle), so why not a bat? Instead, this is just not techy or challenging enough. You just swing the remote any old how and hope for the best as far as I can see. The game really misses a trick. What a shame.
I'm really disappointed with this game. I've tried and failed to enjoy it. Stick Cricket (free online) is much more fun and I wouldn't waste your money on this. I'm hoping that perhaps after our victory in the current Ashes series, a new and much better game will be brought out. In the mean time, I'll stick to Stick Cricket. Sigh.
Ashes cricket 2009 is as you might expect a cricketing game for the Nintendo Wii loosely based around the 2009 ashes series in England. Now there was quite some hype around this game when it came out, as people had been petitioning Nintendo to come up with a cricket game on the Wii with websites set up to this end, so this game has a lot to live up to.
The game itself is released by codemasters, who are responsible for most of the cricketing games across many consoles over the past number of years, so this all augers well for the game itself. It cost me £25 when it was released from Play.com, however I believe that you can now pick it up around £10-£15 in many high street stores as well as online.
The game itself is very straightforward to play, with batting merely being a case of swinging the Wii remote and selecting whether you wish to hit the ball in the air, or keep it along the ground - this is the risk and reward scenario, as keeping it low minimises the chances of being out, but lessens the number of runs you can score, whereas airborne shots yield higher runs, but being caught is a big possibility. I have to say I was slightly disappointed by the batting element of the game. Being an former village cricketer myself, I was hoping that a bit more skill would have been included here, such as angling the Wii remote to play different shots, but this isn't really the case. I think that this has been done to make the game more playable and enjoyable to all players, however I personally think that they have lost some of the true cricketing fans by doing this.
Bowling on the other hand is actually quite good in terms of skill, with fast bowlers, swingers and spinners all included with differing ways of controlling the ball. Shaking the Wii remote for example helps to shine the ball, and thus create more swing, and rotating the Wii remote as you bowl determines how much turn or swing that you get and which way you want it to move. It is still very straightforward to learn, but definitely a bit more in it for the purists here.
There are several different game options, however I did find them slightly limited to be honest. Firstly I should point out that the game focuses entirely on international cricket, and there is no way of customising players, so you are stuck with the squads that come with the game. Secondly there are only 8 teams, so no Bangladesh or Zimbabwe, or any of the associated nations (Ireland, Scotland, Holland etc), and only England and Australia have the rights to the players names, so the other teams have names close to the real thing but not quite, which spoils things slightly. Also there are no hidden options to unlock such as new grounds, or new scenarios, so what you see at the start are what you have to play with. The ashes mode itself is OK, you play through the 2009 ashes series, as you would expect. The other options are quick mode, where you select the number of overs and the teams involved and just play, which is also OK, (overlooking the silly player names!!!) There is also a tutorial, which is really unnecessary as the game play is very easy to pick up, and there are various difficulty settings, however Village level is ridiculously easy, and it is quite possible for instance to declare England's first innings at 600-2 off 30 overs on the first day of the test match, which lacks a little bit of realism in my opinion. Also no game is interrupted by rain, which is also unrealistic, and it would have been good if weather conditions could change the conditions of the pitch, as this would also have added some more realism to the game. There is also a scenarios mode, where you have to perform a certain task, ie hit 3 boundaries in an over or survive for a length of time, some of which are quite challenging, but as I said with nothing to unlock, you feel there isn't much point after a while.
The graphics on this game get a big thumbs up to be honest, no jerkiness, or fuzziness, and everything seems to behave as it should, and to go along with that the audio is also very good, with commentary provided by the voice of Test match special on Radio 4LW Jonathan Agnew as well as Sir Ian Botham, Tony Greig, Ian Bishop and Shane Warne, which actually feel like it adds to the game, which some of the older cricketing games don't where the audio is completely unrelated to what had just transpired.
To summarise, this is quite an entertaining game to play with your friends, but the single player options are very limited. Also if you are a serious cricket fan, you may be disappointed that the game isn't quite as technical as it could be, especially the batting element. Saying that if you can pick it up for a tenner somewhere, you can't really go wrong, and it will provide a few hours of good entertainment.
This review is also posted on ciao.co.uk under the same username.
After I watched the T.V advert for this game it looked very good so I decided to buy it, not just for me but also as a family game. In the advert it looked like a very fun game to play together and for a while it was really good but it got a little bit boring. The commentary especially just said the same things over and over, although I must admit after you first get the game it becomes very addictive but it gradually starts to wear away because I think there is a limit on how much you can do on ashes cricket 2009. The controls are quite hard to get the hang of at first but there are very helpful tutorials you can do and after you do this the game becomes a whole lot easier! The graphics are quite good, it looks very clear and because u can wave the wii remote around like a cricket bat which seems very realistic. Its just a shame that they don't use a wide range of commentary but apart from that it is quite a good game. Some people may think that it could be a very long game and to answer that it is! but the good thing is that you can save the game in the middle of a test match. if you are not into the test match version you can choose a shorter one day version or 20/20.
Finally I would like to round up that it is a good game that can be very addictive but the commentary is very repetitive but you can always put the tv on mute and get maximum enjoyment out of the game.
hope this helps
I was excited about buying this game and playing it so got it for 24.99 of Amazon.co.uk. Now my first impressions were after seeing the graphics were this was going to be the best cricket game yet to have been made on any console to play.
Do not get me wrong the graphics on this game are simply amazing it has to be said! The players look very realistic mostly Flintoff and the England cricketers who look very like them selves in the game. The pitch looks fantastic in the game so in terms of graphics the game looks perfect.
Now with the Nintendo Wii you obviously use your remote controller to play this game. I just feel the shots you take in the game are not doing so well with the game play. The first thing I had problems with was trying to hit the ball for a six. It is very easy to mistime your shot when playing with the controller and this leads to you being stumped out!
Something else I dislike about the game is the commentary in the game! They repeat too many lines and also when you get caught out it takes them around 5 seconds before they confirm you are out. It is easy to play on the easiest level but still taking shots with the Wii Remote controller for me are not fitting well.
I tried this game with friends and we all ended up turning it off. There is no other cricket game on the Wii apart from this right now sadly. I hope the next game is much better done with the game play side.
I bought this game on Saturday 22nd August and sold it on Ebay on Sunday 23rd, It was played for an hour and a half and that was too long in my opinion!
I was so excited for this game coming out because I have been playing cricket games since the Sega megadrive and i've loved every version of Brian Lara cricket etc.
I really enjoyed playing this game......in 1998 which this version is an exact replica of from the playstation.
Cricket games have evolved through the years but the makers do not seem to have used an updated version and this game plays like ones from 10 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I understand that the graphics on the wii are not a strong point and I was fully prepared for that.
Without understanding the ins and outs of game making, I would hazard a guess that the makers of the game got their hands on an old game and cobbled it with the wii control system (over a weekend)
When you play the wii, you expect the motion control system to be lifelike like bowling and golf games but this game does not use the controllers in that way. The controller does not replicate how cricket is played in the slightest.
There was a quite a clamour for a cricket game for the Wii, with there being a site wiiwantcricket.com petitioning for a while for cricket to be given the Wii treatment, given the way that the Wii is controlled compared with other consoles. I'd played EA Sports' offerings on the PC in the past and was semi convinced and had played one of the Brian Lara cricket games. All of which were a far cry from the keyboard pounding of bowling in Graham Gooch's Test Match Cricket - the cricket game I cut my teeth on for the BBC Master in the late 80s (I think the game itself was already past its sell-by date when I bought it!) For the non-Wii owners, Ashes Cricket 2009 is also available on other consoles, but I am reviewing only the Wii version. I picked it up on Amazon along with an order of books - and paid 27.78 - RRP is 29.99.
I can't profess to be much of a gamer so possibly my review might reflect this. I look for a game that is easy to pick up, that allows you to play it "out of the box" and for you to get into it before understanding the intracacies - a bit like cricket then in other words... As with any Ashes tie-in you can bet your bottom dollar that the main aim is ultimately to win the Ashes (and ideally 5-0 winning every game by 10 wickets and/or an innings). Before you rush into wanting to vanquish the old enemy, it is worth cutting your teeth on the various other game modes. I like the game because there are enough possibilities with it to have a bit of fun playing it, although a cricket purist might be disappointed at the fact that there are only ten grounds, 8 international teams, and apparently no way of customising new players, having yourself playing for the England team, and the fact that it focusses on only international cricket. Also there are no add-ons e.g. being able to unlock a new stadium for completing a certain challenge, or to reply Ashes Tests of yesteryear - e.g. could you also bowl Australia out for under 130 to ensure England victory at Headlingley after having to follow on?
Firstly there is exhibition mode, where you can play a simple game (i.e. a friendly) against the console or up to three more friends. I've only played on my own - friends don't tend to visit at 3am on a Friday night after a Dicken's Cider. But it is good that there is a multiplayer option. I played a few games of this to get me going and there were assorted tips along the way to help me learn the game - albeit not as quickly as had I headed straight for the tutorials. One thing I did like was the "double wicket" mode - where up to 4 people can play and you each control one cricketer. To increase the fun there are different scoring modes (as per pairs cricket) including hit and run (you lose a run if you don't run!) and high score (where boundaries count double but where you lose ten runs for getting out).
Scenarios mode: you chose one of the eight international teams, and for each one there are 7 scenarios (i.e. one against each of the other seven international teams). This is a telling statement - the fact that there are only 8 teams (England and Australia - using correct player names, and then West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka that use names close to the real thing e.g. having a West Indian captain called Craig Golle (Chris Gayle perchance?)) meaning that not all ICC full members are included (bad luck Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) and the leading associates are not included - which is a shame that you can't chose Scotland, Ireland or Holland for example. Some of the scenarios are quite easy to complete (e.g. three sixes in an over for a single batsman - lots of "B" shots (hitting B lofts a shot, A is along the ground)). Some require greater application - e.g. not losing a wicket for a certain number of overs, making a certain partnership.
Ashes Mode: I think this speaks for itself. You can play the whole Ashes series at the grounds used in the 2009 series.
Tutorial Mode: Useful as a way of finding out how to play the game (if the instruction booklet is not adequate).
So what is the actual playing experience like? Batting I got into very quickly as really it just involves timing and knowing where you want to place the ball and knowing when to run in the event that you do not smite another boundary (I did find I was racking up 14 an over without trying very hard after only a few overs). With running the good feature is that by shaking the WiiRemote you can tell the batsmen to run faster - i.e. If you want them to go for a second run. Fielding was good - no real involvement unless you want to set the field to a non-standard formation. I did play with about 6 bat/pad fielders - and a forward defensive sees them dive all over the pitch looking a catch - amusing the first time but a slight bug. Bowling took longer to master, there are options to bowl seam and spin, and by bowling a succession of three "green" (i.e. Good) deliveries you can bowl an automatic perfect ball. Rotating the remote allows you to swing the ball (for seamers) and spin the ball (for spinners). One good thing about the manual is that there is little cricket terminology in the whole game - something I think creicket games can do is to over-suppose the knowledge of the player. It explains therefore what the type of spinners do (e.g. off spin bowls right handed and ball spins to the right).
The commentary team is not bad - although of course there is a lot of truist banter - but they add to the game rather than interfering with it. Aggers in the main man, supported by Sir Ian Botham, Shane Warne, Ian Bishop and Tony Greig.
To play I found it good in that it was easy to get into although unfortunately it mirrors my real-life inabilities with bat and ball. So far I have stuck to the easy mode (Village Mode) and it is a very one-sided game for the batting side - maybe that will change once I progress through the levels of difficulty. I did missing sledging, injuring batsman - a deft shoulder charge from the bowler as the batsman was coming through for a sharp single would have been interesting, and a spot of ball tampering.
To summarise I would have to say that it is a good first stab at a cricket game (if you exclude the beach cricket offerings that have appeared to date). It is easy to pick up and get into and get playing. The fact that you can start playing and then get into the intricacies of it all more gradually is good, although its shelf life is limited by the fact that you can only really play the Ashes as a series (i.e. You can't instead have a 3 match series between New Zealand and South Africa in South Africa). Of course the fact that it never rains could be seen as a bonus. It is a good starting platform and hopefully they will expand it by adding new grounds, other tournaments (although possibly licensing rights are the thorny issue) and a create a player feature. Compared with the previous cricket games I have played I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get into the game, and the only let down was the possibly limited scope of the game once you've thrashed Australia 5-0 for the third time.
I'd give it 8 out of 10.
Ashes Cricket 2009 promises to let you join in the ecstasy of victory or the agony of defeat of the Ashes test series. With this being the wii version, you'll be swinging your remote around the room, trying to hit Siddle for 6 or takes Ponting's wicket like a madman!
The game is simple to play. Firstly batting. You hold the wii-mote like a cricket bat. You swing it to hit the ball & point with the d pad to where you want to hit to. This is all about timing. Get it right & the Aussies will watch as it sails into the crowd for six. Get it wrong & you'll hit it straight up in the air or edge it to the slips. This is very easy to get to grips with & you'll soon find yourself scoring highly on the easy levels. I got over 100 off six overs in just my second game. Bowling is also done by swinging the remote. You don't have to make a true over arm motion which is good & you can bowl with a bent elbow. You aim the cursor at where you want the ball to hit the ground. Pressing a starts the bowler running. As with batting, timing comes into play. Swing the wii-mote at the right time to bowl a good ball. To early or late results in a bad ball. This is much trickier even on easy. My best score from an over is 2 runs conceded. I normally go for around 8-10 an over. Not very good & a bit like England in the 4th test! I also see the funny side of this because in the game this makes me good at batting & bad at bowling & in real life I'm much better at bowling than batting.
I did find the game lots of fun. The wii is a great console for sports games & this is another great one for it. You really do feel involved & blasting a six or removing the middle wicket is great fun & very satisfying. You can have up to 4 people playing the same game although obviously only 1 can bat & 1 bowl simultaneously.
Over all a good game. If you're into cricket you will love this game. If your new to it or are not the biggest fan, I think you will find it lots of fun & it wil teach you more about the technical aspects of the game. If you hate cricket you might want to stay away, but you'll be missing a very entertaining game.
The game will provide you with the most authentic Ashes experience possible without having to don your whites. Delivering all the exciting, athletic, skilful and technical elements of the sport, the gameÆs comprehensive æAshesÆ mode will feature all five Tests played out at carefully detailed recreations of each authentic venue.