Excerpt: Every four years, we’re treated to the sporting spectacle that is the Olympic Games. Coincidentally, every four years, we’re also treated to an “official” track and field game that fails to live up to the fun provided by Konami’s International Track and Field , Sega’s Olympic Gold or Epyx’s wonderful Summer Games . Heck, Daley Thompson’s Decathlon , complete with joystick (and wrist) snapping events was a darned sight better than Eidos’ terrible take on Sydney 2000 .
Excerpt: Athens 2004 is similar to the Olympic Games on which it is based in that it is a mix of the old and the new. As in many Olympic video games that have come before it, Athens 2004 relies on tried and true rapid button mashing to control many of its games. With 24 events included in the game from such diverse sports as gymnastics and equestrian events, Athens 2004 deserves credit for devising a slew of control schemes to add variety to the game.
Excerpt: Pathetic is the only word that comes to mind when I think of the graphics in Athens 2004 . It is mind boggling how Olympic-style video games always end up being sub-par compared to other sports games, but this is ridiculous. Player models look absolutely horrible, especially the women in the game (who all look "butch" instead of the normal petite body frame). In fact, the only thing that looks gorgeous in the game is the horse model in the Equestrian event.
Excerpt: Ahhh, the eighties, the decade in which I grew up and first came into contact with videogames. The first ones must have been Pacman and space invaders on my uncle's Atari 2600, and as the decade passed the halfway mark all my friends and I got some sort of videogame system at home.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: Athens 2004 is the perfect multiplayer game, especially in the current climate for all things sporting. But as you might expect from a game that's an awful lot of fun with your mates around, it does absolutely nothing to sustain the interest of the poor sod that bought it, sans friends. If you can pick it up cheap and have a social circle consisting of at least 3 of people, this comes recommended.
Excerpt: In a little over a month, athletes from around the world will gather in Athens to test their prowess against each other in the 28th Olympiad. Although everyone who attends the games is technically a winner, some competitors will taste the thrill of victory by winning medals while others will have the bitter agony of defeat in their mouths. Luckily, gamers won’t have to wait another four years to go for the gold, as Olympic glory is merely a menu screen away.
Summary: Athens 2004 is probably as good as we could expect from an Olympics based title, and indeed Sony have captured the essence of the biggest sporting event in the world. Some interesting controls are welcome and this game is recommended.