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Go for Gold! : Beijing 2008 Olympics Review

What up peoples. I know you must be in the thick of patriotic pride with Michael Phelps record breaking 8 Gold Medals in a single Olympics, or even amazed at Jamaica’s Usain Bolt’s unbelievable runs in the 100m and 200m World Record setting time.

The light from the global games usually means that there’s a videogame tie in as well. This year is no different as Sega does the honors and gives us a double dip. With the Wii’s Mario & Sonic at the Olympics and the more grown up fare of Beijing 2008 for the XBOX 360 and PS3.

This title packs in a whopping 38 events in 10 categories.

Most of the Olympic standby’s are here, but I would’ve liked to see the relays in. While the glamor sport of the Olympics are usually the track races, the level of difficulty for running the races in the game may turn some people off. For years Olympic games have been hindered by basic mash the buttons alternately control this year’s title is no difference.

Sega aims to add a little suspense to the start of races by having users time holding down the trigger to fill up a meter to coincide with the gun. Too bad it is more of a hindrance than a fun tool, because if you don’t hit the top of the bar your runner won’t leave the blocks. Causing you to immediately start at a disadvantage.

Because I’m an old school gamer, I know how to “beat” the system. You see, if you try to press the buttons as fast as possible, you will definitely catch carpal syndrome or snap your fingers off. What you gotta do is wrap the end of your shirt around your pointer finger and “slide” it back and forth as quick as possible.

Your character will be flying like Usain in no time :-)

I can’t for the life of me understand how in this age of pack in peripherals, that publishers don’t take advantage of the occasion and include Track mats! Ever since the original Track and Field for NES that came with the original Power Pad, it seemed like the best input for a game such as this.

Just think people actually getting off the coach and exercising during this game. (Nintendo how could you not do this?)

Either way, there are a lot of other none finger snapping events to compete in.
My personal favorites include the high jump, floor exercise, and balance beam.

Each one of these feature DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) esque inputs but with a slight twist. In the high jump you have to tap exceedingly fast to build up strenght and then tap again to jump.

For the Floor exercise you have to tap the corresponding button when your character’s foot makes contact with it. This is trickier than it sounds because the athlete is completing a dance routine and has start and stops are different intervals and can throw you off.

The balance beam is similar in that you have to have “Rhythm” with your character in order to succeed.

I keep referring to character because there are no licensed athletes in this game. That’s sort of a bummer because at this time of year people really want to be Michael Phelps or Shawn Johnson, but will have to settle for a hopeful look a like. (You get a random character for every event, may be white, black, or mixed) But I guess it helps to generalize the sport.

All in all this is a fun game to play and even more so if you have friends over. It should keep you busy till London comes around check it out!


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