Sega Beijing 2008: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
Beware of the smog
- Decent graphics, varied control schemes, ranked scores and times
- Some repetitive controls, track and swimming starting mechanism is flawed
Beijing 2008 manages to overcome most of the usual issues of video game adaptations, and in doing so provides a decent game that will appeal to competitive gamers. Gameplay is flawed in some sporting events, but there are some surprising control schemes that make some of the lesser sporting events fun.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
Like blockbuster Hollywood movies, global sporting events induce rushed video game adaptations with the fervour of a three year old child in a candy store. However, like three year old children, most games fall flat on their face. Eurocom and SEGA have taken on the challenge of avoiding this with Beijing 2008, and they mostly succeed. Somewhere along the way, however, the Olympic motto of "faster, higher, stronger" is mistranslated as "mash buttons faster".
Beijing 2008 offers 38 Olympic events in 10 different sports across Training, Competition and Olympic Games modes. The events largely focus on those sports such as track and field and swimming — more conventional sporting events, like soccer, are mostly absent in this game. In focusing on the core sports, Eurocom has managed to create a fairly solid game.
The game has three different gameplay modes. Training is essentially the sporting event itself — players can compete, watch relevant tutorials and see how they fare against other players through a leaderboard, although training events are unranked. Competition mode adds ranking capability, allowing players to upload their times and scores to a global scoreboard for comparison purposes.
However, the game's centrepiece is its Olympic Games mode. This mode encompasses character customisation and a full competitive mode involving qualifying heats and finals. As a player progresses, they can build their character's core attributes in a style similar to RPG games — though it's a little odd that these attributes are applied to every athlete the player uses, despite the athlete themselves changing depending on the event.
Gameplay hinges on the control scheme, and it's here that the game becomes slightly inconsistent. Where some events offer refreshing and approachable control schemes, others are reduced to a combination of button mashing and synchronised stick twirling. (To be fair, this has been a staple of Olympic sports games since the days of the Commodore 64. Personally, we're not fans.)
Track and swimming events are ultimately let down by repetitiveness and their starting mechanism. Rather than automatically launching into the race, the player is required to build up their athlete's power in anticipation of the starting gun. Build up too much and you'll be faulted or disqualified, but fail to power up at all and you'll be left at the starting line while your competitors dash off.
The computer has the clear advantage in these situations, as players are inevitably let down by their own reaction times to the gun, which goes off without any prior warning. Once users do get it right what ensues is little more than a button-mashing event, requiring users to either alternately press A and B in order to gain speed, or wiggle their joysticks in the controller-destroying manner that plagued the original Mario Party. The mechanic is overly repetitive and RSI-inducing — it won't be surprising if these usually popular events are left in the dust.
A different gameplay problem afflicts the game's Field events. These events — involving jumping and throwing heavy things long distances — largely rely on a combination of button mashing and metered button pressing that bears no measurable relation to the final outcome. Controls are inevitably awkward in this regard, as players are required to alternately mash A and B buttons while holding the left or right Trigger buttons. Good results are often attributable to luck rather than precision.
Gymnastics events prove the most fun, combining precision button pressing with quick action events involving random button patterns. Where most events quickly became tedious, gymnastics proved easily re-playable, as players are faced with randomised action cues in each attempt.
Miscellaneous events like judo and table tennis suffer major flaws that made them ultimately unplayable, due to poor instructions and horrible camera angles. Still, shooting events bring a refreshingly realistic approach to the same shooting mechanic found in arcade games like Point Blank.
The game isn't the prettiest out there, but it does the job of immersing the players in the feel of the Olympics. Elaborate cut-scenes, Chinese-themed music and broadcast-standard camera angles give the feel that players are actually competing in the Olympics.
Beijing 2008 suffers gameplay inconsistency and repetitiveness in some sports. Thankfully, there are some surprising quirks and varied control schemes which make the game fun. Competitiveness is inevitably the key motive to play this game and it's unlikely to spark too much interest in casual and non-gamers.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
- VR fairytale game Luna due for Oct 17 release
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTDigital Marketing Executive - PersonalisationOther
- FTDevOps Engineer - Supply ChainOther
- CCThe job "Automation Test Analyst Guidewire " is now ExpiredQLD
- FTJunior Front End DeveloperOther
- CCData Center Infrastructure Specialist - Wintel / VMwareWA
- CCEnterprise Architect ? Network & InfrastructureNSW
- CCSenior Internet Services Engineer - DevOpsNSW
- FTTest Automation EngineerVIC
- FTManager, Digital DeliveryOther
- FTService Desk CoordinatorVIC
- FTPL/SQL DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Business Analyst - AdviceOther
- FTFinancial Analyst- Construction backgroundOther
- TPProject OfficerVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Windows EngineerNSW
- FTFeature Team Lead - paying $725 per dayOther
- CCLSS BPMN Process Improvement AnalystVIC
- FTService Desk Engineer/IT Help desk Support - Multiple positionsVIC
- FTChange Facilitators / Change AnalystsOther
- FTManager, Digital DeliveryOther
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTNetwork ArchitectACT
- CCNetwork ArchitectVIC