RUGBY ISN'T OUR most beloved of pastimes: schoolboy memories of muddy slide tackles and cold showers do well to dampen our enthusiasm for the sport. But hey, we're the world champions, so as a nation of people constantly disappointed by our performance in proper sports, it's customary that we at least pretend to be aggressively enthusiastic about EA's latest offering, Rugby 2006.
Being a rather complicated sport, Rugby 2006 could do with a simple, intuitive interface to help gently ease you into the game. Instead, the developer has decided to chuck together a confusing tutorial, some awkward keyboard controls that teeter on the complex and just let you get on with it.
Granted, if you're a burly rugby expert who crushes Stella cans on your forehead, you may find Rugby 2006 a bit easier to understand, but that doesn't make it any less of a crime that the game is so complex and inaccessible. What's more, not only is there a serious lack of sheen compared to EA's other sports offerings, but the soundtrack and menus are both similarly lacklustre. If we're talking Six Nations rankings, it's more Ireland than Wales.
For fans of the series, Rugby 2006 does include some improved AI, updated player rosters and some very minor graphical updates. However, these fiddles with the game still don't push the score into our 'recommended' bracket.