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NRL Rugby League 2 is a video game based on the sport of rugby league. It is a sequel to the 2002 NRL Rugby League (Australian tile - also known as Stacey Jones Rugby League in New Zealand and Super League Rugby League in the United Kingdom), was released in December 2005 for PlayStation 2 and PC, and in June 2006 for Xbox.
The title was developed by New Zealand company Sidhe Interactive and published in Australasia by Home Entertainment Suppliers and in Europe by Alternative Software. New Zealand Warriors captain Steve Price is featured on the cover. Also on the cover of the United Kingdom release it features former St Helens captain Paul Sculthorpe on the cover.
Key improvements over the original NRL Rugby League include:
- Online multiplayer, allowing two players to play against each other in either a friendly match or a competitive "ranked" mode
- More teams and players than ever before, with updated statistics and team strips
- 40 Stadiums, including revamped versions of those from NRL Rugby League
- Brand new gameplay features, including ball-stripping and pass-to-playmaker controls
- Multi-year franchise mode, putting the player in the manager's shoes - hire and fire players, manage team finances and stake out a multi-year plan as you strive for glory
- Massively upgraded graphics engine, allowing for remarkable star likenesses for more than 500 players
- Motion-captured animation from Weta Digital, the vfx-wizards behind The Lord of the Rings movies
- Highly customizable gameplay experience, with sliders and content editors that allow for considerable adjustment.
In addition, the Xbox version of the game includes the following enhancements:
- Multiple save-slots available in Franchise and Competition modes
- Shoulder-barge, fend and sidestep controls additionally on right thumbstick
- Pause function disabled during ranked matches to prevent player exploiting this feature
- Autosave available in Competition and Franchise modes
- Graphical tweaks to improve the overall look and realism of the game
- Improvements to management of custom and customized players and teams
- New Zealand Haka
- Instant Action
Jump straight into a game with random teams, pausing only to decide which team you want to play
- Single Game
Set all the details (such as teams, weather, stadium - etc.) before jumping into a one-off friendly match
Take part in a full season of a popular competition or make up your own - includes multiplayer support, with the ability to play as 1 to all of the teams in the contest
- Franchise Mode
Ten years back-to-back, with off-field management, player trading and representative competition spicing up the action
Both friendly (no consequence) and ranked modes, allowing head-to-head multiplayer over the internet
- Brisbane Broncos
- Canberra Raiders
- Canterbury Bulldogs
- Cronulla Sharks
- Manly Sea Eagles
- Melbourne Storm
- Newcastle Knights
- New Zealand Warriors
- North Queensland Cowboys
- Parramatta Eels
- Penrith Panthers
- South Sydney Rabbitohs
- St. George Illawarra Dragons
- Sydney Roosters
- Wests Tigers
- Bradford Bulls
- Catalans Dragons
- Castleford Tigers
- Harlequins RL
- Huddersfield Giants
- Hull F.C.
- Leigh Centurions
- Leeds Rhinos
- Salford City Reds
- St Helens RLFC
- Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
- Warrington Wolves
- Widnes Vikings
- Wigan Warriors
- Australia national rugby league team
- Cook Islands national rugby league team
- England national rugby league team
- France national rugby league team
- Fiji national rugby league team
- Great Britain national rugby league team
- Ireland national rugby league team
- Lebanon national rugby league team
- New Zealand national rugby league team
- Papua New Guinea national rugby league team
- Russia national rugby league team
- Scotland national rugby league team
- South Africa national rugby league team
- Tonga national rugby league team
- United States national rugby league team
- Wales national rugby league team
there is also a Sidhe Interactive team(the makers of rugby league 2) team that features in the game.
Announced in February 2005, Rugby League 2 became known to the world with the launch of an associated website and, importantly, a forum / bulletin board system hosted by Sidhe Interactive. For the first time fans were able to gather together in one location, discussing the title amongst themselves and also directly with the developer.
The online functionality in particular received a lot of attention, being the first (and still only) Rugby-variant sport to go online. Many thousands of online games have been completed since release, with the top players on both the PC and PS2 charts having completed more than 350 games each.
Rugby League 2 has proven to be quite the catalyst when it comes to fans dreaming of new features and improvements for a later version of the game. Thousands of ideas have been submitted thus far (a thread on the official forums at http://forums.sidheinteractive.com/ collates the best of these), which the developers have promised to consider should another version be developed.
A sequel entitled Rugby League 3 has since been released.