Like everything God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar does, his much-hyped game Sachin Saga Cricket Champions also raised lot of expectations, coming as it did at the back of his successful docu-drama, Sachin: A Billion Dreams. But, does the game live up to expectations, or is it just another of the many mediocre cricket games floating around? Renin Wilben of Free Press Journal plays to find out
What’s the game about?
The concept of a game featuring Sachin Tendulkar is an enticing prospect in itself. The game aims to capture the legend’s journey right from his starting days, progressively moving ahead. This is done in the ‘Legend mode’ where the player is presented with various scenarios, and he has to bat as Sachin Tendulkar to help the team over the line. The different matches have Sachin playing for different teams like Mumbai, West Zone, Yorkshire and India as well, and you are given a target and the number of balls in which you have to achieve it.
As you progress to a certain level in the mode, you get a chance to create your own playing eleven, which comprises of players from other countries across eras in which Sachin Tendulkar featured. After selecting a team, you can play in ‘Events Mode’. There are various matches available here, which last for a limited period. But, to enter any event, you need Event Tickets, which can be purchased using coins, earned in the Legend mode. However, most often the charge of playing is too high, and will more often than not be told that you need to purchase a certain number of tickets from the store to go ahead, which basically means shelling out actual money.
The concept is playing as the man himself Sachin Tendulkar is a very tantalising one. And, what the game developers have done very well is incorporate some excellent trivia related to every ‘Legend Game’ that is played. For any Sachin fan, it would be a treat to know what he did in a particular match, how well he performed and under what circumstances. The information pieced out is very detailed, and lot of is steeped in history. This is one of the key reasons why playing the Legend Mode is fun. Alas, the good part ends there.
Well, the list is, rather disappointingly, quite a big one. And, most of it has to do with the technical aspects of Sachin Saga. Firstly, this may be Sachin’s game, but still the concept of playing only as Sachin Tendulkar is rather far-fetched, and an impractical one. Even if Sachin takes a single, he comes back on strike, and there is no non-striker. This clearly defies all cricketing logic. Just like the movie, which was undoubtedly thrilling, the game too goes a bit overboard with the Sach-obsession – there are even placards saying Sachin – God of Cricket.
There is also no method to the timing of shots, especially when it comes to the short balls. Sometimes when you rock on the backfoot and pull, the ball races away; at other times you miss it completely. And, this is although you time the shots in the same manner. Even for the drives, the shot-playing seems too monotonous. And, as for the fielding part, it is almost impossible to figure out when to take the second run, as the fielder who seems far away suddenly dives and gets close to the ball. Even going for the second run is a difficult proposition as there is a delay in the batsman running ever after the run button is pressed.
That’s not all. There are some glaring errors in rather basic features. The run-out appeal replay for example. The action replay is clearly not the one for the run which you have taken. Instead, it is a pre-fit one, and the replay seems to oscillate between out and not out almost alternately. Lastly, at times when the umpire signals a wide, the number of balls remain the same, but the runs are not added to the score. This is the most critical example of the lack of adherence to basics.
Conclusion: If you have played World Cricket Championship Series, you will find Sachin Saga exasperating, and you will be as frustrated as Sachin is in the game, after getting run out. Of course, die-hard Sachin fans might think otherwise, but from a purely gaming perspective, this Master Blaster is technically just not sound.
(The author is Assistant Web Editor with freepressjournal.in)