Olympic Gold (Mega Drive Review)

Lazy Dave seriously considered running in the opposite direction
Lazy Dave seriously considered running in the opposite direction


So here we have it, the official game of Barcelona 1992.  Sponsored by Coca Cola (ahem – royalties please) and bang on time, a decent punt this game is, but you just feel there could have been so much more. Whadda we need for an Olympic sim?  Events I hear you cry!  And lots of them!  Er, no. Olympic Gold boasts a whopping seven (yes, seven) events.  Less an Olympic games, more a heptathlon, at least Daley will be happy. The presentation is decent enough and the menus are simple yet effective.


Even the extreme close-up couldn’t phase Robin
Even the extreme close-up couldn’t faze Robin


If you choose to play the full Olympics, US Gold have mustered something akin to an opening ceremony (watch for the doves!  You can really sell it to yourself if you get Chariots of Fire going on in the background).  There are three difficulty levels, all appropriate, stick it on Olympic for something truly frustrating.  The 100 metres, hammer, hurdles, archery, pole vault, diving and swimming await you. Firstly, the graphics are good, the sprites are well defined and move smoothly, but, they’re all the bloody same!  Needless to say I don’t think the programmers were too concerned about racial equality.


All of the events are simple to pick up, in the instances of the two track events probably too simple, a bit of evolution from Track and Field would have been nice.  Some like the hammer and the pole vault are just plain boring and the results seem completely random.  However, the archery is well done and getting the balance between your archer’s Parkinson’s like grip and the wind is tricky but ultimately rewarding.  The diving is also well thought out, the option to vary and complicate your dive is an excellent touch.


Dave suddenly remembered he’d left the oven on
Dave suddenly remembered he’d left the oven on


Getting the right touches on the joypad is also a joy, you’ll be striking up those 9.0s before you know it.  The practice mode is good and the tutorials help you get better at the events. US Gold have put together a not so bad package.  The difficulty settings only extend gameplay so far and why on earth two players can’t compete at the same time in some events is flummoxing but you can still have a decent multi-player game taking turns.  

The music isn’t intrusive but you’ll have your own playlist, it’s just a shame you won’t get to the end of an album.




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