Ashes Cricket 2009

It's just not cricket... The inclusion of Shane Warne as a commentator almost lost Ashes Cricket 2009 the match.

Codemasters Ashes Cricket 2009
  • Codemasters Ashes Cricket 2009
  • Codemasters Ashes Cricket 2009
  • Codemasters Ashes Cricket 2009
  • Expert Rating

    2.50 / 5

Pros

  • Great fun in multiplayer, some good looking visuals

Cons

  • Terrible AI, shaky animation, Warnie

Bottom Line

Ashes Cricket 2009 is pretty disappointing on the Wii. However, if you're a die-hard cricket fan, there is still some fun to be had, particularly if you have some likeminded mates around.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 79.95 (AUD)

I very nearly gave this game a score of 0. Seriously, what the heck were they thinking asking Shane Warne to commentate? This nearly unforgivable lapse in judgement aside, there’s a decent game of cricket hidden within Ashes Cricket 2009 (AKA "Wii Cricket"). I say "hidden" because there are a host of small issues that almost conspire to ruin the game — it takes some perseverance and willpower to get through to the game underneath, but once you do its good fun for all.

Starting with the presentation. Cricket Wii looks quite good at times – the ovals and character models are well rendered, especially when the camera zooms out, and the bowling and batting action is smooth.

The problem is, in the world of Wii, cricket players use telekinesis to catch and field the ball. A number of times while batting, I let the ball sail past the wicket, figuring to myself "the wicket keeper will never reach that one." Not only did he apparently catch the ball, but he did so without moving from his stance on the opposite side of the wicket. The ball just disappears with the keeper standing a good few metres away from it.

I was awestruck and quite frightened by the number and length of these invisible arms that plague the game, but my team had a few tricks up its own sleeve. Once you hit the ball to the outfield, it just slides from one side of the screen to the other, skipping about 20 frames of movement at a time. Invisible arms have no hope of catching a ball that pops in and out of existence.

Thankfully the graphical glitches, as jarring as they are, don’t affect the bowling and batting. That part of the game is rendered brilliantly smoothly.

We can dismiss the commentary as horrible on account of Shane Warne, although there is a reasonable variety in the comments made by the team, which includes all the usual suspects of a Channel 9 broadcast. Unlike in real life, however, there’s the happy option of turning Warnie off. The really big downfall for Cricket, unfortunately, can’t be fixed: the fielding AI is genuinely brain dead.

Singles are laughably easy to get because the infielders take a good second to react to the ball — if they do at all. More often than not they’ll just let it roll on to the outfielders. Every second catch is dropped, and this all is made worse by the near-gamebreaking mistake the developers made of not allowing direct control of the fielders.

That’s right: the best you can do is change where the little guys are standing, and hope they at least put in a half-hearted effort.

That said, when you’re playing a friend in multiplayer, you’re both grappling with the same issues, so it’s still good fun. There’s a bit too much random Wiimote shaking involved at times — the age-old tradition of shining the cricket ball requires a few quick shakes with each and every ball bowled — but the game is responsive, so rarely will the wicket be anything but your own fault.

There are only the eight big international teams to play with, and disappointingly only Australia and England feature real player names. There are actually some 70 countries that are ICC members now (including ones you’d never expect — Japan, Iran, the US, Argentina — the list goes on), so there’s no reason a cricket game can’t be like the various FIFA soccer games.

Ashes Cricket 2009 is disappointing, there’s no disputing that. However, for anyone who has even a passing interest in the sport, there’s enough here, especially in multiplayer, to while away a hot summer. I’m still docking a star for Warnie though — he better not be back in 2010.

Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: games
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?