Rugby League Live 2

Leading the sports news tonight, Saturday’s one off trans Tasman rugby league test has ended in another loss for New Zealand. While there is nothing new there, what is new is Rugby League Live 2 from Australian developers Big Ant Studios. Promising hundreds of leagues and teams, game breaking off-loads, devastating shoulder charges, and - most importantly - a chance to take the Kiwis to a win over the Kangaroos.

To be realistic, Rugby League Live 2 is never going to match the mega sports sim franchises from 2K and EA Sports. But, with a good knowledge of league, and experience with 2010’s Rugby League Live, there’s reason to be optimistic that Rugby League Live 2 can deliver a big hitting, hard running, and enjoyable game. And, all things considered, Rugby League Live 2 is an enjoyable game. Except for the sound, which is terrible.

 
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While not liking the soundtrack, which is mostly a mix of Aussie Indie bands, may simply be a matter of taste. Without a doubt, Phil Gould doing the expert comments is the most annoying thing I’ve ever heard. After every poor last tackle option, duff kick, or dropped catch, Phil cries, “No, no, no, no, no.” While I should add how accurate and varied the play by play commentary is by Andrew Voss, I can’t. Because after four or five “No, no, no, no, no’s”, I turned the sound off. If I had a choice between sharp sticks jammed in my ears, listening to John Key answering questions about Kim Dotcom, Rebecca Black’s latest single, and Phil Gould’s “No, no, no, no, no” - Gould would be my last choice.

Once you’ve turned the sound off you can jump straight into a quick play game between teams from the NRL, State of Origin, or the northern hemisphere Super League, and various junior leagues. All licensed, and accurate to last season’s rosters. So, while there’s no Sonny Bill Williams, at least Michael Luck is, along with every other rugby league player in the world. Although you can see the work that’s gone into the biggest stars (you can identify Johnathan Thurston not only from his headgear, but by the way he kicks his goals), for most of the players it’s hard to distinguish who’s who.

The way the controls work is you use the triggers to select the player closest to the ball, and to sprint. When you have the ball, the bumpers let you pass right or left. You control your direction with the left stick and the right stick triggers fends and side-steps. While running the ball feels intuitive, kicking takes a bit of getting used to. To do this you have to hold the left trigger and then aim with the stick.

Most of the time the, controls work well. You can hold down players in the tackle, but you can’t fight to get up. So, sometimes you’re waiting at dummy half for the play-the-ball, even when you’re on a roll. You can pre-select a pass, and with the face buttons nominate who to pass to. You can do grubber kicks, chips, and bombs. Switch from compressed to sliding defense. And, for repeated offending, or head high shots, you can get ten minutes in the bin.

Everything that happens in a real game is well covered. While the delay between pressing the pass button and actually making a pass can be frustrating, especially when it takes so long it results in a forward pass or an intercept, or the way it’s impossible to select your fullback to get across in cover when your line’s been broken, the essence of rugby league is captured very well.

Rugby League Live 2 also has a comprehensive player and team creation mode. You can play ten year careers that that also require some player and team management. While it’s not a fully realised management mode, you do have to manage funds, sign with the right sponsor, and stay within budget to get to the end of your ten year cycle.

You can also play four player co-op and eight player online. Connecting to a game is quick and playing is hassle free. Like all sports games, playing against real people adds to the difficulty and enjoyment of the game - even if it does have the odd graphical glitch when your opponent is kicking a conversion. With Rugby League Live 2, a bit more difficulty is especially important because, in singleplayer mode, it is far too easy.

If you play a game at amateur or rookie, by your second or third game you will be unstoppable. Every player will break tackles like Aussie James Tamou against the Kiwis. Within half an hour your only challenge will be to get the “ten tries in a match” achievement in a ten minute game. Even if you ramp the difficulty up to legend, you’ll still be able to win State of Origin and test matches. It’s one thing to make the game accessible, it’s another to make it so easy that anyone can beat it in an afternoon.

So, although it’s too easy, has uninspired graphics, and for some reason wants to send every try up to the video ref for review, Rugby League Live 2 is playable and enjoyable. Everything that’s good about real rugby league is in the game. You can smash James Tamou, play State of Origin, win away with the Warriors, and finally beat Australia in a one off test match. Now, all we need is to find some way to shut Phil Gould up for good.


Rugby League Live 2
"No, no, no, no, no!"
- Rugby League Live 2
7.0
Good
 
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 15 Min


 

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Comments Comments (5)

 
Smaaaash_em_Aussie
Posted by Smaaaash_em_Aussie
On Monday 15 Oct 2012 1:43 PM
-9
Strewth...you kiwees are hard to please.
4.0 for sound?

Not a fan of Gus ragging on your errors? Here's a tip: Don't play the game like an idiot and Gus won't bag you.
Gus is only trying to help with your "NZ style of play". This isn't a game of touch football, Benji.

I think the commentary is spot on. Yes, a little repetitive but it captures the essence of the game, and for once, a 2nd commentator in a Rugby League is very refreshing.

And the soundtrack comment...please. So you'd rather have a game that contains one or two songs, like all previous Tru Blu games? ok.
At least we get variation here (a bit of a Fifa Jukebox feel imo). I do feel a touch of anti-aussie in that band comment.
So fair to say the sound would've got a 6-7 if the game had kiwi music?

Fair comments on gameplay. 6.0 for graphics was a little harsh. I think the game looks very nice indeed.

Feeling a bit of tran tasman hatred in this.
Blame it on your kiwis team...not the game.

7.0 might be a fair call but with improved sound and graphics ratings, this should be pushing an 8.0
 
This comment has been down-voted by the community.  
 
KatalystaKaos NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Monday 15 Oct 2012 2:35 PM
7
@Smaaaash_em_Aussie Hey there Gus what are you doing here on NZ Gamer?

The comments here are actually a lot nicer than are coming from some aussie site reviews "The commentary is pretty light - you'll quickly hear lines repeated - and I'd like to think that it's more than just the Queenslander in me who has a problem with Phil Gould's work on the game." From one such review.

Trans Tasman hatred, s**t mate we love Aussie!! Why the f@*k so you think so many of us live here?

NZgamer has some of the most straight up reviews you'll find any where, period.

So cheers NZgamer sounds like this will be worth picking :)
 
 
 
thejuror84
Posted by thejuror84
On Tuesday 16 Oct 2012 7:49 AM
-
Like always, I get excited about the prospect of any league game and this was no different. Long holding hope that a title will capture the fluidity and fun of JLR in it's heydey.

Unfortunately this game falls well short in terms of gameplay. All the bells and whistles are there but it is to disjointed and your ability to work any decent plays or get roll forward is quite limited, it does do alot of things well including the variety of animations but the staleness that creeps in due to how limited you are in executing particularly on attack does present itself early.

I'm glad I hired first. Thanks for the effort Big Ant, it is the best RL title to date, but gameplay, or the title as a whole, does not get over a 6.0 for me.

Maybe with a patch and a price drop I may pick up in the future out of desperation.

And for the record, no matter how you play, intercepts do happen too often, far more so than real life, juist watch a CPU match
 
 
 
KatalystaKaos NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Tuesday 16 Oct 2012 9:46 AM
-
To clarify my early comment "Trans Tasman hatred, s**t mate we love Aussie!! Why the f@*k so you think so many of us live here?"

That is my family and our extended whanau plus 1000's more kiwis live here in Aussie where the streets are paved in gold :)
 
 
 
Leachy1983
Posted by Leachy1983
On Friday 19 Oct 2012 6:17 PM
1
15 October 2012, 01:43 PM Reply to Smaaaash_em_Aussie
Strewth...you kiwees are hard to please.
4.0 for sound?

Not a fan of Gus ragging on your errors? Here's a tip: Don't play the game like an idiot and Gus won't bag you.
Gus is only trying to help with your "NZ style of play". This isn't a game of touch football, Benji.

I think the commentary is spot on. Yes, a little repetitive but it captures the essence of the game, and for once, a 2nd commentator in a Rugby League is very refreshing.

And the soundtrack comment...please. So you'd rather have a game that contains one or two songs, like all previous Tru Blu games? ok.
At least we get variation here (a bit of a Fifa Jukebox feel imo). I do feel a touch of anti-aussie in that band comment.
So fair to say the sound would've got a 6-7 if the game had kiwi music?

Fair comments on gameplay. 6.0 for graphics was a little harsh. I think the game looks very nice indeed.

Feeling a bit of tran tasman hatred in this.
Blame it on your kiwis team...not the game.

7.0 might be a fair call but with improved sound and graphics ratings, this should be pushing an 8.0
Typical response from an Australian, no surprise at all. Blaming the faults of the game on the kiwi team? WTF? You must be a retard. How about blaming the AUSTRALIAN developer of the game for its faults. Moron