With the Winter Olympics upon us, there is a bit of fun to be able to see and experience the Olympics in more than just the passive way of watching the game. SEGA has come up with a way to do this with their game, Vancouver 2010 -The Official Video Game of the Olympic Winter Games. No longer do gamers have to simply watch the Olympics and wish that they could be an Olympiad themselves, they can actually experience part of them in their own living room.
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published at TheMarriedGamers.net, and has been republished here, with their permission.
Rating: E (for Everyone)
Genre: Sports, Olympics
Release Date: January 12, 2010
Upon starting this game, the player can choose from 23 different countries that they would like to represent. They will then choose what their character is going to be wearing when they perform the events within the game. That is about the end of the customization of the character that the player will have in the game. From this point, the player is given the list of events that they can participate in. Gamers can choose to participate in Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jump, Sledding, Snowboarding, and Speed Skating.
Each of these areas have expanded events that the gamer can partake in. Some of the events are male only, while others are female only. The gamer is not able to chose if they would like to play as a male or female character. The only apparent difference between the male and female characters seem to be that the female character has longer hair. All of the Olympic events are played from a first person’s perspective. In some events this is not a distraction at all, and in fact is a great experience, but for a couple it can be distracting. Also listening to the breathing of the Olympiad is a distraction as well.
As the events start off, the gamer can choose to either press “B” to be given a tutorial as to how the event is to be played or to press “A” and just take their chances and hope that they can learn as they go. The tutorials are very helpful in showing what needs to be done in each of the events and can be repeated as many times as needed before they try to do the event and “go for the gold.” There are three different ways that the events can be played, so the gamer really has many different options before them as to how they are going to play this game. They can choose to continually try to beat their own personal scores on each event, play against 3 computer set AI, or they can go online and find other players who are willing to challenge them in the events that they want to play in.
Vancouver 2010 can be a very frustrating game. There is no difficulty setting in the game so whether a seasoned player or a new upstart, all players must compete against the same level of challenge. Likewise, this is not a game that will hand out achievements easily. The game does encourage players to repeat the events to attain better scores and hopefully get a rare glimpse of the gold around their neck (and a Xbox 360 achievement for their troubles). Beside the thrill of victory, one other fun part of Vancouver 2010 is the loading screens of all things. While the events load, players are entertained with Olympic trivia.
While there may be times that the gamer may venture back to bask in their favorite Olympic Winter sport, the difficulty of the game will be limit future re-playability. Also the lack of customization to more fully immerse players in the role of an Olympian also dampens plans to revisit the game as the Olympic torch goes out in Vancouver.
A copy of this game was provided to TMG for the purposes of evaluation and review.