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Vancouver 2010 – The PS3 Attitude Review

Submitted by on Thursday, 28 January 20103 Comments

The Olympic Games are a celebration of competition, sportsmanship and pride from all countries around the globe. Every two years, the best athletes gather to compete in a variety of sports, alternating between summer and winter events. Come February 12, the 2010 Winter Olympics will commence in Vancouver, Canada.

SEGA gives us the opportunity to participate in the 2010 Winter Games since most of us are not likely to ever compete in the Olympics. Vancouver 2010 lets players compete in 14 different events including alpine skiing, speed skating, and luge. Do you have what it takes to bring home the gold?

The Olympics are all about proving who is the best and Vancouver 2010 is no exception. Whether you’re playing online or locally, the ultimate goal is to earn as many glistening golds as possible, and no, we’re not talking about trophies here. You can take your skills to the next level by participating in online leaderboards to see how you stack up against the rest of the world. Be prepared to have your patience and button mashing abilities pushed to the limit as the road to the summit of the finisher’s podium is difficult.

The 14 Winter Olympic events are as follows, each one requiring a slightly different control layout:

  • Alpine Skiing: Ladies’ Giant Slalom
  • Alpine Skiing: Ladies’ Slalom
  • Alpine Skiing: Men’s Downhill
  • Alpine Skiing: Men’s Super-G
  • Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ariel
  • Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Cross
  • Ski Jumping: Men’s Individual Large Hill
  • Snowboard: Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom
  • Snowboard: Men’s Snowboard Cross
  • Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 500 m
  • Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 1,500 m
  • Bobsleigh: Two-Man
  • Skeleton: Men’s Skeleton
  • Luge: Men’s Singles

If the list seems small that’s because there were some events exclude from Vancouver 2010, most notably Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, and Ice Hockey. Their inclusion in the game would have given it a longer life span and a little variety from the usual skiing and luge-type events.

Best start performing your finger exercises as they will be put to the test is just about every event. With the exception of a few timed button events, each one begins with a push off that requires you to mash the X button until your finger falls off. You’re then catapulted into whichever snow filled arena awaits your destiny. For race events, you’ll need to hold the R2 throughout the course to keep your speed up. Other events, such as speed skating, you’ll have to time your button presses with what’s happening on screen. If you want to get the gold, you’ll have to be perfect in every aspect.

Visually, Vancouver 2010 is simplistic yet elegant. As expected, white is the primary color used and used well it is. The snow looks beautiful as you zip through it, leaving behind a powdery trail in the wake of your run. Blurring is used extensively to give the impression of speed although there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between 60 and 90 km/h.

The character models aren’t the best looking and are simple generic renders of men and woman. It would have been nice to see some actual Winter Olympic athletes in the game but then again, how many can you actually name? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

You can choose which country you want to represent but that only affects the outfit you wear and national anthem you hear should you win an event. Speaking of national anthems, why can’t they play the entire song instead of skipping the majority of it? These medal ceremonies are skipable so there is no excuse not to play the full anthem. While I only noticed this with the United States (being the only anthem I know), I’m sure it’s the same with the other countries.

Unfortunately, the customization ends with picking a country. There are no unlockable outfits or gear and creating your own athlete is out of the question. It’s not that big a deal but allowing players to trade gold medals for new gear would have added some much needed variety.

Practice makes perfect and in order to do well, you’ll need plenty of it. Thankfully, there are a cornucopia of challenges, ranging from beginner to expert; to complete that will make you despise snowmen more than anything. While they occur on the same playing field as the Olympic events, these challenges will require you to hit specific goals that aren’t exactly Olympic regulation.

They are fun and challenging and, more importantly, will drastically improve your skills for when it comes to qualifying for the event itself. If you want to get familiar with the basics, this is a good place to start.

Vancouver 2010 feels like a collection of mini-games revolving around the Winter Olympics. It’s fun and challenging for a while but the longevity of the title suffers once you have competed in each of the events a few times. The challenges provide an extra layer of depth to the game and some will require perfect timing to complete. “Lap It Up,” I’m looking at you. There is clearly an audience for this game and it’s certainly not just some quickly thrown together product looking to make a quick buck off the 2010 Winter Olympics. If you ever wanted to compete in the Olympic Games, here is your chance.