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Ashes Cricket 09 (Xbox 360)

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12 Reviews

Genre: Sports - Cricket / Release Date: 2009-08-07 / Published by Codemasters Limited

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    12 Reviews
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      15.08.2010 14:36
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      Flawed, No great step forward for cricket on the X-box

      I don't like Cricket....I love it, but to be honest with you, they still haven't created a cricket game that matches in anyway the thrill of the real thing, they've tried with 'International Cricket Captain 2001' and 'Brian Lara's Cricket', but never really created the unique dynamics that makes the Commonwealth countries favourite summer sport so appealing to fans and so baffling to everyone else.

      The Game:

      Ok, i'm not going to lie, the name gives it all away, this game was clearly created on the wave of expectation following England's Ashes win a couple of years ago, with a cover showing model/cricketer Keven Pietersen it is made to appeal to England fans.

      This is part of the problem, the vast majority of Cricket fans in the world support any number of teams other than England (Should it be UK with the introduction of the awesome Irish Hurling/Sweeping genius Eoin Morgan?), therefore it is already dated and limited.

      The game itself allows you to play as any Cricket Playing nation and play friendlies or play in the Ashes, but unfortunately a lot of the players in the game have retired or been replaced so it feels like a stroll down memory lane which is never fun in cutting edge sports games.

      Controls:

      Remarkably Similar to the Codemasters created Brian Laras Cricket, the batting requires any number of joypad movements to recreate various shots, this is fun, but timing and confidence are key, so even if timing is rubbish, if your confidence is high (Marked out on the screen, not via some natty human emotion controller attaching you to your Xbox), you can hit sixes galore, if your confidence is low every shot is potentially your last, even if your timing is spot on.

      The Bowling seems to be a mix of hitting the right spot and trying your luck with various pace, spin or swing variations, it works but just like the batting its not intuitive and doesn't keep you coming back for more.

      The Fielding is quite good fun, you have to press buttons at the perfect moment to make a catch and it does feel rewarding doing this and is a new step forward for cricket games, but I found this more exciting than batting or bowling which is a shame.

      Overall this doesn't feel like they've improved on previous games, the batting becomes frustrating and you could play a 20:20 game but a one day or five day match would make me want to smash in my tv, whilst the bowling just becomes plain dull if your confidence drops as your unlikely to ever get a wicket.

      With the confidence as a bowler you have to make the batsman play and miss to keep your confidence high, which is fairly true of the real game, but doesn't factor in that a good player could get hit for a 100 runs and still bowl a wicket ball the next one, or that a batsman could play and miss 30 times, if he knows its not going to hit the wicket and then hit the next 6 balls for 36 runs.

      The graphics are fairly smart and you get the usual cricket commentary which after 4 or 5 plays starts to grind as they repeat the same phrases.

      Overall it lacks depth, playability and Codemasters seem to have followed the EA tack of having a brand and adding something new each year without making it a great game, perhaps their next version will radically change things and make it more fun, but they need more teams, more players from past and present. They have to rely less on the confidence meter and let players enjoy batting and bowling and really let the game speak for itself.

      Available for £9 on Amazon, I got a copy from Gamestation for £3.99.

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        13.03.2010 11:54

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        OK game, nothing that will wow customers

        I bought this the same time as I'm sure majority of others did. England had just won the Ashes back in England in an enthralling series. On first getting the game it is a very good cricket game leading on from the Brian Lara series. England and Australia are the only two teams with correct player names, etc meaning unless you do an Ashes series you are left with a less the decent gaming experience. The game play of the Ashes is very entertaining, good graphics but showing the fact that this is not a game that is improved year by year. Fielders will make slow throws to wickets that can be very frustrating in certain times of games when you need things to go your way and stupid mistakes are made much more frequently then you would think. After completing an Ashes series there is not really much more to do in the game and it can become quite repetitive leading to another game sitting on shelf after the first month.

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        07.02.2010 10:23
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        A long slog sometimes

        Essentially for me this is an update of the old Playstation 2 game, 'Brian Lara's Cricket', it was made for the Ashes series in 2009, probably for maximum publicity and sales, I mean who wouldn't want to recreate the games on their sofa.

        It's the first new cricket game for a couple of years and is in my opinion a 3 out of 5 game, its thoughtful and does provide great fun when you hit a ball cleanly or bowl someone with pace and guile, but its graphically average, can become a bit predictable and there are problems with the programming.

        How to Play:

        You can play a 20/20 match which is probably preferable for many due to the length of time a game takes, this is the new fun format of the game with lots of boundaries and wickets, you can also play a one day match allowing you to build scores more skilfully or for the really dedicated you can play test matches, which in theory are a great idea but on the Xbox, I found myself hitting a few boundaries an over and building scores of 900 if patience allowed me to keep playing.

        Graphics:
        I'm not so sure about these being honest, there not a huge progression from Brian Lara cricket and there are only two licensed teams (England and Australia) meaning if you don't play as them you play a team with made up names, the facial features look like stretched versions of the real thing and this is something they really need to iron out for the future. The graphics in the field can be jerky and this seems like something they tagged on rather than taking real time over.

        The controls are easy to use, you have to use timing when batting to hit an array of shots and if you slightly mistime it you could be out or slice onto your own wicket as in the real game, at beginners level this isn't so clear but it becomes clearer as you move through difficulty levels. Bowling is a case of moving the cursor to a spot and using pace, spin or swing to move the ball in the air, this is good fun, although you can find certain spots which you bowl too which almost guarantee wickets and this is frustrating in many ways as it makes winning easy.

        Fielding is rubbish and has not moved on from the old days, you set your field and can change it during the match, but most fields are pointless, the throwing is pedestrian and at times it seems the fielders are deliberately misling you out of run outs.
        The crowds and atmosphere are fine, but again, they are no better than the old PS2 version, for me this game feels like it was wheeled out to make money from the Ashes rather than to get people enjoying a really good cricket match on their Xbox, for that reason I'm actually going to only give it 3 out of 5 rather than 4, as that should never be the reason to make a game.

        It is good fun in parts, but predictable, the graphics are average and the extras are limited at best.

        You can buy the game for £9.99 on Amazon and this is probably about right as it feels like a cut price game rather than the £29.99 game it was last summer.

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        10.01.2010 20:39

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        I'd buy the next one, no question

        I've always avoided cricket games in the past but I was given this one by a friend and if I'd have know how good the game is I would have had no qualms in paying full rpice for this beauty. The graphics are slick and seamless and from a spectators point of view it also gives you the feeling of watching a live match. Something to note is that the in game commentary can become annoying. And playing a game that's supposed to last 5 days you can hear the same comments over and again. It's very easy on the easiest level and the CPU is unbeatable on hard. That said it's great fun in a 2 player environment and arguably that's where it comes into it's own. I would have no hesitation in recommending this game to the arm chair cricked fan of all ages. I just can't beat those Aussies!

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        28.12.2009 01:11

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        3/5

        When I received this from the local rental store I was expecting good things, as I had read a lot of good reviews about this release. I wasn't disappointed.

        Although, I only had possession of the game for a matter of days, it provided me with a number of hours of fun. The graphics are pretty good, which was surprising as the previous cricket releases have been disappointing. The arenas were all similar to the actual thing and the teams were looking good. The gameplay was similar to Brian Lara Cricket which was released a few years ago by Codemasters, but it has been improved in a few ways with the addition of new shot types and different ways to play.

        The addition of the tutorial batting, bowling and fielding lessons are good as they provide tricky situations to test your skills against.

        Players are also given the chance to relive the Ashes from this summer and try to regain the Ashes as Australia (as it was before this year) or try to win the Ashes as England. This is a nice addition as it is one of the biggest sporting events in history.

        Overall, this game is a decent game and with a little work, Codemasters could be on to something special. I would recommend this to sports fans all across the World as it is worth looking at.

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        24.09.2009 22:37
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        A decent innings

        Sports games sell. That much is undeniable. No matter how much we enjoy watching sports and playing sports, there will seemingly always be a market for sport games on consoles. This is especially true for football. Just look at the facts. Year on year millions of people scramble to buy the latest edition of Fifa or Pro Evolution Soccer. For many it is an automatic purchase. Yet for other less popular sports timing is often required in order for sales to be properly boosted, and this is evident in plenty of releases. For example Virtua Tennis 2009 was released a month before Wimbledon. And so it is with Ashes Cricket 2009, a game that makes no secret of the cricket spectacle that it is relying on to boost sales.

        Cricket games are quite rare on consoles, coming along once every few years or so, usually to a lukewarm reception. This is not only because cricket is less popular than other sports, but also because it is difficult to translate into a compelling gaming experience, and many cricket games are substandard. Those who have been playing games for a while may remember the excellent Brian Lara Cricket on the PC (the original one), but sadly no cricket has hit those heights since. So how does this latest offering fare, and is it worthy of the name that it carries?

        GRAPHICS

        I know that graphics are not generally the most important area of games, but they do make a difference, and indeed you're likely to notice the graphics before you really get into the nuisances of batting or bowling. And, chances are, it is not going to make a good first impression. Why? Well for a start the player likenesses are horrendous. It is pretty much an expectation of sports games nowadays that the players depicted look like their real life counter parts. One look at any player in Fifa or Virtua Tennis and they are instantly recognisable, adding to the illusion that you are actually playing as that person.

        Not so in Ashes Cricket. I honestly do not know what these player models were based on, but it certainly wasn't the players themselves. Whilst the odd player bears the odd resemblance to their real life counterpart, on the whole the likenesses are terrible. I genuinely cannot stress enough just how bad some of them are. Freddie Flintoff, for example, one of the most recognisable cricketers in the world, is depicted as a square headed, almost hunched ogre type character. Sort of like if you squashed the real Flintoff with a mallet and then blurred his facial features. And unfortunately most players follow suit in looking nothing like their real life counterparts. Let's just say that you'll be extremely thankful for the fact that the names pop up on the screen regularly. Certainly not a positive for the game.

        In terms of how the players move and general animation, things are better. On the whole the animations for both batting and bowling look realistic and are nice and smooth. Things do get a little disjointed and jittery now and again, but this is nothing that spoils the experience. There are some nice little touches in this area, from subtle little animations in the outfield, to the solid and very satisfying sounds when the ball is struck cleanly or the bails are hit dead on. Everything in this area is generally put together to a good level, to the point where you will forgive the minor rough edges. So even if the players look like non descript men on the street, at least they play like cricketers.

        BATTING

        The batting controls in Ashes Cricket are, in theory, very simple. First, you use the left analogue stick to position your man. Then, you use the right analogue stick to aim where you want the ball to go (with better batsmen being more accurate), and then hit a different button to strike the ball depending on whether you want to play a standard shot, a defensive block, or a high six hitting lift. It really is as simple as it sounds to get to grips with the general controls, and certainly you won't be left wondering how to swing the bat.

        Mastering the batting controls, however, is a little more tricky. This is because, as in real life, batting is all a matter of timing. Yes, shot selection is important (no point in swinging wildly at a full bodied deep thunderbolt or defensively stabbing away a short slow ball), but at the same time if you cannot time the correct shot, you won't get very far at all. Your are helped in this regard by a small marker which shows where the ball will land, and it turns from a circle into a green blob to show you when you should be striking. Crucially this doesn't make things too easy (you still have to get the timing right and play the right shot), but it does make things a little more accessible and, on easier difficulties at least, minimises the chance of the game becoming frustrating.

        There are also nice little touches to the batting system that make it more realistic and more fun to play with in equal measure. One prime example is that the confidence of the batsman that you're playing as is displayed on screen. A succession of hits, even singles, will raise this confidence and make it easier to hit big shots, whereas missing balls, not scoring runs, or seeing your partner bowled out will drop your confidence. This system puts every ball in context rather than being individual, and gives a better sense of building an innings, rather than just facing a succession of isolated balls.

        Overall this 'simple to start but hard to master' system does seem to have hit a perfect balance. You'll jump for joy when you hit your first four or six, and honestly that thrill never goes away. The feeling of getting the better of the batsman and smacking a poor delivery for six is one of immense satisfaction, as in real cricket, and in this respect the game gets it spot on. There is also a lesser, but still quite real satisfaction in blocking an excellent delivery or playing a cheeky single, and all of this culminates into a batting experience that really is very good indeed. It is, above all, enjoyable, which means that you will have no problem finding the patience to build those high run partnerships.

        BOWLING

        On the other side of the coin, the bowling controls are pretty easy to get the hang of as well. First you choose where you want the ball to bounce, then press a corresponding button depending on what type of swing or spin you want on the ball. You then need to time the run up so that you release the ball at the right time, with good timing being the difference between bowling a plum delivery, and bowling a terrible ball that gets smacked out of the park for six.

        The confidence system also applies to bowlers, with confident bowlers throwing down unstoppable balls more often, whilst bowlers that lack confidence are more likely to present batsmen with more opportunities to score runs. The confidence system is, if anything, more accomplished with bowlers than batsmen. When watching cricket you often get that feeling that 'a wicket is coming' when a bowler bowls a succession of strong deliveries, and this happens exactly the same in this game. As a bowler bowls a series of balls, his confidence rises and he continues to bowl good balls. Coupled with the detrimental effect that this can have on the batsman, this makes a wicket more and more likely, and really gives a sense of tension and anticipation with the bowling.

        Once again the bowling system does take time to master, and indeed unless you stick on the easiest difficulty level (when timing the perfect ball is a doddle) you will never fully master the bowling system. Yes, with experience (or indeed just straightforward knowledge of cricket) you will learn which types of delivery work best in different situations, but on the higher difficulty levels bowling the perfect delivery every time is nigh on impossible.

        However, far from being a frustration this is actually quite realistic. No bowler bowls an entire game of perfect balls (far from it), and this is true here. However, the feeling of bowling an excellent delivery and catching out a batsman is just as thrilling as hitting a six, if not more so. Personally I found getting a batsman out in bowling to be far more satisfying than the batting on the whole, because the contrast between getting hit for fours or sixes and bowling a plumb delivery is so stark. But it is fair to say that both systems are implemented well, and result in the backbone of the game being strong.

        NEGATIVES

        Unfortunately whilst batting and bowling in principle are implemented well, there are plenty of negative points to the game that threaten to spoil it. The first example is with fielding, which is not nearly as engaging as the two main disciplines. In fact, placing your fielders is something of a passive exercise and seems to make little real difference. Once the ball is hit you also pretty much lose control as to what happens next, having to leave the fielding as a whole down to what is some very shaky AI. Too often fielders just don't react to balls that stop right next to them, or fail to catch balls than nearly hit them. This can be immensely frustrating and, especially when bowling, can detract from what should be an immersive experience.

        Regrettably though, the rough edges don't stop there. There are plenty of glitches in this game that break up and hinder the experience. Some examples are batsmen both being at one end of the crease, which is crazy in itself, but the fielders then often ignore the chance of a run out, fielders holding on to the ball for no reason, or terrible leg before wicket calls that are clearly not even close. It could be argued that this latter bug adds realism, but I don't buy that. Mainly because some of these calls are just so outrageously bad. All of these glitches add to the frustration and detract from the enjoyment, and often significantly so. In fact, the AI in general can be very hit and miss, which makes playing against the computer a frustrating experience at the best of times.

        There is also the (some would argue minor) problem that only Australia and England are fully licensed, meaning that the player names for the other teams are wrong. I would say that the likenesses are terrible as well, but that applies to all of the players. This isn't really a game crippling issue, but is a somewhat baffling one. To be honest I don't know why a licence couldn't have been obtained for all of the teams, and this will annoy cricket enthusiasts.

        GAME MODES

        As expected all the major forms of cricket are represented, including test matches, one day internationals, and the ever popular twenty twenty format. There is also the full 'Ashes Experience', where you play the whole Ashes series as it has just happened, with the same teams being present and all the tests being played in the same location. All of these game modes (apart from the latter, obviously) can be played with any of twelve international teams, though as previous mentioned only England and Australia are fully licensed.

        There are also ample options to get more than one player involved, from online game modes to various types of offline game modes to play with several people on the same machine. And this, undoubtedly, is where the game shines. This is because whilst playing with another player many of the glitches and bugs with the AI simply aren't there, resulting in a more satisfying and enjoyable experience.

        Unfortunately the online community is pretty sparse, and as such those wanting to buy the game to play online may wish to think twice. There simply are not a lot of people online, which means that finding a game can be an incredible chore, often to the point where it really isn't worth it.

        Offline though, the game really does come into its own. You can play 'co-operatively' against the AI (by building a run partnership or taking turns bowling), but by far the more enjoyable experience is simply going against the player sitting next to you in a one day international or test match. Quite simply this results in the excellent bowling and batting systems becoming even more compelling, as you cheer with delight as you hit a delivery for six or clean bowl the batsman. Having a person sitting next to you to compete against just makes these excellent moments all the sweeter, and in thi regard Ashes Cricket rivals any other sport game on the market.

        CONCLUSION

        Ashes Cricket us a prime example of a game that gets the basics right, but ultimately falls short due to the developer not spending enough time with it, and allowing bugs and glitches to seep in as a result. Whilst the bowling and batting system are accomplished enough, the baffling glitches, uneven AI, and lack of licensing, often threaten to ruin what is actually a pretty good game.

        This game can still be recommended to those looking for a decent cricket experience, because in all honesty it is decent. Certainly if you're going to playing the game with a friend this comes pretty highly recommended. But if you're going to be playing by yourself I would stop and consider whether this is really worth your time, as it can get very frustrating at times.

        I have no doubt that most people who buy the game will get a decent level of enjoyment out of it. But potential buyers should be aware that the game has its flaws, and these are not insignificant. One day I'm sure that a developer will come up with the perfect cricket game. Unfortunately, as enjoyable as it can be, this isn't it.

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          15.09.2009 12:37
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          Great game for time being but can easily be improved

          This is the latest and best cricket console game available by a mile, but then again, the competition isn't exactly fierce. If you've ever played any of the Brian Lara cricket games then you will know what to expect, but this game adds a few little tweaks and improvements.

          For beginners the game can be quite hard to pick up and master, particularly if you skip the lessons which are offered at the start of the game, which are talked through by the game commentators Warney and Aggers. But with enough practice on these lesson modes, you can soon begin to learn how to play and move up the difficulty levels.
          There are the standard match options - 20/20, 50 overs, Test match and there is now the option to play a whole Ashes series. Other options on the menu screen include practice modes, options for sounds/commentary, team and player edits - because the game has limited licenses and therefore half the names of players are made up to sound like the real names - and the pavillion, where you can shop for extras and winnings and change your personal settings.

          The graphics have not improved too much since the last effort, and there are still the odd game play errors, such as fielders running after the ball but not actually moving, then a boundary is given!
          But the real improvement is in the tactics. The batsmen and bowlers have confidence and fitness levels in which you need to build up in order to score runs freely or bowl dangerous balls. The bowlers have more options which are tailored to their particular style, and the batsmen have the option of striking or defending on the front or back foot.
          It's also very hard to score runs with bottom end batsmen, for example in a recent game it took my friend 20 minutes to score 10 runs with Monty Panesar! But this adds to the realism of the game, instead of just being able to come onto the field and smack a 6 first ball.

          Overall, it's a great game once you get the hang of it, very addictive. But despite being the best of the cricket games, there is a lot of room for improvement yet.

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          02.09.2009 15:25

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          A great all round cricket game, highly recommended

          I went & bought this game after being gripped by Ashes fever all summer long. It was available in my local Asda store for a bargain price of £24.99 as their deal of the week so I had to grab a copy.

          I hadn't bought a cricket game before on any games console so wasn't sure what to expect. I was not disappointed, this game is brilliant and loads of fun when you get into it. I would recommend that you carry out the training before you start playing. It takes you through the various batting, bowling and fielding techniques which you'll need to be able to play the game effectively. It doesn't take very long to complete & then you're ready to go.

          I have mostly been playing online and it works very well. I have not experienced any lag and the game seems to flow along pretty well. There are variety of different game options, from playing a 20x20 game, one day international to a full ashes 5 day test match. There are also a variety of smaller fun games you can play.

          I've been playing this constantly since I got it, so I would definetly recommend it to you all. It's highly additive & will offer you hours of fun!

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          01.09.2009 01:52
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          A great game with some obvious flaws, but none the less still a brilliant sports game, TRY IT!

          Ashes Cricket 2009 - Xbox 360

          First of all this game has an amazing amount of fun multiplayer sometimes possibly more fun than the single player games. Ashes Cricket 2009 in my opinion is the best cricket game in about a decade. That said, it's also disappointing as the only licensed names are the Australian and English teams and the graphics are admittedly not up to scratch against other sports games. The learning curve will definitely scare off a few but once you learn the game pretty well balanced, it's a must have for any fan of Cricket games.

          Ashes Cricket 2009 has pretty dated looking graphics, but the gameplay honest is amazing. Sometimes it looks authentic, like your watching an actual game. The addition of the commentary adds to the atmosphere.

          You'll start off the game with a disadvantage the AI, even on easier settings will smash you and it's going to take a while to work out how to stop it . Ashes Cricket 2009 is very difficult to start out; the timing of the batting is the real problem because there are a so many things to take into account, the type of bowler, the positions of the fielders and the energy and mood of your batsman etc. This again adds to the realism of the game as obviously for any amateur would know different bowlers bowl different balls to attempt to throw the batsmen off guard.

          The energy and mood meters affect not just your batters, but also your bowlers. Confident, well-rested batsmen are going to get loads of runs against a struggling tired bowler. It's a great way to balance out the game. And just to note theres no secrets to the timing of your swing is just something which takes time.

          The bowling takes some finesse, first you select where you want the ball to go then pick your shot and then before the meter hits the red line you tap the button again, even when you master this bowling its still difficult as the AI adapts to how you bowl, which is again realistic... but annoying.

          The controls are sophisticated and it was difficult to win...for a very long time, but when you get the hang of it; its amazing. The gameplay is brilliant even if the graphics do lack a bit of "something special", i would definatley recommend this game to sports lovers and cricket fans alike, hours of fun, engaged or mind-numbing either is fine for this title.

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            31.08.2009 16:31
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            brill game!

            If you've had the ashes fever this is the game for you! If you've had past experience of cricket games such as cricket 09 and brian lara series then i'd say this was perfectly balanced between the two.
            The graphics are great, the pitch and players look very life like. The crowd however are still 2D and ruin the games look. The stadiums featured on the game look very close to real life with important features of each stadium picked out and shown on the game.
            The gameplay is smooth and flows fairly well. It imporves on the brian lara series by not being so mechanical, as with many next gen games now, the players are freely moving and certain shots etc don't always end up with certain outcomes and screen shots as in BL.
            Configuration, the buttons are easy to pick up and play if you know cricket, if you are a non-cricketer the game gives a fairly good insight into what button does what and when you should use it and what consequences it has etc.. which is essential to the running of the game. Different buttons trigger different shots/balls when batting/bowling. For example X is defend and B is attack the same as X is inswinger and B is outswinger when bowling. These simple buttons allow the game to be played easier and with some understanding of what you are doing which always helps!
            Extras, ashes cricket 2009 has a training mode and a challenges mode which allow you to hone your skills. These are easy but good when you first get going. It has the ashes mode, test match series, odi tournament, 2020 tournaments modes on it which allows a large variety of matches to be played. The only towo licensed teams are Eng and Aus but all other test playing nations are on there just with funny names. This can be changed by the customisation name changer. This customiser also allows you to make your own player who can be used and improved the better he does in matches.
            Overall a great game if you love cricket or simply love the ashes, a huge improvement on previous games.

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            26.08.2009 14:26
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            Ashes Cricket 09

            If you like cricket you are going to like this game, 2 weeks ago I got the game when it came out. Ashes Cricket is a new spice in the cricket gaming world and boasts a number of features. The main addition in the game has been more players, more teams and the quality of the graphics along with the game play.

            At first I found the game play to be a little tricky to adjust to but it has got much better recently. Taking shots in the game is much easier now once you play a while. I think the difficulty level of the computer in the game is too hard at the easiest level. Bowling your best bowls will see the computer hit them for fours and sixes in the easiest level of the game.

            The main quality of the game is the animations and how the players catch the ball. You interact more with the game by choosing your runs and also setting your fielders. The way this has been done is most impressive and will surely delight any one playing the game.

            The disadvantage sides of the game too much repeated animations on catches. There are less modes available in the game to they need to add in some better modes in the games. The main mode is the Ashes mode but no other major modes like a international cup? This would have improved the game much more but that has not happened in the game. Overall if you like cricket like I said before you will like this game!

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            21.08.2009 15:01

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            A good game, fun and pretty easy to play

            Me and my boyfriend bought this game the weekend it came out, and generally it's quite a good game! While I'm not the biggest lover of playing on the XBox 360 this game managed to keep me interested.

            First of all, I'm a cricket fan and love the Ashes. Don't expect this game to be a genuine simulation of the Ashes. The players are very keen to slog and try to hit every ball for a boundary - not true test cricket. But then if that's what this game set out to do you would have to devote your life to playing it.

            I preferred to play the shorter forms of the game - in particular setting the one day game to ten overs because then its competitive and doesn't take hours to play a game.

            The game has the licesnses to use real names and likenesses of the England and Australian teams. The likenesses are a a bit off in some cases, but Graeme Swann and Paul Collingwood are OK! The game uses names similar for other international teams and it's pretty easy to tell who they are meant to be, and therefore how to use them in the game in accordance with their skills.

            There are some excellent features in the game - I particularly like the way confidence comes into play. For example Pietersen will reverse sweep when he is playing well, and only when Graeme Swann is fearless can he bowl a Doosra.

            I also think the Legends classes at the start of the game are a must before you play it, with Botham and Warne teaching you how to bat, bowl and field. Batting seems to be the easiest aspect of play, spin bowling the most difficult. The game helps you by giving you pitch information, and is quite realisitic in this aspect.

            There are some little niggles in the game - for example the fielding can be frustratingly bad. However this game is streets ahead of previous cricket games, and I would recommend it to anyone prepared not to take it too seriously but enjoy it for what it is.

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        • Product Details

          Delivering all the exciting, athletic, skilful and technical elements of the sport, the games comprehensive Ashes mode will feature all five Tests played out at carefully detailed recreations of each authentic venue.