Rugby 2005 Preview
Electronic Arts knows there are Rugby fans out there, and 2005 is looking like the best title yet.
Let's face it, I know probably as much about rugby as I do Martha Stewart's latest living tips for prison. But the sport is loved throughout sections of the world for its ferocity and entertainment, and now EA Sports is coming back yet again with a new edition of a rugby game. This time around, the house that electronic sports built is including many new features, including a Rugby 101 tutorial mode to teach you the basics and plenty of new features to get you drawn in further to its fast play. Rugby 2005 looks to be an international hit. Ozzie, ozzie, ozzie! Oy, oy, oy!
Believe it or not, sports aren't just limited to the likes of the NFL and the baseball association. Nor do they exist merely for the slap of a hockey puck or the slam dunk of a basketball. No, there are a few international sports out there that are catching on around the globe, growing in popularity. Take cricket, for example. Its popularity is still strewn across England. Then you have soccer, which is about to head into fever pitch with the upcoming World Cup tournament.
Then you have rugby, an interesting sport in itself involving a ball, rules, and tactics that are similar in a sense to football, but offer a bit more excitement in play and less padding...and advertisement. I always wanted to get a little further into rugby, if just for the sake of finding a sport that isn't drowned in commercialism. Or worse yet, lockout.
Fortunately, EA Sports appears to have the rugby field covered. Over the past couple of years, the company has been producing rugby games that have been getting a little better with each new edition, and Rugby 2005 appears to be no exception. This year's version appears to have plenty of new advantages stacked in its favor, as it looks to be more visceral than ever before and has a few bonuses that are bound to appeal to more players, even those who don't even know how rugby is played.
The first thing you'll notice is the game's training mode, outlined as Rugby 101. Through a series of mini-games and pre-set training videos, the game will walk you through each basic of rugby, including all the rules you need to abide by to get a high score and become victorious. This will also be the place to work on your different skills, as the right analog stick will come into play for pulling off skillful fakes and offensive moves. The game then pits you into a Training Pitch to take advantage of these skills and make you familiar with everything before you get started. This new mode in itself is a great addition to the franchise.
There's also a brand new creation mode that will come in handy in terms of getting you into the sport of rugby. That's because it will provide you the tools to literally put yourself into the game. You'll be able to customize players to your own liking, whether you want to put yourself in the game, build your best friend as your right hand man, or maybe even get froggy enough to jump in and make a player with your grandmother's likeliness. That'd be hilarious- some guy would tell you "Your grandmother could play better rugby than you!" and you'd point her out and say, "She already is!" Well, OK, maybe it'd only be hilarious to some. The customization options should be widely spread enough to let creative minds roam about.
Rugby 2005 will continue the trend of capturing all the basics of the sport, from the intense play-calling to the on-field action, perfectly captured between the motion-capture sessions and the dynamic graphics. Rugby 2005 will undergo some changes to make the game look better than ever, including more stadium and player details. The crowd will also play an important part, as their excitement will build between their enthusiastic cheering and their team songs and crowd chants, like the "oy oy oy!" battle cry. Gotta love that. New camera angles and replay controls give you a great feel over the action as well.
Rugby 2005 appears to be a big kick in the butt over the editions from the previous years, and we'll find out later this year if it's got the sack to stand up to the big boys. My money's betting on yes...but, then again, I am starved for some new sport action.