Just bought the latest issue of OXM and it did pretty well. REVIEW:- "Ah, Rugby, the game of toothless oafs, Cambridge undergraduates called Toxteth and men who love cupping oval balls. (See, I told you all the shitty joke would be in there). A game of grit, determination and chronic sports injuries. Of course, it doesn't have to be this painful, thanks to EA's yearly update of its official Rugby Union-licensed game, imaginatively called Rugby 2005, now sprinting onto Xbox for the first time. Who could have seen this coming, eh? So what's new? Well, for starters, this Xbox offering sports all new player models and animations, which help create a far greater sense of authinticity than befor, with bone-bending tackles, fearsome mauls and ballestic dives for the try line now replaced in realism-packed glory. The atmosphere has also been ramped up with accurate crowd chants and improved stadium effects that further add to the immersion. But what's it like as a simulation of legal GBH? Well, you know what? It's pretty darn good! Games genuinely feel like the real thing, with countless punts arching into touch, smooth passing moves flowing across the back line and brutal rucks savegly contested by hulking cauliflower-eared forwards. Best of all though, is the game's intelligent use of the play on rule, meaning that matches flow more smoothly than beer at the victory party. The AI is also impressive, reading the game with lifelike inteligence, while each carefully recreated international team displays the kind of ability you'd associate with their real-life counterparts. The green-as-grass Italians and Americans are easy to steamroller, but the Savvy New Zealanders and English prove a far harder proposition, fizzing the ball around the park while forming formidible defensive lines. The game simply spills over with tournaments, and now you can try your hand at anything from the Six Nations to the World Cup. It won't be long before you've mastered the art of combining you backs and forwards to devistating effect, though sadly, kicking during open play and line-outs are clumsy and unclear, and stealing possession can often be frustratingly difficult. Overall though, Rugby 2005 is a triumph, and had it not been for these few clumsy fumbles, it could have been a world beater. As close to the real thing as your going to get without strapping on a groin guard. Summary 1. Excelent new animations and improved stadium and crowd effects make for a brutally immersive experence. 2. A host of tournaments to play in, and an abundance of play as or against keep things varied and fresh. 3. Impressively lifelike AI plays the game realistically, yet the free-flowing play ensures it's always fun. 4. A lack of clear control during rucks and mauls means that turning over play is a rarity. 5. Kicking during open play is clumsy and unclear, while line-outs are unresponsive and overly hard to master. The Verdict 8.2//10 A generally excelent recreation of the game of rugby, topped off with lashings of EA veneer.