Pads? Helmets? Bah - those are for wimps. Just in time for the quadrennial Rugby World Cup in September, the toughest sport on the planet makes a return appearance to your PlayStation 2 in the form of Rugby 08. If you know your rucks from your mauls and your blood bins from your scrums, you’ll be right at home with Electronic Arts’ latest tribute to football’s forebear. What’s that - you don’t? No worries, as it teaches you the basics and lets you go from there.
The muddied, rough and tumble action on the field is quite solid, although the movement can get slightly choppy when the action gets overheated. The controls respond particularly well; some nifty dual analog stick tactics let your carrier sidestep, smash into, or otherwise pummel the opposing tacklers with relative ease, while the ruck, line out, and kicking mechanics are intuitive too. Knowing that many of us Yanks will be wholly unfamiliar with much of the goings on at the outset, the fairly good controls tutorial and additional in-depth training really let you soak up the knowledge and familiarize yourself with the fundamentals.