International Cricket 2010 Xbox 360 Review

July 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Publisher – Codemasters – Developer – Trickstar Games – Genre – Sports – Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

Cricket isn’t really the easiest sport to translate into a game, although Codemasters have managed it admirably ever since Brian Lara Cricket was released in 1994, but, let’s be honest now, batting is still the most fun portion of the game, and it’s likely that it’s always going to offer superior entertainment over the bowling.

Don’t get me wrong the bowling has been implemented to a satisfying degree and is a crucial part of cricket, but whacking a ball is always more fun than throwing it. Here, during bowling, you must stop a needle in the centre of a meter, although hitting the red area will result in a no ball and a single added to the batting sides total, in other words don’t hit the red area. There’s still much delight to be had in bowling a peach of a delivery to outfox the man with the bat.

Here's the new camera in all its glory. It's quite a sight when the wickets are shattered by the bowler's ball, particularly for the said bowler.

As for batting, like the real thing this is all about keeping your eye on the ball and timing the swing to slot it through the gaps. Like previously, the game lets you know how good or bad you are doing with your bat swinging, thus if you’re swinging it as if you’re a man with a white stick, you’ll most likely be told that you are mistiming it. The sound of ball bouncing off willow, and the visual of said ball heading high into the stands towards a spectators head, is always satisfying.

Fielding is the final element of the game we call Cricket, and it once again does the job. When a shot is in reach, a colour coordinated system once again allows you to attempt the catch – if you press the button when the on-screen circle is red, the ball will be sitting in the grass as opposed to your hands, when it’s orange it gives you the opportunity to make the catch but is never a certainty, finally when the circle is green, you’ll be shouting alongside your virtual cricketers with glee as the batsmen makes his walk back to the changing rooms with a miserable expression on his face. There’s still no option to grant us more control over our fielders other than arranging their positions, but the AI does do a respectable job to get the ball back to the wicket keepers. Occasionally though, you will be wishing that there was such an option included if a fielder happens to do something that you would rather of had some control over to stop him from doing.

For those new to the game, the first option to visit should definitely be the excellent tutorial. There’s no vocal assistance from any cricketing greats this year, thus you’ll have to use your eyes and read the tutorials. But, like last year’s Ashes Cricket 2009, International Cricket 2010 has a fairly intuitive nature and does try and encourage the new player to improve his/her game.

Bowling now comes with on-screen information to indicate how the delivery is going to pan out. For the truly hardcore, all on-screen information (of all the facets of the game) can be completely turned off.

The additions this year are minimal to say the least. The Power Stick gives you the freedom to better control the power of your shots (previously shot power was governed by your own timing), determined by how far you push the left stick. There’s also a new camera that the developer was obviously pleased with – enough to show it off by making it the new default camera view. Whether playing as the batsmen or the bowler, this new view attempts to give you a more intimate view of all that action and is definitely the slickest part of a very averagely presented and visually uninteresting game, but the most functional view is definitely still the trusty broadcast camera. The new camera is obviously a no go in local multiplayer, as it would be impossible for both players to see what was going on.

As for modes, included are 20 Over matches, One Day Internationals, Test Matches, as well as various tournaments you can participate in. Those buying the game for the online mode will be disappointed – I tried but I was never successful at finding someone to play against, this is either a problem with the game itself or people just aren’t bothering to take their game online.

International Cricket 2010 may be lacking in the visual department, although, like Ashes Cricket 2009, this is once again an admirable effort to translate the sport to a game, but if you have Codemasters’ 2009 cricket game, this year’s upgrade is one that is only really worth making if you’re a truly passionate fan.