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A fun version of cricket on the Wii....finally!!
on 7 August 2009
Ever since the Wii came out there has been a call for a decent cricket game for the system. So hats off to Codemasters for finally bringing out a cricket game on the Wii.
Firstly the good points. As mentioned by previous reviewers, we finally get to play a proper version of cricket on the Wii after a long wait. And that scores a lot of points first off.
Second, it is a good attempt at simulating cricket on the Wii (given the pre motion-plus limitations of the Wii remote as this game doesn't use the motion plus).
Batting is fun. It's possibly not quite what you would expect (ie the swing of the bat doesn't determine placement), but it does give a decent batting feel.
I like the fact that you can either just choose to hit the ball and have the computer decide the placement or you can chose where you want to try to hit the ball before you swing. This gives you more control and strategy (ie trying to beat the field).
You can chose to play a defensive shot, a normal hit (the type will depend on where you are trying to hit ball) or a lofted shot, to try to acheive the big SIX. There is a timing meter that gets bigger or smaller depending on the skill of the bowler you are facing, the bowlers confidence, and the batsmans confidence. This makes it harder or easier to hit the ball where you want to.
The bowling is also fun and gives you a decent amount of control. You chose the ball placement by pointing the Wii at the pitch to determine where you want it to land (this is easier than it sounds). You then do a sort of bowling motion, and can add swing or spin (depending on the type of bowler), or chose to bowl a fast, normal or slow delivery.
There is also the option of a 'perfect' delivery. This option becomes available if you get 3 good deliveries in a row. This doesn't always result in a wicket, but it is fun to use. The force of your Wii remote swing also determines the speed of the ball.
A novel feature is the ability to 'polish' one side of the ball on your cricket whites, by moving the Wii remote up and down as the bowler would in real life. As well as being fun, it does actually make a difference to the amount the ball will swing, although the drawback is that it makes it slightly harder to bowl.
You can set your field however you want. There is a simple option of using pre determined fields, which can be attacking or defensive, or you can place fielders if you are leaking runs in a certain area of the pitch.
There is an option to ask your captain for advice during the game. Another neat feature is hearing the batsmens run calls through the Wii remote itself.
There is a decent tutorial mode, that will teach anyone how to play the game (although if you aren't already familiar with cricket it doesn't teach very much about the sport itself).
There are around 7 international teams I believe. England and Australia are the only licensed teams, but if you know your cricket, then you can determine who is supposed to be who.
You can play exibition games of 6 or 10 overs. A Twenty20 game, or a 40 or 50 over one dayer. As well as the ultimate form of cricket, the Test Match. There are normal cricket versions and double wicket version, but I don't know what the double wicket version is.
There are various scenarios to play through (ie score a certain amount of runs in a certain number of overs, or survive to the end of a match).
And of course, you can play the full Ashes 2009 campaign, starting in Cardiff and ending at The Oval. There are about 10 grounds featured in the ground in total.
There is also multiplayer options for up to four players, either co-operatively or competitively. You can save the game at any point.
So plenty of good things in the game for cricket fans, but now onto the bad points.
The graphics are not up to usual standards. The are not terrible, but the Wii is capable of better.
Apart from the Ashes mode, there aren't enough competitive game versions. The exhibition matches are all one off games, so a user created tournament or league would have been a nice option.
You can't edit the players' names. It would have been nice to put the correct names in the game, or even put yourself in the game.
The fielding is a bit suspect at times. However it wasn't as bad as I was expecting from reading other reviews. And so long as it is the same standard for each team, then the game is fair.
You don't have any control of the actions of your fielder. I read from other reviews that the fielders are always dropping catches, but didn't find this to be as bad as people have reported.
The difficulty level of the game is not as challenging as it could be. Maybe next time have a super hard mode.
As mentioned elsewhere, the use of motion plus would have added a whole new dimension to the game, but hopefully that is something we can look forward to in future releases.
So in closing, I would like to say that it is great to finally see cricket on the Wii. And whilst there is room for improvement, if the game sells well then this will hopefully prove that there is a market for cricket games on the Wii prompting a motion plus version to be released in the future.
Overall, Ashes 2009 is a fun attempt at cricket on the Wii. It could have provided a bit more depth, but if you like your cricket, you will enjoy this game.