Michael Vaughan's Pro Cricket '08

The Wikipedia page for Michael Vaughan boasts that he has an OBE, has presided over the most test victories of any other England captain and is a jolly good sport and all round nice bloke to boot.

Publisher Player One has had something of a monopoly on this golden boy over the past couple of years, but it's more than just a sales pitch, as the series keeps on churning out solid and fun cricket titles. Michael Vaughan's Cricket '06/'07 and Michael Vaughan's Cricket '07/'08 scored an 8 and a 7 respectively when we last saw them, so how does Pro Cricket '08 fare?

Well, if you try to just pick up and play it prepare to be all out for three runs. You'll immediately be dealing with off spins, fast balls, doosras and all sorts of other cricketing claptrap.

So surely this will alienate those looking for a casual knockabout? Not quite. All the main modes are still here: one day internationals, 20-20, triangular series match ups, custom tournaments and, best of all, the challenges, but where you'll be heading first is to the nets to practise your skills.

Captain Michael will pop up and give you hints on how to bat and bowl. You need to use the number keys to place shots (or joystick depending on your handset) whilst bowling entails stopping a small cursor in front of the batsman with '5'. It takes time and practice to master both, but when you get the hang of it, you'll be throwing perfect leg spins and hitting balls for six into spectators' plastic pints.

You then take these skills into the various modes to prove your worth, and doing so is an absolute pleasure. The AI is finely balanced and your fielding can be adjusted with the touch of a button.

If there's a gripe it's that matches can be too short and only last a few overs, and the casual gamer may feel intimidated by how tough it can be to get used to the controls, but Pro Cricket really is a game that you should consider taking the time to master.

Michael Vaughan's Pro Cricket '08 offers the perfect mixture of both variety and challenge to keep your interest, whilst also providing plenty of depth. It could have looked a little bit better (fielders can sometimes be represented by dots on a big green circle, which look more akin to a game of rounders with year 7 than a modern video game), but overall the presentation is slick and is the perfect bow on this fine package.

Michael Vaughan's Pro Cricket '08 not only smashes a six over the boundary, but it does it with a smile and a wave to the crowd. Perfect for curing your summer cricket blues.

Michael Vaughan's Pro Cricket '08

Michael Vaughan has lent his name to a pretty absorbing cricket title and one that continues to show improvement with every release. A must download for Cricket fans and worth a quick sniff for everyone else