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Pro Rugby Manager 2004 Review

Never thought I'd be a rugby manager!


Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 7th April 2004

Pro Rugby Manager 2004

  • Developer: Cynaide Studios
  • Publisher: Digital Jesters
  • Release Date: 26th March 2004

If we’re all honest at some point we have all said that we could guide our favourite club to success. For the past few years football fans have had the opportunity to do so in the form of Eidos’ excellent championship manager games, now with Pro Rugby Manager 2004, rugby fans get the same chance.

In Pro Rugby Manager 2004 players get to choose from over a 100 real life rugby union clubs and 50 national teams and compete in competitions such as the Zurich Premiership, Super 12, Tri-Nations, Six Nations, European Cups and The World Cup.

The game puts you in control of every aspect of your chosen club; you have the responsibility of buying and selling players as well as hiring your backroom staff such as coaches and scouts. Building up a team for the future also falls to you in the form of your clubs youth academy where the players of the future hone their skills. You will also have to manage your clubs financial affairs arranging player wages and sponsorship deals.

Pro Rugby Manager 2004 provides an extensive amount of information to aid you in building your dream team including extensive player statistics and ratings, some gamers may find the amount of detailed information available a little hard to digest, especially those not to familiar with the sport. The game also features a pretty simple interface which shouldn’t provide too many problems except for information you are looking for isn’t always where you would expect to find it.

The game gives you two options for getting through matches, you can either simulate games in which the outcome will decided on each teams strengths and weaknesses or you can play a match in real-time and watch your team battle with the opposition.

The later of the two is a much more fulfilling experience and is highly recommended to appreciate the full experience the game has on offer. It also offers a few advantages over simply simulating the outcome of a game. When playing a game in real-time you can change your team’s tactics on the fly to respond to events on the field, it’s a great system that enables you to instantly counter the changing tactics of your opponents without the need to constantly interrupt the flow of the game.

Pro Rugby Manager also features a very easy to use training interface where you can easily create custom training programs. It features a set of icons that are accompanied by a short description to tell what effect that training element will have on your team. It’s a good way of improving on your teams weaknesses without spending any of your limited budget on players.

Graphics in the game are pretty good, there’s not really much you can say about the game interface as it’s all pretty much standard stuff but when playing the games in real-time you get to see all the action in 3D. Match animation looks good; players look pretty authentic when making last ditch tackles and side-stepping the opposition defence. The only gripe here really is that white blotches tend to appear on the pitch from time to time and things can look at little blurred when you zoom up close to the action.

The games audio is generally good, sound effects and music have all been done nicely while the in game commentary, whilst not exceptional at least provides a pretty accurate account of what is happening in a match unlike the majority of sports titles out there.

While Pro Rugby Manager 2004 doesn’t really stand up and scream for your attention the game provides an in depth and accurate gaming experience that any rugby fan will find hard to ignore, especially those that have dreamed of guiding their team to glory.

Review Score: 7.6/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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