Ever since the heady days of 1997 when Jonah Lomu Rugby initially caught our imaginations on the first PlayStation, rugby fans have yearned to see a computer game that truly captured the spirit, enjoyment and feel of a rugby match.
Well now in 2016 we have… Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Okay, so in terms of realistic rugby representation and enlightened commentary, this Nintendo offering for Wii and DS will not tick all of the boxes the die hards will want. But still, some of the most recognisable characters from your childhood flinging about a rugby ball in Rio is still pretty cool.
In the above video you’ll see in-game action. From 26 seconds into the clip you see a beautiful offload from Wario to Mario, who neatly flips over the head of an on-rushing defender – something you ain’t likely to see when the sevens does kick off in Rio this August!
There is a mantra at the moment that the more global coverage rugby gets, the greater the sport’s opportunity to flourish and grow. If this is indeed true, then little things like a match-play option in a Mario and Sonic computer game is perfect for generating awareness of sevens and rugby union as a whole.
Here at Rugby World we have plenty of serious, well-reasoned and in-depth offerings for you as we celebrate the dawn of Olympic sevens, but for now let’s all just enjoy the sight of the world’s most famous plumber Mario taking a drop-goal at the Rio Games!