22nd November 2010 - Rugby league Live is the latest instalment in Tru Blu’s franchise. Tru Blu Entertainment are the people responsible for Rugby League 3 for the Wii and Rugby League 2 all the way back on the Playstation 2. Tru Blu have brought in a new contender to help them out this time, Big Ant Studios. Big Ant Studios usually make adventure/racing games so let’s see how the step up to making a much loved sport into a video game.
The game begins with a high impact video of past NRL games, showing big hits and flamboyant tries. It finishes up with the past winners all the way to 2010 except for the Melbourne storm which has been removed due to the salary cap breach. As I am writing this I believe with the latest update of the game it has removed the whole intro video all together. I’m a big fan of the Rugby union games, always have been dating all the way back to Jonah Lomu Rugby, so it was time to see if the League side of the sport could keep my love going. As soon as I started to play I soon realised that this game is very flawed with its game play as all rugby games are. Instead of the big flaw of running all the way to the side and straight up for a try in the Rugby Union games it accrues all from the dummy half, you can pick up the ball and sprint through the line every time mostly leading to a try and if not a try, massive yards gained.
You can also pass all the way to your centre and suck in the winger and pass to your winger which always leads to a try. Even on hard difficulty it isn’t much of a challenge as the computer still runs on the same simulation and is very basic so it’s easy to read what’s going to happen. In saying that it does present an overall greater challenge on the harder difficulties as you’re not going to win by 100 points as you would normally win by in a 10 minute match. You’ll have to grind your way to a win and usually end up with a 20 point win margin.
This game is at the starting point of the 2010 season so if you are a fan of Justin Hodges or Steve Price they are all playing in their teams all fit and uninjured ready to smash the likes of Jared Hayne and Waerea-Hagreaves. Other than the easy tries the character control is a lot better as your character has god like hands which rarely knock on the ball and never forward pass making it a much faster game without stopping for penalties every couple of sets. There is still a chance to knock it on with the defence giving you a nice high impact tackle to the chest knocking you on your back crying for your mummy. When you get a perfect high impact tackle it will go into a small cut scene of you smashing or getting smashed, it has different little cut scenes depending on the tackle being made.
There is also a new added feature of begin able to choose your selection of play while playing your game, so you can shift your players side to side covering up those loose areas from the last action of play. OK, now to the main new feature of the game the Live factor, yes you can finally go online to play other people showing how superior your team is to any other out there. It’s a great idea and would be a lot of fun if you have a sufficient internet speed and if you don’t then good luck as it’s hard to tackle someone that’s 2 seconds ahead of you and hard to get out of dummy half when someone’s again 2 seconds ahead of you. If you have a good internet speed and versed someone who also had the same it would be much more fun than the normal game, due to it being a real person doing amazing plays and huge hits that the computer can’t do due to its lack of human instinct.
Well with the last game being on Wii and the last one before that being on PS2 we’d hope to see greatly improved graphics. Sadly we don’t as the graphics are far too out dated for 2010. It’s the exact same with all Rugby games very basic players and boring paper cut out cardboard people crowds and flat grass with some lines on it. You can easily go back and forth between PS2 and PS3/Xbox 360 without noticing much difference, very disappointing.
With sports games, only the big name developers like EA and 2K Sports seem to put effort into the sound department. The lack of effort is very evident in this game. There are the rock ballads at the start and the menus while you decide what to do. Then there’s no music during the game, just like in real life. The commentary is still as bad as it ever was, “The centre has the ball” “A big hit from the defender” It sometimes can’t keep up with the speed of play so it either is out of sync or it’s just quiet. It will occasionally chuck in some super stars name when they have the ball but that’s all you’re going to get.
People who want to play this game don’t really care about the graphics or sound. People want to play this game for the love of the sport and the fun of the game. It is a good game to have to play multiplayer with family and friends or someone across the other side of the world. If you’re a Rugby league fan then I recommend buying it, it’s good for the off season so you can get your fix and who doesn’t like smashing there little brother who hardly knows the controls.
It is a good game to play minus the lack of graphics etc as you can finish the season a few times over and the World Cup without getting bored and its also great for it being a competition based game where you can leave it for a few weeks and come back to it without any troubles. I did have one major issue with it I have finished it three times, winning two times and not getting the winning achievement and I lost it once and didn’t even get the losing achievement. So beware there maybe achievement glitches.
AAG SCORE: 6.5/10
+ A whole lot of fun
+ Great multiplayer
- Achievement/Trophy glitches
Reviewed and Written By Joshua Haworth