You know when you want something really bad, and you have a quick taster of it that leaves you wanting more? That's exactly what the demo did to me. But sometimes, when you finally get the thing you've been waiting for, you spend so much time with it, that it turns out not to be the thing you were expecting after all? EA RUGBY 2005 is a little bit like that! After long, long continued play, I've noticed the following
Firstly, for lionmaul, I don't think you'll like the rucks! They're on a par with 2004, but when you push the X button you can actually see your men join the ruck. There is no removing men from the ruck, no pushing etc! You either turn it over, or you don't! I like it this way, it makes the game much quicker to play and it is better than 2004's rucking! You can however, push the right stick in to cheat by raking the ball with your hand. It works sometimes too!
Also, I've stopped playing it on the "Classic 2" camera angle! The side view is far faster and feels more like Rugby union! The classic 2 camera reminds me of Rugby 2004 after extended play, and I'm sure this is why EA chose to use the Side camera for the demo.
There IS a Jump Button included! (It's "Circle" by the way) But it's not much use I'm sorry to say!
The commentary is very boring! Robertson isn't a patch on Bill McLaren and yes, it does still sound a bit "Cut and Paste"
The referees voice is one of the funniest things ever! He has a heavy irish accent!
Lineouts are a bit too easy to win on your own throw! I've never lost ONE lineout either to a human player or the AI! But, if it's not your throw, you haven't got a hope in hell to win the ball!
Kicking in General play is pretty awful! They've stuck with the transparent blue arrow of 2004, and you can't kick very far!
Player creation, (Body wise at least) is very limited! You can change all aspects of the face, but I think there's only 4 or 5 "Body Shapes" (Yes, that's back) to choose from! You can however, unlock new things so I wouldn't be surprised to see more revealed through continuous play!
To be honest, I'm pretty bored with the one player game now! The AI is good, using set moves against you etc, but it pales in comparision to the multiplayer mode, which is great!
My biggest gripe about it is the camera angles!!! Why only go with 4??? Fifa has loads, and you can moves the camera on that game. Madden is the same. Why have they gone with only 4 camera angles, 2 of which are unplayable, forcing you to choose between the side view - Good but hard to judge tackles or kicks the higher up the screen the players get - , or the Classic 2 cam which is ok, but feels totally different to the side view game!
By the way, Game controls (for PS2 anyway) are:
Left stick - move player, run into the player to tackle
L1/R1 - Pass left/right. Hold to miss a man out
L2 - Change player
R2 - Sprint
Right stick - Fend / Shoulder Charge / Sidestep
Circle - Jump / Drop Goal
Triangle - Grubber Kick
Square - Bomb
X - Punt / Dive Tackle