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★★★★☆

“World Championship Rugby is undeniably the best rugby...”

Written on: 27/04/2004 by aceventura (2 reviews written)

Good Points
Addictive gameplay that is slick and realistic
Good graphics in which characters resemble actual players in a slightly cartoonish manner, that is not totally unrealistic.
Good, crisp passing of the ball, with the option of handing off players in order to drive the ball further downfield and use quick ball to create overlaps and score tries with a sense of acclompishment.
Really good "survival challenge" option and "classic matches" option that provides really interesting variations in gaming that can be addictive and suprisingly fun to play
Clever A.I. that is competitive and challenging

Bad Points
Only England has the names of players that actually exist on planet earth
Competitions lack realism in terms of names ("Euro-Nations" and not "Six Nations") and structure (poor World Cup pool format, although bonus points is a nice touch)

General Comments
World Championship Rugby is undeniably the best rugby union game around, although the only other competition (Rugby 2004) is pitiful as it is all show (with great graphics) and no guts (with frustrating controls).

The gameplay of WCR follows in the path of its predecessor (Jonah Lomu Rugby) but improves by:

1) Making the gameplay more challenging with a responsive A.I.

2) Adding camera angles for gameplay (my favourite is "near end" although it could have been a bit closer to the action as it is difficult to follow the action on the far end of the pitch in defense and attack)

3) Better graphics



Although I cannot fault the game on extremely addictive gameplay and ingeneous challenge options, I do wish that this game was more than a tribute to an England world cup victory.

The fact that no other teams have a recognisable identity means that this game's longigivity will be isolated to the two player option rather quickly. What a pity, as this game could have become a classic if it was better authenticated and had domestic Super 12 and European options added to the mix.

Even with these frustrating flaws, the exciting gameplay more than makes up for the omissions and is the only viable rugby union option.

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