Product Type: Sony PS2 games
Newest Review: ... Hyper Sports on the ZX Spectrum?). Although the appearance of the games has obviously improved over the years, the basic technique is... more
Get Ready to Bash Some Buttons!
Athens 2004 (PS2)
Member Name: loopy-lou33
Athens 2004 (PS2)
Advantages: Only costs 1p
Disadvantages: The athletes look a bit scary!
My 10 year old son has been an avid fan of the athletics recently on TV, but he realised that although he has quite a few sports games on his PS2, he hadn't got any athletics games. Since the PS3 has been out for some time now, PS2 games are dirt cheap at the moment, some being available for a mere penny plus postage from Amazon. after a quick search on Amazon, I came across this game, based on the 2004 Athens Olympics. Based on the picture on the Amazon website, it looked a pretty decent game, but had been reduced in price because of its age. So I paid my penny, and the game came a few days later.
Athens 2004 is a "button bashing" athletics simulator, which follows the tradition of those early pioneering athletics games by Konami (who can forget playing Hyper Sports on the ZX Spectrum?). Although the appearance of the games has obviously improved over the years, the basic technique is still the same, and translates pretty well to the Playstation controller format. Basically, to control a runner in a race, you hit two buttons on the controller alternately as fast as you can to control his feet. Fastest finger wins! I imagine that after a few games of this, our controllers will need replacing...
The graphics are quite good for a 2004 game, and the programmers have done their best to try and recreate the human body...with some quite creepy results! Most of the athletes look like they would be more at home in a zombie shoot-em up and they are all as ugly as hell, the women especially, who seem to have taken a wee too many steroids for my liking! Despite this, the graphics must have been ground breaking at the time that the game was made, with good rendering of the crowds in the stadium and the water in the swimming pool. The different camera angles used in the game recreates the experience of watching the athletics on TV. The sound, likewise, is quite realistic and gives an authentic ambience.
As in the real Olympics, there are many different events to choose from and the controls are simple and intuitive for all of the games. Personally, I think there is nothing worse than a sports game with complicated controls! Most events involve holding down a certain button and releasing at the right time, or as I mentioned earlier, a good old button bash to the finish line. The controls would be easy for most kids 6 and over. The variety of events is really good, including equestrian events (which I have never seen in a game like this before), weightlifting, swimming, gymnastics and archery, to mention just a few.
One of the best aspects of the game for me is the fact that you can have up to 4 players if you have a multitap. Luckily, we do, as we are big fans of party games, and this is an excellent game to play with family and friends as it gets very competitive indeed. I managed to discover a really good technique for winning all the running races, so soon became very unpopular with the rest of my family!
If you like athletics games and have a PS2, this one is a no brainer. After all, it is only 1p! For that single penny, you get a game that is great fun to play on your own or with friends, with long lasting playability due to the variety of events on offer, and most importantly, nice, simple controls. A word of warning though...those zombie athletes might give you a few nightmares...
Summary: An "old style" button basher game.