the hell is soccer so popular? If I had to pick a
popular European sport to watch it would be rugby.
It's fast paced and violent, not to mention that it's
fairly easy to understand. If American football were
chess, rugby would be checkers - with fisticuffs.
may appear to be a simple game on the surface but
there are some detailed rules. You can learn all about
the finer points of the game with the tutorial included
with Rugby 2005 called Rugby 101. Rugby was designed
to be a continuous moving sport with very few interruptions.
It's played like North American football to a certain
degree but the fundamental differences are that you
can only pass the ball behind you. There are no forward
passes. You use your feet and hands to pass, throw,
knock, kick and drop kick the ball as you run with
it. Opposing players can tackle and otherwise crush
you if they can get a hold of you.
last year's Rugby game which was only available on
the PS2, this 2005 version has been overhauled from
tip to stern and the results are one of, if not the
best, Rugby game available. The controls are responsive
and the animation has been smoothed out with motion-captured
animations and virtually seamless transitions. The
Xbox version is much better looking than the PS2 although
there are some traces of slowdown, flicker and online
the most part there are no serious issues with the
controls. The only problem is with the camera angle
which displays the action from a default side-view
which is a difficult perspective to perform a drop
kick with. Other than that, the field perspective
is good and you can see a fair distance which makes
you feel less claustrophobic than some sports games.
The opposing team doesn't always come at you like
one big wave as in North American football. You'll
often have several tough lines to break through to
reach your goal even if you're on fire. You can fake
out some of your opponents and side step charges.
Teammates will even come to your aid and there always
seems to be someone, somewhere, to pass to but the
AI is good and can snatch that ball at any time.
licensed teams, players and tournaments, rugby fans
will have a heyday playing as their favorite star
in The World Championship. There are lots of tournaments
to take part in including the Super 12, the Lions
Tour, Heineken/European Cup and World League. Don't
be impatient. It may take a while to get totally comfortable
with the controls and rules of the game, so don't
get frustrated if you get your ass kicked in the tournament
modes. Practice in the quick game and training modes
first. More advanced strategies will be required to
compete in the tournaments. You may be able to find
players of your skill level online or at least pick
up some pointers from better players. It's only a
disgrace to get beat if you don't learn anything from
a change, the commentary doesn't make me want to hit
someone. The announcer is natural sounding and doesn't
start repeating himself after fifteen minutes of play.
You'll also be able to hear some chatter from the
officials on the fields as well as the crowd noise
as they cheer on the home team and break into various
songs and chants. There's some generic rock music
but it's confined to the main interface.
2005 fails to even acknowledge that there was a Rugby
2004 version. This game rocks and is highly recommended
for football and soccer fans that want a little more
bite in their ball game. The excellent training mode
ensures that beginners will get a fair shake at getting
in on the ground floor of one of the world's fastest-growing
is a fast growing sport among colleges and private
clubs here in the North America market. While the
sport is not really popular as others it is an exciting
sport. It is also one of the toughest sports to play.
If you have never seen a Rugby match think of a football
only harder and wearing no pads while getting the
living crap beat out of you as you try and score.
Of course the ball while in play can be handed off
to any of your teammates if you have the chance. Even
after the pile up begins the ball is still in play.
The game was once called barbaric and it can be. Until
you learn the game that is and find out the finer
points of the game.
is releasing their second version of the series and
trying to draw sports fans to the game. It's not been
an easy market since the game is played by a select
few. EA has revamped the controls to make it easier
and added some new features. See the list below for
the complete list.
it looks better than the last game they still have
decided to pull the camera view way back. Sort of
like the first few FIFA games. The result causes the
game to seem distant and the players smaller.
EA make Rugby a popular game? I think in time they
can and it does look realistic. We have the newest
screenshots of the game slated for a March release
on the Xbox, PS2 and PC. I think EA would have benefited
from an online mode while trying to introduce the
game to the North American market. Sadly this one
will not feature any online play. It will feature
the chance to create your own player and also feature
the now signature EA Trax. If getting dirty and bashing
people sounds you may want to keep an eye out for
this one when it is released. So check out the screen
shots and features.
Sports Rugby 2005, which features a host of gameplay
and graphical upgrades, will deliver an authentic
2005 incorporates all the major Rugby teams, players,
and tournaments, including the Tri-Nations, Super
12 and many more authentic and prestigious events
from the world of Rugby. The game incorporates a completely
upgraded graphical engine with individually differentiated
players, realistic motion-captured player animations,
dramatic lighting and cameras, and stadiums that are
accurate with details such as crowd reactions, songs,
and chants. EA Sports Rugby 2005 plays realistically
with on-the-fly play-calling, right analog stick controls
for fakes and crushing hits and improved kicking control.
The game also features a 'Rugby 101' training mode
outlining the rules, controls, and tactics of the
sport through videos and interactive challenges.
Rugby Realism - New player models of varying height
and weight and realistic animations bring the tackles,
high emotions, and player actions on the pitch to
it. Play it. Live it. - Training mode outlines the
eight main rugby gameplay elements including rules,
controls, and advanced tactics. After you've learned
the game, take your skills to the Training Pitch
for challenge-based drills using advanced controls.
Control Over Every Aspect of the Sport - Set plays
on the fly, dive when tackling, sidestep big hits,
build momentum with a shoulder charge, or confuse
the defense with complex fakes and dummies -- the
entire game is in your hands.
New Creation Zone - Create customized players based
on your own likeness, your favorite rugby star,
classic players of the game, or any other characters
that come to mind.
Teams and Tournaments - More teams and leagues added
for the upcoming season, plus the addition of the
Heineken/European Cup and customizable, user-designed
Broadcast Presentation - New camera angles, sound
effects, crowd noise, commentators, and replay controls
provide better feel for what is happening on the
Songs and Chants - Team songs and crowd chants from
the major stadiums around the world capture the
spirit and excitement of rugby.
Dev: HB Studios
Released: March 2005
Players: 1 - Multi Online
Review by Dean
(OUT OF 5)