|You messed about/ I caught you out…|
So I was having a look around on my phone the other day and our EIC suggested that I see what Square Enix had available on the Android market since he has an iPhone. I looked and was unsurprised to find Crystal Defenders, but what I was surprised to find was a pair of sports games. One of those was baseball (review to come) which is understandable considering its popularity in Japan. The other one was cricket.
Let’s just think on that a second. A cricket game, published by a Japanese company. Cricket. (I’ve seen first hand what happens when Japanese people are exposed to cricket. It’s amusing – Ed.)
And yet, it works.
This title has actually been done quite well with its cutesy graphics. The naming rights aren’t there but it is a phone game so you aren’t expecting the same production values as a FIFA title. There is a good range of different teams represented although I couldn’t really see any difference in the abilities of the teams and players, regardless of which team you choose.
|For our American readers: This means you did awesome|
The game mechanic is a simple swipe to play action. When batting you swipe in the direction you want to hit the ball. The longer and faster you swipe the higher and further it goes. To bowl you simply tap the screen to start your run up and then swipe the direction to bowl. The faster you swipe the faster it goes and the longer you swipe the fuller the bowl. To field you swipe in the direction you want to dive for a catch or tap the screen to stand and catch.
I did find a responsiveness issue that can be very frustrating. It might just be that you have to time the swing of the bat for it to work at all but I feel that they should have just made the batter swing early. The fielding in game is a little unnecessary I feel, since the running is automated all you are doing is catching. I think they would’ve been better served by allowing you to set your own field instead.
There have been a lot of attempts at cricket games in the past but none have every really extinguished themselves like a FIFA, NBA or Madden title. This may have a bit to do with the lack of interest in the majority of markets. Hopefully this attempt signals an expression of interest from the Japanese market because I think that cricket lends itself to being a console game. If nothing else, it’s a more strategic game than baseball, and who knows? Perhaps a popular video game could pave the way for the sport to become popular overseas.
– Aidan B