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EA Sports Rugby 2004 - PC, PS2

Heavy scrums and new rugby standards

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By Alex Bailey

Rugby 2004 Box Art
One thing is sure with EA Sport's Rugby 2004, you're either a fan or your not. There is no in between and the lines are being drawn. Rugby 2004 combines the strategy of football with the impulsiveness of 'football' in one action smashing game, as you would only expect from Rugby. With a new developer: HB Studios, Rugby 2004 reloads itself as "thee" Rugby game to go to.
As the old adage goes, Rugby only has one rule: there are no rules. Linking over 1500 authentic Rugby players from around the world through intuitive controls, Rugby 2004 leads the pack providing intense graphics, realistic motion, and all those details you love about the sport. Through 67 distinct stadiums and 62 international teams, Rugby 2004 covers all the bases and scrums all the competition in 50 fps.

Okay, if you've never played rugby before, you have to give this game some time. The comprehensive training mode will guide you through this easily. Find out how to play a scrum, practice your tap-kicks, polish your rucks and flesh out your mauls. If these plays don't sound cool, you defiantly have to stick with Madden. But if your ready to toss and run, dive and cover, punt and kick, Rugby 2004 is your game.

Rugby is rough, but it plays smooth

Want to make things more fun: customize your teams. Your friend down the street is now your heavy scrummer; your favorite fast food worker can now be your third string sub. Bring your world into the Rugby world. After you have your line, work your way through the Tri-Nations, the six nations, all the way to the world cup. There, expect to battle against New Zealand, France, and the world: the tough and fast.

So what don't rugby fans like in the game: the commentary (Bill McLaren and Jamie Salmon), the music, and no set leagues for starters. Luckily, the commentary can be shut up quickly, and new rivalries can be formed. As a Rugby fan though, it will be hard to beat the game design, graphics and easy game play found in Rugby 2004. In 2003, the first name is scrumming rugby is Rugby 2004.

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