Rugby Challenge 3 review – It's quite Naas

What does a Stormer do after winning the Super Rugby final? He turns off the PlayStation. That joke has lost a bit of relevance until now. I love Rugby, it’s the manliest sport on earth; athletes weighing 100kgs or more clashing against one another. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as passing a football around or smacking a ball out of the park with a cricket bat, but it’s physical, tough and for 80 minutes people hang on to every minute of pure physicality. I understand this better than most having played it untill injury forced me out.

It’s been three long years but we finally have a new entry in the series from Tru Blu Entertainment. The first thing to note is that this is the first time they’ve managed to secure the Sanzar license for all the relevant teams.

What this means is that the full official Super Rugby tournament will be playable, albeit last year’s tournament (sorry PE) with all the teams and players. Other tournaments included are the Currie Cup, Australia’s National Rugby Championship, and New Zealand’s ITM Cup as well as the Aviva Premiership. Unfortunately the Top 14 and the Pro 12 isn’t included and neither is the World Cup thanks to Bigben Interactive who owns the rights to that, as well as the Lions Tour. Fortunately a substitute world cup tournament is available for those that thirst for Springbok glory. Also included for the first time is Sevens rugby where you can compete in the Sevens World Series.

Finally there’s a Be a Pro mode where you can create your own character and join a club as a 17 year old and work your way through different clubs up to national level. This is the cherry on top for me. You can create your own player from scratch and assign a primary, secondary and tertiary position for him as well as customize his appearance from head to toe. When participating in a match you control your player so that you can complete certain objectives, with every match sporting five of them for you to complete.

They range from scoring tries, landing drop goals, kicking the ball a set number of meters, joining a number of rucks, making a number of tackles and so on. Eventually you’ll get offers from other clubs and get picked for the national side, performance depending of course. What’s important to note is that if you play as a forward you can control the lineouts and the scrums, relying on the AI to kick at goal. I’ve yet to figure out how to assume kicking duties when joining a club but I’m sure there’s a way eventually. So, if your character plays in the backline you’re at the AI’s mercy to win scrums and lineouts.

Also new to this sequel is the player’s hub. Here you can edit players or a team to your heart’s content and upload them for other people to use. Teams can be rated (or reported) and downloaded should you feel that the default franchise is under powered. Not that people are biased. After downloading a created team you can link said team to another team. For example I downloaded Bulls 2016 which rated higher than the default one and linking that one to the default replaced the default team, giving me a much higher chance to succeed in the Super 15, which I did.

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