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It’s been a long time between drinks in the Rugby League series. After the second installment won us over in 2005, there was much speculation as to whether the series had a big enough market to continue.

Well, it’s taken four years, but Rugby League 3 is finally here. And while the majority of you blockheaded league fans wouldn’t be caught dead with a Nintendo Wii in your house, the fact of the matter is that it’s all we have.

That may be the case, but what the hell were Sidhe Interactive thinking? Rugby league is the stuff of tabloid media, sexual assaults, and moronic tomfoolery (in the last year alone), not the sort of thing that you’d expect your five-year-old to be waggling away at on his Wii. And while I hope that the sport is able to rectify its poor standing in society over the course of this season, the developers have really dropped the ball with this Wii-exclusive decision.

As we realized after the title was announced, most gamers keen to pick up Rugby League 3 own either a 360 or PS3. Honestly, what sports series have been successful on the Wii? Even EA have had to dumb down their FIFA releases on the system. Porting it over to the PlayStation 2 would have at least opened the market up a little bit more.

But what’s done is done, and the game needs to be assessed on how well it plays, not what system it is restricted to.

Rugby League 3 will doubtless blow you away with the number of new codes on offer: in addition to NRL, Super League, State of Origin, and Trans-Tasman Tests, players can now enjoy two complete World Cup series, Four Nations tourneys, and even the highly successful Toyota Cup.

Sidhe must be living on rice and water for all the teams, players, and stadiums they have managed to license for Rugby League 3. The game crushes previous iterations in terms of realism – think FIFA vs. PES – but that’s about where the improvements stop.

Most that have played Rugby League 2 would remember that god-awful looped soundtrack – I call it a soundtrack, but it was really just a 60-second guitar riff on repeat. Well, apparently that sort of thing gets the developers off, because they’ve done it again. While it’s not the same song, it is a frustratingly bogan guitar track that never ends. And while this may not be a hassle to the casual gamer, for anyone looking to get in-depth with Franchise mode, you’ll soon be wishing for the sweet release of death at the hands of Fuifui Moimoi.

Commentary is equally excruciating. Andrew Voss is the lone wolf guiding each play-by-play with all the realism of a magic penis potion. Listening to him “commentate” is like taking a step back into the dark ages of gaming, where voice actors spoke as few lines as possible before the devs cut and pasted all the speech together. The result? Terrible commentary that thrives on abnormal voice inflection, bad timing, and a script that screams inexperience. Oh, how I long for the ARL ’96 days of Ray Warren and Fatty Vautin.

Unfortunately, the audible catastrophe is nothing in comparison to gameplay mechanics. It seems that instead of improving upon Rugby League 2’s obvious flaws, Sidhe have decided to over complicate the controls in the hope that players won’t realize that they’ve changed absolutely nothing. Movement still looks choppy, you’ll once again only have about a 50-50 chance of pass from dummy-half coming off, and just forget about kicking altogether.

You’d think that with three different control options, the developers would have got at least one of them right. Well, you’d be wrong. Using the WiiMote horizontally is a recipe for disaster, the Nunchuck combination will have you tearing your hair out at its extreme difficultly, while the lack of Classic Controller compatibility is baffling. Your only real choice is using a Gamecube controller, and unfortunately that’s just another expense on top of an already pricey Wii title.

Franchise mode will appeal to hardcore fans of the sport. Being able to manage your team in almost every aspect has always been a strong point in the Rugby League series. Player contracts, training, and injuries can all be managed by yourself, or shoveled off to the assistant coach; with 12 years to perfect your favorite team, there is plenty of time for tweaking. But when the management becomes more entertaining than the gameplay (which it does in this case) there is obviously something wrong.

The line-ups are also not up-to-date, either. Play a game with the Brisbane Broncos, and you’ll still find Karmichael Hunt (who has buggered off to Rugby Union and AFL) and David Taylor (Rabbitohs) starting alongside the great Darren Lockyer. Whether it was time restraints or sheer laziness that caused it, releasing a rugby league game in such a state is a cop-out to the fans.

Without the addition of multiplayer, the game would be basically impossible to recommend. However, with up to eight players able to take part in multiplayer events, it’s more than a little fun knowing that your opponent is getting just as frustrated at the ridiculous controls as you. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not even a redeeming factor, but it will give you something to do during the Friday night football commercials.

Rugby League 3 is a big ball of “what could have been”. Previous titles were able to get away with mediocre graphics and gameplay elements due to the fact that they were released on earlier systems. RL3 has no such place to hide. In a market where FIFA and NHL titles are breaking barriers every single year, Sidhe can only feed us predigested slop. And no, it doesn’t taste good.

Rating Category
5.0 Presentation
Looks like PS2 era game. Sounds like PS2 era game. It must be PS2 era game! But you wouldn’t be buying a Wii game for looks anyway, now would you?
How does our scoring system work?
2.5 Gameplay
For the first few games, you’ll just be trying to get used to whichever controller setup you selected. When you finally realise how poor the game mechanics are, you’ll probably wonder why the hell you spent so much time memorizing the controls.
1.0 Sound
The pitiful quality of music, in-game audio, and commentary is unacceptable in this day and age.
7.0 Longevity
For those that can look past everything else that makes this game a big ball of frustration, you’ll find plenty of different leagues, tournaments, and special events to compete in. Multiplayer also adds a rare element of fun.
3.5 Overall
There are so few entertaining features offered in Rugby League 3 that it’s basically impossible to recommend it. Perhaps if you’re a video game sadomasochist you’ll derive some deranged sense of fun from this game.

  1. What a pile of scrum! Makes me want to herdy gerdy this thing right in the rugby balls.

  2. Luckily I have no idea what Rugby is or how it’s played… so I never would have made the mistake of picking this title up on an impulse buy.

    Hooray for American ignorance saving me from a shit game!!!

  3. avatar is it comin mout on xbox 360

    tom edwards

  4. I was looking forward to another rugby game too :(

  5. avatar Nikko Chunn

    Much like EA have done with rugby union, Mario and the pricks at HES and Sidhe have bought the rights to many millions of people’s favourite sport(s) and DO NOT PUT OUT ANY BLOODY GAMES!!! I say a class action law suit is in order…. No PS3!? Are you insane? We patiently wait FIVE years (When we should get ANNUAL iterations of rugby AND league – if not a combination title), upgrade to our ps3s and throw away our ps2s (or they die naturally).. and you release it ‘exclusively on Wii’?… The only redeeming feature? You made it CRAPtastic nonsense… thus you can relinquish the CRAP job you have done and hand the rights over to more competent and more enthusiastic, customer-focused game developers.. you bunch of half-arsed, half-witted morons.
    Shame on you Mario you jerk – shame on you….

  6. avatar Mount Clear

    Rugby league is a budget game with budget sales. Why anyone expects a multi-million dollar franchise with multi-million dollar sales – i don’t know. Its just ignorant and a pipe dream. Kind of matches this badly written review. The fact you didn’t even bother to grasp the controls means you can’t have played it for more than 20minutes. That, or I question your gaming chops.

    Honestly, what sports series have been successful on the Wii? PGA10 is one example. Brilliant sports game on the Wii and funnily enough it rates better than 360 and PS3 versions.

  7. avatar Dark knight

    Sorry mate but your review is a pile of s**t. Rugby League 3 is fantastic to play. Yes, it does have it’s flaws, but it plays far better than Rugby League 2 ever did.

    • avatar Adam

      It was a bit harsh but look at the other reviews … And also he didn’t point out the frustrating forward passing from the opposition

  8. avatar Finally

    I’ve been waiting for a review of this game which obviously wasn’t paid for my HES or Sidhe. The said thing about this is the loyal fans of Sidhe constantly tell them how great the game is and thank Sidhe for even making the game.

    What a bunch of crap I say. Sidhe have from RL1 – RL3 made next to know real improvements. What they have done from RL1 – RL3 in the last 8 or so years companies like EA and 2k do in less than a year.

    I really hope they lose money on this game and hopefully someone who knows how to develop a game and run a business will get a shot at this sport.

  9. avatar Willie

    very bad review, if you can’t grasp the controls which are quite easy, you must be awful at playing games. You can tell from the short and simplistic review you have hardly played the game.

  10. avatar Anonymous

    The most disappointing aspect of this game is what companies that deliver a series of goods or products need to do and that’s simply – keep what works and update what doesn’t.

    Once again, Sidhe have shot themselves in the foot by taking out the enjoyable parts of RL2 such as chooing the reciever, and added unessecary additions that don’t really need to be in there like the strategies. It’s all good to pick ‘deep attack” but by the time you get your pass to first or second reciever, the line hits him and he just passes backwards.

    I was 21 when RL1 came out, and each game I have lost interest in more and more. Multi-player ‘co op’ is substantially less enjoyable than RL2. And once again they’ve brought back the theory that increased difficulty equals the return kick off bouncing out, despite hitting catch button the whole time, or a ridiculous knock on out of the blue.

    3.5 is a fair rating for a game that could have offered a lot more, even on the Wii.

    I work within the NRL and this does not advertise the game in a positive light at all.

  11. avatar Basto

    Who the hell is this Simon Jones douche bag? What a crappy review from some unknown virgin nerd who thinks he’s top shit. RL3 is a quality game, faar better than the previous games. RL2 was a disgrace. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that this game is a big step up. Perhaps if you weren’t a retard Simon you would be able to get your head around the controls. Faggot.

  12. avatar It gets better, but..

    The guy that done this review needed more time. I now play at season level with nun was hard getting there, but now it is good. Wish they had more voices, Vossy sux. Also its had do get equal stat score if you only do 5min halves for frnachise. It should have been mutiplied so to be eual with other teams. Would like to be able to customize my controls and also online adaption.

  13. avatar LOL

    Check this out, some idiot on the RL3 forum site reckons Sidhe should be thanked for making such a game. Moron, this isn’t charity it’s a business.

    Also many a homos there who appear to wish to suck Sidhe and particularly Mario’s cock.

    As for this game in general, I would definitely rate it the worst yet. It is 2010 and this is the best they can do, RL1 was a great game particularly for the year it came out but then RL2 was worse with next to nil improvements and now RL3 is the same.

    Oh well, hopefully the boys at big ant studios first shot at AFL puts the Rugby League titles to shame. Hopefully then the morons that develop this will try and put a real effort in next time.

  14. avatar Harry

    I am seven and play rugby league and love it. I was really excited it was coming out, but the graphics are really bad and old style. I still love playing it though, but it was unfair to have to buy a controller. It did come for free with one but my dad had to buy another two play two player

  15. avatar HarryIs21

    Seven my ass, though I don’t doubt you are 21 and still waiting for daddy to buy you things.

  16. avatar Anonymous

    As someone pointed out earlier, Rugby League 3 is a budget game that is targeted at a limited demographic. Anyone (including the chap who wrote this review) expecting a HD Rugby League game on PS3 or 360 with the level of graphical detail of, say, a Madden title is living in fairyland.
    The development costs would be far too high on these consoles to make it a feasible project when you consider that Rugby League is a niche sport, played in only a handful of nations … and not a dominant sport in any of these countries either.
    Nintendo Wii has the largest user base of the current generation – like it or not – so the decision to develop this title for Wii was a smart one.
    I personally have found this to be a really enjoyable game, but then again I didn’t have unrealistic expectations of it (unlike this reviewer).
    It was never going to be the greatest sports sim ever created and yes, the controls do take a little getting used to but it plays a faithful and entertaining game of Rugby League. Fingers crossed enough copies are sold to keep the series alive.

    • avatar wii needs to be killed

      I wouldn’t call a $100 game a budget game, if it was made for half the cost of other games it should be half the price of other games fucktard!!

    • avatar Adam

      It was $100 i don’t know about now but anyway it’s still definitely not a budget game

  17. avatar Mario

    The guy above me totally loves me and blows my cock every chance he gets. Thanks mate. The game is shit yet I have you little pawns fight for me. Also no need to point out the graphical issue as that isn’t the big concern for people, it is the shit, buggy, glitchy gameplay that annoys people. I mean I can understand their pain, they are buying a game that should only ever rate an 8/10 in 2001. But thank you again for blowing my dick and spending your money on me.

    Love Mario

    p.s. anyone who defends this shitty game are clueless human beings.

  18. avatar Michael

    I can’t believe the amount of people defending this game. While it looks a bit nicer then Rugby League 2, and the team rosters are up to date etc. the controls in this game absolutely kill it… and in a game like this that’s one of the most important areas. I don’t have a Gamecube controller (will buy one for this game) so that might change my feelings toward the game, but the motion gestures in this game are absolutely crap just as they are in most other games. Motion controls is a gimmick that has ruined proper games on the Wii.

    The worst part is that the public eat this crap up and we can probably expect the next generation of consoles to have similar gimmicks ruining games. The Wii Remote should have been a gimmick add-on like EyeToy or Singstar. It works great in the odd title like Wii Sports/Resort, Tiger Woods etc. but should not be the primary controller.

  19. avatar brett

    wiis are shit anyone who has one must be under 5 or a moron

  20. avatar Anonymous

    i thinks its good…

  21. I’m happy to report that another website gave RL3 an even shittier review score than I. Check Metacritic.

    Please direct all butthurt emails to Joaby from Bigpond’s GameArena.

  22. avatar brett

    fuck off alex

    • avatar Mizee

      August 26, 2009>I like cover number two, but doesn’t it break some cover law about shnowig faces on the cover? maybe that is just for series books. I am finally starting the Shifter series. I purchased them a while ago and had to choose between MSTT and the Shifters. I love it so far! I can’t wait to read the anthology.

  23. avatar Joaby

    Cheers Simon!

    Someone pointed your post out to me and I had to come see it :)

    Would like to say that

    March 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

    It’s not a budget game. It’s $99. If it was being sold at a budget $40 it might have been more forgivable, but the average joe on the street is gonna see the ads and think “oh cool, a RL game!” and they’re gonna be out $100 god damn dollars. It’s almost criminal.

  24. avatar John

    WTF? This game is great! I don’t know if we got a different game here in the UK, but it sounds like it.

    • avatar joe

      ive got the game and live in the uk. i think its good,just need alot of time to get used to the controlls. it took me about a month to master it and now i can score some class trys. good game

  25. avatar Confused

    From the first few paragraphs it’s obvious you weren’t gonna give this a chance just because it’s a wii game. You racist.

    IGN gave it a good score…

    • Yes! I have reached my quota of being called a racist at least once a day.

      If you aren’t just a moronic troll, you can check out my other Wii reviews for Red Steel 2 (8/10) and A Boy and His Blob (9/10).

      Not such bad scores, yes?

    • avatar Adam

      It is a fairly terrible game with absolutely shit graphics. And IGN aren’t any good at ratings

  26. avatar wii needs to be killed

    Anyone who played RL1 or 2 must have rocks in their heads if they were expecting anything better. 2 was worse than 1 that just says it all, although I was not expecting a 1st class game it still would be nice if it came out on other consoles, from a marketing point of view they have just committed game suicide by having this game exclusively for piss (sorry wii) more consoles = more sales shit game or not. I have xbox360 and although I probably wouldn’t buy this game (even though I am a huge league fan) but I would of at least hired it for a weekend but because I actually enjoy the great graphics and gameplay of this day and age I refuse to buy a wii and go back to the 90′s style of gaming that they produce. I’m surprised that the players actually look like humans on this game I thought they would make them look like those gay little wii charecters you see in all the other shithouse wii games, I don’t know about anyone else but I enjoy the realism that todays games have brought us and don’t like going back to the shitty cartoon era of NES. Also if anyone out there says “I like the wii cause it’s like playing real sport and you get a workout” first off-the experience I have had with sport games on wii are nothing like playing the real thing for example you can do a 120mh pitch in baseball just by flicking your wrist and hit a home run doing the same thing????? second-if you want to play something that is “like playing real sport” and you want a workout too, how about playing real sport you retarded idiots. wii makes kids fat not skinny, you can’t compare playing wii to real exercise it is just nothing like it at all and now they are getting wii consoles in schools to replace physical education wtf???? wii needs to be killed off, it is bad for everyone.

    • avatar Michelle

      By August 30, 2012 – 12:39 pmMy boy had fun doing useability tsntieg on an early version of Shatter and he would love to get a copy of the finished product. The learning from it was great as well as the enjoyment. I don’t mind him spending hours having fun because he will probably end up working in the games industry too

  27. avatar j

    i play rugby here in the states for my skool and have been lookin for a good rugby game any recomondations

  28. avatar woofed cookies

    Hi all, came across this site and must say thank you very much! You guys have had me in stitches reading your crap.. The game is alright, tricky controls, but you either practice and get used to it or for God sake go outside, takea walk, go fishing, go for a bike ride AND GET A LIFE..
    Keep up the slagging each other off it’s prett funny..

  29. avatar Dee

    The TV ads conned me into buying this game. I tried to return it on the same day but was rejected. The game is rubbish, they use the same sound clips from previous versions, the rosters are old, the gameplay is still really bad. Graphics are shocking and whilst people may say comparing this to EA Sports isn’t comparing apples to apples, this is a sports game on a console so it’s fair game to compare it with EA and others. If you want to play in the PS3/Xbox/Wii arena then be prepared to be judged with the other titles. This game is terrible, do not buy it!!!

    • avatar kevin

      you obviouslly have no patience do you? if you didnt want to keep it more than a day? stick to mario you brain dead clown. by the way DO BUY THIS GAME ITS GOOD

  30. avatar brad marsh

    rugby league 3 is awesome dickheads

  31. avatar cmm1720

    Where can I buy this game?

  32. avatar tommy scott

    why carnt this game come out for all the consoles its a load of shite just coming out for wii

  33. avatar vockdog

    you guys are fuck heads rl2 was better then rl1 the graphics were dramatically improved

  34. avatar vockdog

    it is coming out on 360 and ps3. simon jones likes the dick man have you ever played sports?

  35. avatar jerry

    rugby league live is coming out on ps3 and xbox

  36. avatar rugby league live is shit the wii version is much better , the ps3 version looks like the psp one its crap crap crap and a rip off for a ps3 version


  37. avatar steve

    obviously kevin is a RETARD, i was so excited to play this and me and my flatmate turned it off after 3 games, its a f$%king joke its so bad. Kevin is either, a) one of the developers/promotors of this game, or b) Steve Price. ha

  38. avatar Rugby League Games

    I agree entirely about the annoying and disastrous commentry and the stupid guitar track!

  39. avatar Adam

    Omg, the commentary is TERRIBLE! And the ref is stupid sometimes too, i mean you kick it out on the full or your offside from a kick and the ref goes “We’ll have a chat about that”. I find the controls fairly easy to remember though? The real let down for me is the forward passing, the opposition always throws the ball past your line defense and scores, so frustrating!

    • avatar Adam

      And also the terrible passing from your team that lands straight in front of a player and they stand there no matter how many times you try to catch/dive on it

  40. avatar J-Man

    Bretts stupid he probably doesent have one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. avatar Brenton

    Excellent article. I’m facing many of these issues as well..

    My blog … 1800flowers shipping code

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