Monday, August 11, 2008

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Finally, wait ends here and we are ready to play Beijing Olympics 2008. But the game kills the eager and not so as expected. Sega tried to encash the Olympics fever but i think it'll not cover the expected market.

With the Olympics being such a grand affair, the game includes 38 events set across 10 sports. If you follow any of the main events then chances are they're included, but if you watch the Olympics for the football and tennis, look elsewhere. The majority on offer here are score or time based, but a few almost random events have been thrown in to spice things up a little. All the action is beautifully presented, which almost distracts from the game's biggest flaw: It's very difficult. "Beijing" starts you off with ridiculously weak characters (considering they're supposed to be Olympic-caliber athletes), and it takes a long time to build them up to a competitive level. That's OK if you're playing with friends and everyone's sluggish, but the single-player mode is bound to frustrate all but the most dedicated Olympics followers. One-and-a-half stars out of four.

Beijing 2008 uses some rather unorthodox controls, so once you've picked your sport and nation, your first point of call will be to check out the training mode. As you move between sports you'll notice some repetition in the way events are handled from a control standpoint, but given the sheer breadth of choice of sports available, you'll want to watch the tutorial at least once before you attempt having a go. Athletic sprint events use either a rapidly waggled left or right analog stick, or A and B alternating button press combo to build up speed. It can get a bit rough on the wrists and fingers, and we see the potential for a controller or two getting busted along the way given the speed at which you'll need to mash or waggle to be competitive against the game's AI.

At the moment Olympic fever hasn't really hit, yet we're still quite partial to a few sprint races in the office during our lunch break. Once the big event starts in August, being able to take part in the events from the comfort of your living room will be even more enticing. Make no bones about it, Beijing 2008 isn't doing anything all that new, but there's just something undeniably addictive about going for high scores and fastest times. If you've got an urge to twiddle an analogue stick faster than any human knew was possible you can do a lot worse.

There are some events that are utterly impossible even after you learn the necessary strategies and level up your athlete. Kayak is a cruel joke. You have no control over your tiny watercraft. Even if you somehow manage to pass through the appropriate gate, the game often won't register your success. Table tennis is just as pointless. Your giant body covers up an insanely high percentage of the table, making it impossible to see the ball if it's coming directly at you. A higher camera angle or translucent character would have fixed this problem, but in its current form, it's painfully bad.

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