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More EA trash...
on 17 January 2007
I picked this up new for a couple of quid recently, and I'm almost aggrieved that I spent that much on it.
The production quality is - in typical EA shovel-it-out-onto-as-many-platforms-as-possible fashion - absolutely atrocious.
The menus are superficially similar to other EA sports games, but subtly different enough to be annoying.
The menu screen doesn't display properly on a 16:9 LCD TV (it looks like it's set to 4:3, but isn't - and doesn't trigger a TV mode change), but the in-game screen is OK. Bars showing the previously displayed game screen remain to the left and right.
When playing, it's all too easy to press the A button to bind your players into a ruck/maul, only to find that you've been too hasty, and several of your backs have tried to do a diving tackle; control of the ruck/maul isn't given quickly enough, so you'll often find that you've run your backs offside.
Passing is unresponsive, meaning that you'll often find yourself running into the opposition; there is an ability to do hand-offs, sidesteps, etc. but these rarely have any noticeable impact on avoiding the tackle.
The computer controlled teams seem to be able to turn the ruck over, and suddenly take possession of the ball - it's not clear how this happens, or how as a human player you can do so.
The good parts? I've been tackled several times where my player has been picked up bodily, and dumped headfirst onto the floor. That's pretty entertaining to watch, although it looks more like a wrestling move.
It's also funny to watch the players chase the ball - *every* player seems to rush off after it, with scant regard for formation or structure... just like school rugby.
It's a travesty that EA can keep pumping out utter dross like this; hopefully one day something will change, and they'll actually put a bit of care, thought and user-testing into their development process.