England powered through into the Rugby World Cup Final, so it's time you lot dragged yourselves out and followed in their footsteps for a fast, furious game of Rugger - with Audiogenic's scrum-tious new game. And who better to review it then Crash's hunk Nick Roberts. Guess who wrote the intro too!
There haven't been any rugby games on the Spectrum for ages so this came as a welcome change from the usual football games. I saw the game in development many moons ago at Denton Design and it looked good then. Now, with all the flash presentation and sound effects, it's a real smasher.
Sports simulations usually divide into two extremes: either the graphics are awful but the game's quite playable, or the graphics and animation are amazing but there's no satisfaction. World Class Rugby has the best of both worlds - great detail and animation in the players, good presentation and highly playable, too!
The front end has various menu screens which allow you to customise the game. You can change the team names and player options and alter the pitch and graphics' colours. From the video menu, you choose to have action replays of the more exciting parts of the game and switch the special 'blimp' mode on or off. One is from high above the pitch with small sprites and a good view of all the players. The other is a closer view point but you can't always tell where all your players are.
Unfortunately, the 48K version has had some of the features cut out to cram the main game in. There are no action replays, a cut-down menu, no blimp mode, the players are't illustrated and you can't customise them.
World Class Rugby includes all the moves and formations of the real thing only without the bad backs and mud on your face. Some moves require you to use the jostick in a special way to gain possession of the ball and others are automatically performed by the players. There are scrums, rucks, lineouts, dropouts, penalties, conversions, send offs, substitutions and grounding. The controls are herd to get used to and different combinations have to be memorised but these soon become easy with a little practice.
Sports simulations generally aren't very good - it's difficult to capture the excitement of real life on a computer screen. Audiogenic and Denton Design have done an excellent job though and World Class Rugby goes a long way towards bringing the sport straight into the bedroom.
NICK … 86%
'As with the footy World Cup many software houses have jumped on the bandwagon and produced copious amounts of rugby sims in the wake of the recent tournament. I'm no great lover of this very manly sport (any wisecracks here, Ed, and you'll be chewing dentures!), but it contains most of the features of the game. And without the risk of personal injury I might add, there's nothing like a spot of armchair sport for lazy so and so's like me. The only slight irritation is the amount of moves etc, that have to be memorised, but on the whole World Class Rugby is worth the asking price'