Pros (3 out of 5)
International Cricket Captain 2009 lets you use your imagination to bring cricket to life on the field of play. The computer does the number crunching, but your imagination will fill in the little details of the action on the screen. Like how can Mark Waugh, one of Australia’s premier and most gifted players, possibly be going for a golden duck? You’re the captain of the cricket team, not one of the players, so you don’t have to bowl or hit the ball. Instead, you play more of the manager’s role in this video game, picking the squad and dictating where they play on the field.
Cons (3 out of 5)
International Cricket Captain 2009 is the next edition in a franchise that has been around since late 1990, but the video game hasn’t been improved at all from the first title in the series. The developers, Childish Things, have taken over the task of developing the franchise from Empire Interactive, who developed the previous titles in the series, but they haven’t made any significant improvements to the series with their first effort. Where are the Wisden stats, the player editing options that competing video games are being developed with, the scenario creator that gamers have come to expect in their interactive entertainment?
Graphics (2 out of 5)
The graphical presentation of International Cricket Captain 2009 looks really old and dated. They need to create a new graphics engine or work on the old engine to update it for the modern age of gaming. They did add a 3D highlights engine to replace the old 2D engine and this has improved the on field animations, but the character models still look terrible. The only way to tell the difference between Brett Lee and Stuart Clark is by the blob of blonde hair on his head. The screens are all bland and colorless, the players look like thin stick men at times, and you never get to see the faces of the players up close, making the visual presentation of this game lacking considerably compared to similar games.
Soundtrack and Sound Effects (2 out of 5)
The sounds of International Cricket Captain 2009 are also dated and old. They didn’t put a lot of effort into providing the gamer with an exciting match day atmosphere with nice music and engaging sound effects. The crowds are lackluster and don’t appear to be excited by the action on the field. Commentator Jonathon Agnew is the best part of the audible sounds in this video game, and the voice actor does an excellent job of trying to create excitement with his voice and comments.
Playability (4 out of 5)
International Cricket Captain 2009 is a very playable sports game that has a few production lapses, but overall does a good job of entertaining and satisfying your senses. Once the squad is selected and placed on the field, you have to take care of the ball to ball game play as the Captain. You rotate the bowlers and indicate how you want them to bowl to each batter. You set the aggressiveness of the batters, while keeping an eye on how they play on the field. You need to play within your team’s strengths, while taking into account the type of pitch, the weather, and the general form of each player. Half the fun and charm of playing International Cricket Captain 2009 is the unpredictability of the action on the field. Mitchell Johnson might be batting terribly but with proper management he could make a fine half-century. You get to determine whether you win or lose in this competition by properly managing the day to day operations of the team, though you don’t actually get to play yourself.
Summary (3 out of 5)
International Cricket Captain 2009 is a video game that cricket fanatics who have already played a title in the series will still love. They haven’t done anything to improve the experience, but at least they didn’t destroy the entertainment value the series already possessed. This title isn’t going to interest gamers who aren’t interested in sports or casual gamers who aren’t willing to invest time to learn how to play, but for a bargain title this video game is excellent entertainment.