Eidos Summer Athletics
Go for gold
- Career and character-creation modes, excellent graphics
- Sports nerds may complain about definition of 'athletics', unevenness, disappointing multiplayer mode
Fans of licensed products will be better served by Sega's official Olympics game, but Summer Athletics is a simple, low-cost alternative that will provide hours of old-fashioned fun, with the bonus of excellent graphics and career modes.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
If the success of our Australian team at the Beijing Olympics gave you a taste for sporting glory, 49Games's well-timed Summer Athletics could be right up your street.
Conspicuously lacking in official Olympics branding, Summer Athletics is nevertheless a fun, varied game that evokes the spirit of the event in a cheap and cheerful way.
A sports nerd in the PCA offices (who shall remain nameless) insists that diving and archery don't count as 'athletics'. Thank goodness, then, that the developers took a wider view — these fringe disciplines are the most enjoyable parts of the game.
The fiendishly tricky diving in particular pushes things into the currently more fashionable realms of rhythm gaming (you have to hit sequences of buttons at key moments to pull off the moves, as in Guitar Hero), as opposed to the straightforward button bashing that drives most of the running and swimming.
Not that button bashing is entirely a bad thing. There's nostalgia value here, for a start. Fans of old-school track-and-field simulations will be pleasantly familiar with Summer Athletics' general principles: hit the left and right keys as quickly as you can to go as fast as possible. They'll also know how surprisingly addictive these techniques can be. Chuck in some superb graphics, an impressive range of sports and the variety offered by the more complicated events mentioned above and you have a winning formula.
There's some unevenness in Summer Athletics, however, as tends to be the case with portmanteau sports sims. The swim races, for instance, are very easy indeed — we sliced 17 seconds off the world record in our first, wrist-destroying attempt at the medley relay.
The team cycling, on the other hand, is bafflingly hard — as with several other events, the instructions make little sense. But you can adjust the difficulty levels in Summer Athletics, and it's actually nice to have a couple of events that are immediately accessible and others that reward prolonged practice.
A more frustrating issue is the disappointing multiplayer mode, which could have been the game's trump card and the saviour of the track events. What you want here is for all parties concerned to be allocated two buttons on the same keyboard and then tap away at once — hey presto, you've got a nicely raucous party game. Instead, with Summer Athletics you have to take it in turns.
Finally, the long-term appeal of Summer Athletics is improved by the inclusion of career and character-creation modes, allowing you to edit your athlete's name and appearance, gradually improve his or her athletic skills and unlock achievements.
Join the newsletter!
Bitdefender’s best-in-class security solutions have been awarded Product of the Year. Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei FreeBuds review: Solid as a value-add, less so standalone
- 2 Oppo Find X review: Damn.
- 3 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 4 HAVIT G1W True Wireless Earbuds review: Budget buds with a wireless edge
- 5 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
Latest News Articles
- Magic: The Gathering Arena enters open beta on September 28
- The Assassin’s Creed Challenge comes to Sydney
- Playstation embraces the past with Playstation Classic
- ASUS Republic of Gamers announces PC Partnership with Activision for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
- HP launches Omen by HP Challenger Series Tournament
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?