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Australian Rugby League (Europe)

Genre

Sports

Console

Sega Genesis

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Sega Genesis

Australian Rugby League (Europe)

Australian Rugby League is a 1995 rugby league video game developed by I-Space Interactive and published by EA’s EA Sports label for the Mega Drive only in European and Australian markets. It is based on Rugby World Cup ’95 by Creative Assembly, but using the rugby league rules instead of rugby union.

In addition to the league that names the game, the Australian Rugby League, the game also includes the State of OriginSuper League (eleven English teams plus one French) and international mode. While the ARL has all correct team names, player names are fictitious.

Gameplay

Due to the limitations of the console, ARL presents a simplified version of the game, yet allowing a wide variety of moves. Running is done with the C button, and while holding allows a player to accelerate, while it is mashed, it allows to break a tackle. Passing is done by pressing the B button with a direction; if no direction is entered, the player fakes a pass. the A button, if pressed inside the try area (or in jump distance), grounds the ball, if far and pressed in combination of the direction of the attack attempts a drop goal or kicks for touch, if pressed in combination with a direction against the attack, performs a grubber kick. The A and B buttons pressed at the same time perform a bomb kick (referred as “Up and Under” in the manual), and an A plus C combination is mostly a defensive kick, which clears the ball as far away as possible into touch. Without the ball, controls are simpler: the A button tackles, the B changes player and C increases player speed.

The game has a few criticisms; it is very undisciplined as far as tactics go, it is very hard to pull good kicks during play (which forces players to, and the lack of a difficulty level slider makes the game too easy for expert players. There are also some bugs regarding ball possession (occasionally, the ball can change from one team to another in the middle of a play for no reason at all) and the engine often flickers players when there are too many of them in an area. The lack of physical difference between forwards and backs is also often mentioned.

ARL allows several options to be tweaked, such as half length (from two minutes to 40), temperature (hot temperatures wear out the players quicker, while colder affects ball handling) and pitch condition (a dry pitch hurts tackled players more and bounces the ball more, while drenched affects running).

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