I am a huge cricket fan. Well, I’m Indian, so that part of me is pretty much stereotypical. On the other hand, I’m also an avid gamer, at least I consider myself to be one. And the thing is, being a cricket fan and a gamer don’t really have much synergy. Reason being, lets face it, there has never been a ‘proper’ cricket game. By ‘proper’, I mean a cricket game that genuinely challenging, deep, addictive and most notably, enjoyable. OK, we did have EA’s Cricket Ashes Tour 97, which I consider as the best cricket simulation. And then another decent cricket game was Brain Lara Cricket 99 developed by Codemasters. But that was 1997 and 1999. Ever since, most cricket games have been unfinished gimmicky spin-offs, and I’m still waiting for that perfect cricket sim. Any announcement of a cricket game leaves me with high anticipation and excitement (upcoming Ashes Cricket 2013, anyone??)
Having said that, Move Street Cricket, developed by Indian developer Trine, and launched last June, has earned a surprisingly huge fanbase in India, considering the mediocre quality of the game. But hey, this is cricket and this is India, where cricket is religion. Trine is back this year with Move Street Cricket’s follow up, Move Street Cricket 2. I wouldn’t say this is a ‘cricket simulator’ as such, Move Street Cricket qualifies more as a casual, light-hearted fun game. The game is only available on the PlayStation 3, and works with Sony’s Move controller. Read on to see how this game actually plays.
Getting straight to the point, this game seems to made for cricket fans only, as cricket dummies would find it hard to get introduced to the game rules through the Move Street Cricket platform. You can select your playing ground from collection of interesting locations like ‘Society Roof Top’, ‘School Cricket Groung’ and ‘The Chawl’. Trine Studios got that bit right, that is how most Indians play this game in real life, myself included.
Batting is definitely challenging with the Move Controller. MSC2 requires your concentration on the ball, and the controls are little hard to execute. To get the timing right, you have to spend some time in the practice modes. That is a good thing, there is a certain level of challenge. Having said that, the learning curve is still easy, but it is a game that will take time to master. Some complex shots like the square cut and reverse sweep might be a little hard to execute. But when you do manage to execute the shots perfectly, you feel satisfied. The ball physics are realistic and that makes batting even more challenging. Overall, batting is fun and exciting. I was genuinely enjoying the action.
Bowling, on the contrary, is rather gimmicky. The mechanics and controls feel unfinished and need some work done. It gets stagnant too early, as there are not much variation you can achieve in bowling. It’s straightforward and there’s not much to learn and master, like you have to in batting. Although, if you’re playing by yourself and would like to skip bowling, you can leave it to the computer AI. I did that almost everytime after my first 10 matches.
Now to the fun part, the multiplayer. MSC2 is most enjoyed when played amongst friends and family on a split screen.. There are a lot of exciting modes to choose from. Then there is the ‘Sports Center’ in which you face basketballs, footballs, tennis balls and golf balls instead of the default leather ball. It’s a casual mode that is fun. The street environments like backyard, Dhaba, make the game all more enjoyable. The player animations are cheeky and funny, its a treat watching them dance when they celebrate. It’s all for the sake of light-hearted innocent fun, and that’s totally OK.
You can choose which bat you want to use too, like English willow or Kashmir willow. Heck, you can also bat with a baseball ball, and bizarrely, even a mongoose. You can select the type of balls for a normal street game too. A leather ball, a tennis ball or a rubber ball. These are genuine choices for any real-life street/gully cricket game in India. It’s to see them being represented in the game. Each ball has unique mechanics complementing their bounce and swing. For example, you have to concentrate more on your timing rather than power when playing with a leather ball. With a tennis ball, the bounce is high so you have to adjust your batting style according to that.
The graphics are not as great as you would expect in a PS3 game. They’re just average. The sound and presentation are at best decent. Overall, Move Street Cricket 2 is a fun game to play. It won’t let you down, not this time. Cricket fans should get this game, as it will please them. The game gets the basics right, it’s fun, somewhat challenging, and has a certain degree of replay value. Recommended for people who like to play on the split-screen with friends and family.