|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Eurocom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 8, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There are several options of how to approach all the events: you can enter training, competitive mode, or embark on the Olympic Games mode. Training is necessary to get down all the distinct control sets, but once you graduate from that, the majority of your time will be spent in competitive mode, which allows you to play with others locally or online.
When tested for review, the online play did exhibit some lag. There was nothing game crippling, but in events where just a fraction of a second matters, it's something worth noting. Perhaps the biggest benefit of competition mode is that you can setup your own series of events. For example, you don't just have to stay confined to track events. If you want to setup a custom series of events that starts with table tennis, throws in some gymnastics, and then follows it all up with some air pistol action, then you can do that.
Olympic Games mode may tempt you with the allure of getting a gold medal, but it has a host of problems. First and foremost is the ability to customize your team it's not really there. All you can do is swap out one generic character model for another. This mode also sports some RPG-like elements, but they're not really fleshed out. You are awarded points to upgrade skills or diminish team fatigue, but spending points on skill areas merely brings you up to the level of the computer and you have to constantly fight off fatigue so, the entire point system is unnecessary. If you could train a custom team before you entered the Olympic Games and start out with higher stats than other teams, then the idea would work. This mode does have a feature the other two dont: leaderboards. After every event, you get to see how your score or time stacks up to global rankings.
Audio-wise, there isn't much going with the game. You've got typical crowd chatter and cheers from fans, but the actual soundtrack is a series of songs that sound like someone mixed traditional Chinese instruments with house beats. The graphical department has some strange problems too. While the overall level of details is good, it's almost as if someone forgot to turn anti-aliasing on everything in the game has a severe case of jaggies. Also, there are blatant bugs. For review, a retail PS3 copy of the game with the latest update (1.10) was used and the game froze on one occasion. There was also a weird graphical glitch where everything but the on-screen meters disappeared.
Beijing 2008 doesn't escape from the stereotypical Olympic Games video game mold it's a series of some good and bad mini-games that, while somewhat fun with others, dont amount to much entertainment.
CCC Freelance Writer