I never did like rugby much. At school we were forced to play in freezing cold weather -
there had to be at least six feet of snow before the PE teacher would even consider
staying indoors. However, watching the World Cup on TV I started to appreciate the game's
subtleties. Therefore the prospect of playing rugby without getting cold, muddy
and bloody seemed very attractive.
World Class Rugby has a vast array of options and features. As well as the full
World Cup tournament you can play friendlies or compete in an eight-team league and
the facility to play friendlies. Any of the 16 teams can be human/computer-controlled
and each has accurate home and away strips.
You can even swap round the players in the squad. Other options allow you to
alter wind speed, pitch type (grassy, muddy or icy), computer skill level (0 to 8)
and turn the offside rule on/off.
The match perspective is elevated and looking down the scrolling pitch. This is
accurately sized with all the proper markings to indicate your position - also shown
by a small radar scanner.
The player under your control has a large arrow over has
head. If he's got the ball, he also has a small bar below him with a dot moving left/right
- this is used for kicking, subtly affecting the ball's direction; holding down fire
rapidly increases power.
As in real rugby, tactical kicking is an important aspect of the game. And
there's even the rule that you can't kick the ball out on the full outside your
own 22. (I guess you mean it's got all the weird rules - Ed.)
By pressing fire with left/right you can accurately pass to the best place
teammate in that direction. Tackling is somewhat tricky as you have to dive at
the ball-carrier, but you do get the hanf of it. When a player is tackled, a ruck
(loose scrum - Ed) usually results - pushed forwards by waggling the joystick.
The same technique is used for set scrums, but before these you get to choose from a
selection of special plays such as Scissors, Loop, and Blind Side. This also
occurs before line-outs (where you press fire to make your players jump) and
The latter result from random stamping in the scrum or tackling from an offside
position. Cleverly, though, the ref often plays the advantage if you're in a good
position. If a penalty is awarded in the opponents' half, it may be worth kicking
The kick is aimed using a graph at the bottom-left of the screen. You must stop
a vertical line moving left/right to select direction by pressing fire, and hold
it down to select power via a horizontal bar moving up/down. This is also used
for the kick-off and drop-outs on your 22 (after you've touched the ball down behind
your own try line).
Yep, it's all here and it plays so well too. Matches realistically involve a
combination of scrappy forward play and fluent passing moves by the backs - along
with a flexible kicking game. Furthermore, you can replay great tries in normal or
slow motion and even save them to show your friends. There's no doubt that this
is the definitive rugby sim.