10cc sang in the 70s with Dreadlock Holiday, I don’t like cricket, I love it!
It is one of the sports that I follow my country, not necessarily going to the
games, but making sure I check the scores and watch the games on Sky Sports
when I can. So, whenever a new Cricket game gets announced I am always excited
to play. Hence my excitement at the currently playing Cricket World Cup and
upcoming Ashes series which has been one of it not the main reason for this
got me even more excited was when this game was announced for the Nintendo
Switch. Perfect in my eyes, take my game with me where ever and have a couple
of overs on my lunch breaks in work, any journeys I make where I am not
driving, I can play, you get the picture.
didn’t start off well in a lot of people’s eyes when it was announced the
physical edition would be simply be a download code in a box, didn’t bother me,
I had the best of both worlds, I could play Cricket 19 without changing or
having to carry a cartridge about while still have the physical box. Win win
I started playing a match one thing that struck me was the presentation, I love
the broadcast style presentation that these games bring. Making it as though
you’re watching the game on TV. It’s not only giving you that playing
experience, but it’s giving you the whole shebang with the commentary, the
replays, hawk eye etc. It’s all there for the full-on experience.
I found to be a challenge, trying to find that perfect ball to get the batsman
out can be challenging, knowing which type of ball to go with, should I go down
the leg side, play a bouncer or a fuller ball. Every ball needs to be tested
with to see how the batsman reacts and there are times you can see them
struggling against a certain delivery. One thing I did learn was even though
the batsman may struggle against certain types of balls, don’t keep repeatedly
hitting him with that, as he will learn and start getting used to it. That’s when
they start going to the boundary for 4’s and 6’s, which can be disheartening.
However, when that sweet ball flies in and you see the middle stump wheeling
away, it’s a joy to behold, you’ve got your man! One thing I did love about
this was the players reactions to it, it was just jumping up and down by the
bowler to celebrate, he runs off to his team mates to celebrate and the whole
team get in the act. Wonderful work and it’s so nice to see that connectivity.
is just like watching that middle stump go flying, equally as satisfying and
easy to get to grips with. Batting consists of noticing where the bowler is
going to put the ball, adjusting your shot accordingly and then pressing one of
the A, B, X or Y buttons. You can play safe and defend, normal shot, go aggressive
and smash the ball, or be more tactical about it. When you go for the
aggressive shot and nail it, you can tell you’ve nailed it as well, the feeling
when batting is wonderful and there’s been many a time where I’ve gone to smash
the ball and known I’ve edged it or not caught it with the bat properly and it’s
just gone straight into a fielder’s hands.
found the AI to be excellent within Cricket 19 as well, one example that I can
give of this was that during a test match, it was late in the day, I bowled one
of the top order out, and seems there was only a couple of overs left, a night
watchman was brought in. When it got to the final ball of the over, the batman
would try to get a single each time so that in the next over he could keep
strike and keep the night watchman off. Seems as they’re not the best at
batting, that’s what they would do in a real game. So that was a very nice touch
to the game. Clever!
good, comes the bad unfortunately, cut scenes before and during the game, such
as the coin toss are hampered by frame rate issues. The game does stutter badly
in these situations and I’m hoping that the game can be optimised to improve
this. Please note that this doesn’t happen during the match and the playing
experience isn’t hampered during play. Speaking of during play, there is one
issue that again, I am hoping that can be patched and that is the fielders
running for the ball. The players stutter across the pitch while the ball is
rolling smoothly. This has cost of a number of runs as well as boundaries which
could have been stopped if the player wasn’t stuttering. I don’t think that this
is a frame rate issue, because if it was, the ball would stutter too, but it
doesn’t, it rolls free and easy.
batting (didn’t notice this while bowling and fielding), there are times where
the crowd will flicker with a greyish block flashing over them, which can be
offputting. I’ve noticed this at other times as well, so I know it’s not my
screen, as I also noticed this in handheld too.
other issue I noticed with the game was when it brings the hit wheel up to show
your shots after getting to a milestone, they’re all based in the same area. I’m
quite flexible with my approach to hitting the ball and play the field when it
gets adapted, so my shots tend to go in different areas, but whenever the wheel
came up to show my shots, it showed them all going back over the bowlers head,
which I will admit, I do very rarely as I’m more likely to scuff the shot and
hit it back at the bowler than I am to clear the boundary. Again, something
else that needs patching.
game as well suffers from very long load times, and I know this isn’t the only
game to suffer from this and I know how resource heavy this game might be for
the Switch, but surely this is something that can be looked at and improved
upon along with all the other issues mentioned.
of handheld play, I have played a good amount of the game in handheld and
docked, and I have to admit, I really enjoyed both, the only issue I had with
handheld was how small the writing was on the screen and it looked quite
cramped, so I couldn’t tell at times what shot I was really hitting. When
docked, it was all nice and clear though, so once I knew where everything was,
I was good for handheld without looking, just a matter of getting the timing
is plenty to do in the game, there is an Ashes series to play, which will take
you a decent amount of time to play through, it took me 2 evenings to play
through one Ashes Test match. I like the fact that the game saves where you are,
and you can come back to it later on. You can play as the men’s and woman’s
teams and the game is fully licensed, which is a nice touch.
can start a career with a player and play for 20 in game years, which again is
a nice touch to get some longevity out of it, and there are more modes to play
with T20 and ODI’s.
I know there are some points above that might worry
some people, but I have to be honest, the actual gameplay of the game is
superb, it’s just those bits in the cutscenes and the fielding issue that needs
If you’re a fan of Cricket, then I would recommend
the game, the atmosphere, the presentation, it’s all brilliant. As mentioned,
there’s just a couple of things that Big Ant Studios needs to tidy up.
I have asked for comment by Big Ant Studios about
the issues with the game, whether I get a reply or not, remains to be seen, but
if I do, I will update the review with the response. If they do get the issues
fixed, I will also update the review to reflect this.
Recommended, but probably only Cricket fans would
enjoy the Switch version while it’s currently in this state.