Athens 2004 - PS2

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Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Eurocom Soft. Co.: Sony
Publishers: SCEE (GB/GB)
Released: 28 Jan 2005 (GB)
2 Jul 2004 (GB)
13 Jul 2004 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card, Dance Mat
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only, Multitap adaptable


We're certainly awash with sporting fever lately, what with Euro 2004 in Portugal and the annual drizzly racket romp that is Wimbledon. Well, no sooner has England sensationally failed miserably in those two events, another international sporting celebration is upon us, refuelling the nation's somewhat diminished reserves of false hope and national pride. And that would be the Olympics - the four-yearly multi-event extravaganza that has returned to its historical roots, due to kick of in Athens any time now. Unsurprisingly, an accompanying officially endorsed video game is now available, so get warming up those 'Hyper Sports' button-bashing fingers.

Athens 2004 has been developed in close cooperation with ISM and the organising committee of the event itself so as to give wannabe virtual athletes as authentic and realistic an experience as possible. As you would expect, the game features a diverse host of different events, which take place within seven different venues, each of which has been faithfully modelled on its real world counterpart using accurate architectural plans and photos.

And so on to the events themselves, then. Aquatics includes the Swimming discipline, featuring 100m Backstroke, 100m Breaststroke, 100m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle events. Athletics includes Track and Field areas (including High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Discus Throw, Hammer Throw, Javelin Throw, Pole Vault, Shot Put, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 100m Hurdles and 110m Hurdles events), as well as the Combined area (including Decathlon and Heptathlon). On top of these, there's also a Gymnastics section - which includes Floor Exercises, Rings and Vault events - as well as an Additional section that features the likes of Archery, Equestrian, Shooting, and Weightlifting.

Now you may be under the impression that you're going to be in for some serious arm and finger workouts with the above exhaustive roster of events but, thankfully, developer Eurocom hasn't lazily just tied each of them to the generic button-bashing control formula. Granted, the majority of the Athletics events utilise the X and Circle buttons to run, and the L button to jump/throw, etc. But, throughout the rest of the events, there are some quite innovative (and refreshing for such a game) control systems to master. For example, the Vault event sees you using X and Circle to build up a meter that, in turn, determines the time you're given to then pull of a button combo and successfully perform the manoeuvre. Also notable is one of the Gymnastics floor events, which basically takes the form of a level from Konami's Dancing Stage, complete with dance mat compatibility (which, incidentally, can also be used in the other events, ensuring both maximum exhaustion and extreme embarrassment).

As with most similar games, Athens 2004 is guaranteed to provide plenty of fun, especially in multiplayer mode. Unlike most similar games, it attempts to steer away from the old tried and tested formulas and, as a result, presents you with a wide range of Dual Shock-based disciplines to learn and master. Which is both refreshing and sure to offer a bit more longevity in the long run.


Athens 2004 - PS2 Artwork

Athens 2004 - PS2 Artwork