Ashes Cricket 2009 PlayStation 3
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Released on 07/08/2009
Providing gamers with the most authentic Ashes experience possible without having to don their whites, Ashes Cricket 2009 is fully licensed by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club, the world's most famous cricket club and owner of the Ashes urn) and Cricket Australia, providing the game with all the official players, kit, stadia – including Lords and The Brit Oval – and equipment from this year’s npower Ashes Series.
Delivering all the exciting, athletic, skill and technical elements of the sport, the game’s comprehensive ‘Ashes’ mode will feature all five Tests played out at carefully detailed recreations of each authentic venue. In addition, gamers will also be able to play Test matches, One Day Internationals, 20 over games and a series of challenge modes. The high definition current generation versions will feature full online multiplayer as well as support for local multiplayer games.
Prepare to step up to the crease and help England win back the trophy in Ashes Cricket 2009!
The call of the willow
Creating a game that truly captures the spirit of cricket is no easy task. Few titles have managed to deliver a seamless experience for both bowlers and batters while holding onto the essence of what makes it such an addictive sport.
Codemasters look set to change this pattern with their latest release, Ashes Cricket 2009. Featuring all the players on the existing English and Australian teams, you're able to create your own version of the events surrounding this year's grudge match, and grab a handful of fun with the other national teams too .
A bat in the hand
Ashes Cricket 2009 is all about enjoying the nuances of cricket from the comfort of your sofa - it's a great bet for those inevitable rainy summer days. The game offers multiplayer and versus modes, online gaming and the whole Ashes series including Twenty20, 50-over and five-over exhibition matches.
Ashes Cricket 2009 is all about enjoying the nuances of cricket from the comfort of your sofa.
It's when you begin play that you first encounter the game's primary flaws. Sound is patchy in parts and the graphics unimpressive. Character models are strangely unnatural, leaving you with the feeling that something isn't quite right, and they don't bear much resemblance to their real-life counterparts either. The crowds also look cheap and blotchy, almost as if polygons were too expensive to spend on mere set decoration. In terms of sound, while some of the voice-over analysis is done well, it tends to randomly disappear mid-sentence during the tutorials.
That's just wicket
There are, however, plenty of elements that offer Ashes Cricket 2009 some form of redemption. Graphically the inclusion of Hawk-Eye, offering stunning recreations of your bowling and boundary shots, is both riveting and rewarding, and sound effects, such as the background hum of the crowd or the thwack of the ball on wood, suck you into the moment. In terms of actual play, bowling and batting are a success. The bowling mechanics are excellent, switching between three types of delivery and offering tight control over timing and execution. Fielding doesn't require a lot of your attention, with only a few moments when you can intervene and change the course of the game. That said, you do get the occasional moment when your view suddenly switches and you're watching the ball approach you on the field. It's tricky to get right and demands superb timing, but catching that ball will probably make you hug your couch with glee.
There are plenty of other in-game elements that offer Ashes Cricket 2009 some form of redemption.
Batting doesn't disappoint either. Initially it takes quite a lot of getting used to so it's advisable to take the time to get to know the controls and to revisit the tutorials. The wonderfully sarky Shane Warne and Ian Botham guide you through the controls, offering you salient advice and grumbling about your failures. Another bonus is that you'll soon be able to speak cricket lingo without batting (ahem) an eyelid to easily impress those sporty types at parties. Once you've got a handle on the controls and the timings you may find that batting becomes almost laughably predictable and the game starts to drag. Playing a full test match may be a little too arduous for some so Codemasters have kindly included options such as Simulate and shorter play modes with other national teams.
Pass the cup
Overall, Ashes Cricket 2009 offers the fan a remarkably accurate representation of the game itself with strong core mechanics and plenty of entertainment value. Issues such as graphics and sound are not so severe as to detract from the experience of being in control of the Ashes (the Ashes!) and changing the course of cricket history. Some gamers may not enjoy the lengthy gameplay and prefer the speedier options while cricket purists will love the steady accuracy and attention to detail.
- Good in-game mechanics
- Realistic and passionate
- Plenty of immersive action
- Online play
- Unimpressive graphics
- Can get tedious
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