Cricket Captain 2008 review (PC)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 12:00 AM
Successful cricket games aren't exactly plentiful, it has to be said, with perhaps the Brian Lara series being the most famous.
Cricket management games are an even rarer breed, with the Cricket Captain franchise being the only one to come close to being a known quantity.
Let's face it, there aren't many leather-on-willow titles that will make you dump your copy of Pro Evo and practice your forward defensive shots in the nets.
Sadly, Cricket Captain 2008 isn't going to be the game that bucks the trend.
If the developer's aim was to make you think you were playing something from the early 90s then they have succeeded.
The presentation is, shall we say, functional at best. Nobody really expects a Crysis-style visual extravaganza in a sports management game, but still.
The menu is simple but very uninspiring, the character models are horrific, looking less like a well-oiled team of professional cricketers than members of a travelling freak show.
Of course, had the game itself been any good, providing the same sort of addictive 'one more game' experience as Football Manager (FM), the graphical horro show could have been overlooked.
Instead, Xplosiv decide to punish not just your eyes, but your mind as well, as there is virtually no gameplay at all.
Not to labour the point, but the best way to describe the whole experience is like a stripped down FM.
While tweaking tactics and deciding what players to use in FM is exciting and rewarding, even for the casual player, 'Captain 2008 will only appeal to those whose very existence is shaped by cricket.
Even then, most of their time will be spent just clicking to start the next over.
Not everything else is bad, though. The highpoint of the game is clearly the familiar BBC cricket theme tune being piped through your speakers, and for some reason it is quite pleasing to hear your bowlers appeal for an LBW.
Sadly, at the end of the day, Cricket Captain is only really playable for those who refuse to remove their pads before getting in the shower. If you are desperate for a bit of silly mid-on action, most people would be far better advised to just get the most recent Brian Lara game.