Discussion in 'Rugby Video Games & Apps' started by locksley, Jan 24, 2005.
Check it out here
Looks good eh?
To conserve space, I dutifully concede my report to Locks as it is his find.
Better Still, here it is:
Rugby 2005 hands-on playtest
It's not even the end of January, and already the team here at au.PlayStation.com is getting around in jumpers, beanies and scarfs like it was the middle of July. It may be because management insists on keeping the air-conditioner firmly set on Andre 3000 mode (Ice Cold!). Or it could be because for the past week we've been lucky enough to put a preview version of EA Sports Rugby 2005 through its paces, and the early signs would suggest that it's going to be the best season for the franchise yet.
Wallaby or a bit wobbly?
While the folks at developer HB Studios admirably crammed in plenty of teams, modes and other features into their previous game Rugby 2004, it was painfully obvious that the graphics engine was compromised in the process. Players were largely unrecognisable ("Go Gregan!" "Wait - that's Gregan? I thought it was the goal post!?!"), and the player models themselves were oddly shaped, with pumpkin-sized heads and stilted bodies.
Fortunately Rugby 2005 puts an end to all that, and the improvement to the visuals is truly a quantam leap. Thanks to the use of EA Canada's graphics technology (also used in the FIFA series), Rugby 2005 has the realistic textures, recognisable faces and life-like animations that we've grown to expect from the more profitable EA Sports franchises such as the aforementioned FIFA, Madden, Tiger Woods etc. The aesthetic enhancements have been applied across the board, and thus the presentation in the menus and loading screens are all suitably slick and well designed as well.
Combine this with a fully licenced soundtrack featuring a host of Aussie rockers including Powderfinger, Grinspoon, 28 Days and The Cops, and add silky smooth commentary from <INSERT COMMENTATORS NAMES> and you've got a rugby game that both looks great and sounds great. Kind of like the Beyonce of sports games. But how does it play? And also, is it 'bootylicious'?
Actually, it's footylicious
In a word? Superbly, although there are some niggling issues with passing to the wrong player/over the sideline on occasion and a few other minor complaints, but we're confident that they'll be ironed out before release. Niggles aside, the game is as solid as a Jonah Lomu shoulder charge. Speaking of the big Kiwi, the PSone's Jonah Lomu Rugby from Codemasters has long been regarded by fans as the greatest ever videogame representation of the sport; the 'GoldenEye' of the genre if you will. But guess what, rugby fans? It's time to meet your king.
For starters, the controls are first class. Forget about grappling frantically with your Dual Shock like it was some monochromatic Rubik's Cube whenever you get into a scrum, Rugby 2005 features a control set that is remarkably responsive and intuitive for even newcomers to the sport, or indeed North Americans. Speaking of which, before you can tackle any of the tournaments when you fire up the game for the first time, you are forced to complete a Training Mode that both familiarises you with the control system and the rules of the sport itself. It consists of basic tackling and passing drills, but it gets you ready to jump straight into a real match.
Which is not to say the game has no depth, and simple tackling and passing soon gives way to calculated lineouts, cunning 'up and under' kicks and decisive set plays. Hand-offs, side steps and shoulder charges are all achieved with well-timed flicks of the right thumbstick, and desperate diving tackles on defence can be pulled off with a well-timed tap of the X button.
State of the Union
Rugby 2005 presents a comprehensive list of real-life leagues and tournaments; from Six Nations and Lions Tours to the Super 12's. There's also a a hugely tweakable custom player mode, allowing you to get your face in the game or recreate past legends or future heroes and import them into existing teams.
Rugby 2005 is still a couple of months off from release, and we'll have more impressions, screens and videos from the game in the lead up to its March 14th street date.
We did it at the same time.
Looks very promising this time!!!! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't getting a little bit excited now!
This is the best part: Speaking of the big Kiwi, the PSone's Jonah Lomu Rugby from Codemasters has long been regarded by fans as the greatest ever videogame representation of the sport; the 'GoldenEye' of the genre if you will. But guess what, rugby fans? It's time to meet your king.
Sounds really good......
However this statement "In a word? Superbly, although there are some niggling issues with passing to the wrong player/over the sideline on occasion and a few other minor complaints, but we're confident that they'll be ironed out before release".
Chances of those things being "ironed out" are zip I'd imagine.
HAVE WE MET OUR KING????
BY THE SOUNDS OF THIS THANKGOD THE QUEEN GOT KNOCKED UP
This is a revalation!!!!!
Overall, I'm very pleased.
But my thoughts exactly on what NZL spotted. Brought up images of Rugby 2001 and players running into touch automatically when near the sideline.
I want EA/HB to be barefoot in the kitchen with an apron on and ironing the hell out of this.
chances are they have used their whole budget.
its lights out for this project i reckon
just like 2004 nothing will get ironed out
they have pulled the power on 'Lab HB', and its nothing but an Alaskan hideout (are they igloos).
as the frost freezes over for another year, and the bears at HB begin to hibinate, the cheap ass asian labour will takeover and spawn (like they know how) and mass produce our new king, in the city streets of "cheapasslabourville"
all preachers of the new king, mainly of contigent from "cult TRF", will be bowing down on knees, come March as the King arrives in our locals at 9am.
If EA can concrete in a proper date, and stick to it - I DECLARE THAT DAY....A NO WORK DAY!
I won't assume that anything will be fixed up, this happened with Rugby 2004 and hardly anything seemed to be fixed up.
Sounds good, but nothing too revealing.
ALWAYS NAY-SAYING THEIR CREATION!
Yeah, I don't see you coming up with anything like inward singing....
Anyway it is a good preview. Its better than 2004 in ay case.
Incidentally, what is the reputation for au.playstation.com? Has anyone read their stuff before?
Couldn't find any of their reviews for Rugby 2004 -- only the standard release EA shipped out saying the game offered 'groundbreaking gameplay.'
More like 'controllerbreaking frustration,' oh, I jest.
But, yeah, anyone like what they've heard there before?
au.playstation are normally reliable when it comes to playtesting
they are the official magazine people aswell, so this preview will be in the magazine
in the rugby 2004 preview - i remember them saying alot needs to be done, if the "groundbreaking" comment is to be fulfilled
in fact their info is pretty much spot on
the only gripe i have is their release schedule and the frequency the website is updated.
i reckon they update that site weekly, if that.
and the release schedule in turn suffers, and is never up-to-date.
but anything they get their hands on before release, pretty much lives up to the expectations they had with the preview
if u read other previews and compare them to the reviews once they come out, there's not much they missed in the preview.
au.playstation are the producers of the number 1 Playstation magazine in Australia, so I assume they are fairly reliable.
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An official soundtrack, and a good one at that.
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Bill McLaren is the guy from Sky isn't he? I was starting to like him more than our own commentators during the end of season tour. I have no idea who Murray Mexted is but he's bound to be bad.
Sounds very promising. So far.
Murray Mexted is bad. But in a good way.
I can't believe you questioned who Bill is.
I know the name, I just don't know which voice belongs to him. Is Murray the supreme Kiwi rugby commentator?
Lol Murray Mexted glad to see Bill McLaren back
Great pair - hopefully its funny!
Wally, if you played JLR or rugby 2001/rugby you will know who bill is. He retired in 2002 i think and is scottish.
Murray Mexted is the man!
Separate names with a comma.