I was pretty annoyed to call up courierpost on Saturday morning to find out they had screwed up in getting my copy of All Blacks Rugby Challenge to me so instead of getting it on Friday I would have to wait until Monday. Going through withdrawals from rugby gaming I noticed Noel Leeming had Rugby World Cup 2011 on sale so went and picked it up.
Before I get any further into the review I must firstly state that I loved Rugby 08 and won the world cup with pretty much every team I played it so much. Without having played Rugby Challenge I cannot compare the game play but I did enjoy the nostalgic fell like I was back playing Rugby 08. For me I do not really care that when I won the world cup with New Zealand it was Aata Morgan receiving the trophy and Ethan Harper scoring the winning drop goal, rather than Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. I enjoyed getting back to playing some rugby with a familiar feel. There have been a couple of additions noted in the demo such as around the ruck, but apart from that it is very much the same as 08, but again I enjoyed the familiar feel.
I invited some mates over before the All Blacks game to have a game and it was easy and fun to play against eachother especially as we had all player Rugby 08 together a lot so it made it easy to get back into it. I have played online a bit too and I thoroughly enjoy it, but then again it is just like being able to play Rugby 08 online.
Now to the bad, firstly as in the demo there is no 'advanced lineout' setting so it is only controlled by pressing a single button which makes it hard to know if the opposition will be able to pick the ball off of your lineout and takes some of the skill out of it. Due to the similarity to 08 there are the same techniques to beat teams, such as rushing up when they are going to kick often leads to a knock on. Although in saying this I have noticed that when playing on Hard against the best few teams this does not happen nearly as much. The biggest let down is definitely the lack of game modes and teams, I compare it to the fifa world cup games although unlike them you can not go through qualification etcetera with teams that did not qualify.
In Conclusion, I enjoyed the game and the familiar feel, but am sure it won't have very longevity except when playing multi player when the boys come around. It is good fun but probably only worth getting when it gets a bit cheaper.