If you are a sports buff when it comes to gaming and interested in PC Cricket games, then I have a review of such game today. Name of the game is Ashes Cricket 2009 and developed by Transmission Games.
The game though developed for PC (Windows), has also been released on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
Ashes Cricket 2009 – Developer
The developer of Ashes Cricket 2009 is Transmission Games. It was an Australian game development company which unfortunately, couldn’t stand the test of time. Hence, it no longer exists. In 2009, it ceased its operations.
This company specialized in Sports, arcade and Equestrian games.
The game was published by Codemasters and Atari in UK and Australia respectively.
Those who’ve been following PC cricket games, must not be oblivious of Codemasters. Right?
Ashes Cricket 2009 – Graphics and Gameplay
Let’s jump directly to the graphics. Needless to say that it’s a 3D game with very close to realistic graphics. Especially when you see the grounds and the field, you may sometimes mistake it as a real cricket game going on. That’s a fact. The developers have really done a great job. However, I won’t say that the graphics are perfect as there’s still lot of room for improvement. Nevertheless, you’d love the graphics.
The faces of many cricketers like Ricky Ponting, Paul Collingwood etc., resemble the actual players. Although not much but you can easily identify such player by looking at their face.
Coming to gameplay, Let’s divide it into 3 parts. 1. Batting 2. Bowling and 3. Fielding.
Like other PC cricket games, “confidence” plays a key role in the overall shots of the player. The more you play from the center of the bat, the more confidence you will gain. This in turn will help you in better timing of the shots.
You will lose confidence if you edge the ball or take a blow on your body. So the closer you play from the center of the bat, the better it is.
One more feature in Ashes Cricket 2009 is the stamina of the batsmen. If you run a lot between the wickets, you will lose stamina. However, there’s no notable change in the performance of the batsmen due to this. On the face of it, stamina seems like one extra and (sort of ) unnecessary detail.
The shots are elegant. You can pull, hook, drive, cut, sweep and even hit the ball by charging down the wicket. However, there’s no reverse sweep. Which I think should have been added. The reason is that in 2009, 20 20 cricket was well in fashion so not having this attacking shot in the batsmen’s arsenal is really a shame.
There are some clumsy shots as well but you can live with them. However, when you try to go big, just make sure that your timing is impeccable otherwise it will land in the hands of the fielder.
In fact, not only big shots but if you want to play ground shots, you need to pay heed towards timing. If you’re early on the shot, you will hit it in air. Slightly late, and you can edge it behind the wicket.
Ashes Cricket 2009 – Batting Keys for Windows PC
Unlike other cricket games this cricket game has some different and complicated keys to bat. You will need some time to get hold of them.
How the keys are different? Here’s how.
- There are three basic shots. Defensive, Offensive ground shot and Offensive Aerial shot For defensive shot, the default key is the “Left” Arrow key.
For offensive ground shot, the default key is the “Down” Arrow key
And for the offensive aerial shot, the default key is the “Right” Arrow key.
- Before hitting the shot, while the bowler is starting with his run-up, you have to decide where you have to place the shot. For that, keys, A, S, D and W helps you in deciding your shot’s direction.
- Moreover, for front foot shots, you have to press the “Ctrl” key and the “Shift” key for the back foot shot.
- If you want to charge down the wicket then you have to press “Ctrl” and “Shift” keys simultaneously.
So that’s how many keys you have to play with before playing a single stroke. It takes some time to get along though and you will find it a bit complicated when starting.
Bowling is fairly simple in this cricket game. Just place the target on the pitch and make sure that you don’t bowl a no-ball. This happens when a “meter” starts rising up as soon as you take a leap to bowl. If that meter crosses the line, you bowl a no-ball.
Interestingly, there’s a “Free Hit” in this game.
You can bowl different swing, spin and even slower deliveries by selecting the bowling type before each delivery by pressing the respective “arrow” key.
The fielding is automatic. You don’t get to control the fielders except for when they’re throwing the ball. You can choose either you want to throw towards the batting or the bowling end by pressing “Up” or “Down” key respectively.
Having said that, the only thing which brings this game a bit down is it’s fielding.
The fielders are snob and idiots. I literally mean that.
For instance, many times fielder will keep running for the ball in the straight line even when it can just run across and cut off the ball.
Moreover, if a ball bounces in front of the fielder, it fumbles first, then wait for good 1 or 2 seconds as if it woke up from a deep slumber and then grab the ball to throw it.
Additionally, there are many overthrows just because the fielder does not react if a ball passes from the side.
So fielding is where the developers I guess, got callous.
There are three match formats. Test matches, One day matches and T-20 matches.
Additionally, to keep with the requirement of the name, there is an option of Ashes series where you can directly start playing an ashes test match between England and Australia.
Gradually as you play, you unlock different achievements, gears etc. For e.g. you can change the color of the gloves, bat etc.
Commentary and Crowd Sound
The commentary is quite diversified. However, it does become a bit repetitive but it depicts the game scenario very well. Similarly, the crowd chanting and celebrations sound also creates additional ambiance to keep you hooked up with the game.
Ashes Cricket 2009 – System Requirements
I run Ashes Cricket 2009 on Windows 8, Intel I3 2.5 ghz, 4GB RAM machine and that without any graphics card and yet, that’s an overkill. The game loads blazingly fast on my laptop.
So you can run this game on a system even two or three levels down than what I have mentioned.
Officially speaking, you may require following system specifications to run this game:
- 2.5 GB Hard Drive space
- 1 GB RAM
- 2 GHZ processor
- Direct X 9.0
- Windows XP/Vista/7/8 etc.
So if you ask my opinion, I’d definitely recommend this game. In fact, after Brian Lara 99, this is the only game to which I’ve hooked up for so long. Otherwise, cricket games turn out to be rather boring pretty soon.