Beijing 2008 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Beijing 2008 box art
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.

Beijing 2008 screenshot

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 don’t: 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.

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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, don’t amount to much entertainment.

By Jason Lauritzen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.2
Graphics
The character models and animations are great, but the game suffers from prevalent jaggies and weird graphical glitches.
2.5
Control
There's a terrible ratio at play – for every event with decent controls, there are two events that will frustrate players.
3.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
House beats and traditional Chinese instruments? This works better than you may think, but the limited number of tracks wears thin quickly.
2.5
Play Value
Online play is fun, but has some lag issues. The single-player can be boiled down to a collection of mini-games, which makes for a not-so-fun solo experience. This game is meant to be played with some buddies (either locally or online).
2.8
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Over 30 Official Events and National Teams: Across ten authentic-looking stadiums, players will represent the country of their choice and compete in such sports as Track & Field, Aquatics, Gymnastics, Cycling, Judo, Table Tennis, and Canoe-Kayak for the highest honor.
  • In-Depth Olympic Games and Competition Modes: In Olympic Games mode, players will organize their daily schedule and customize their national teams with agility, power, stamina, and speed for competition in 38 events. With up to three friends, players will participate in either single or multi-event challenges in Competition mode.
  • New Gameplay Mechanics: There are a variety of controls across all events, including a time-based system where timing, power and angle are essential, a rhythm-based method that requires increasing and sustaining speed, and a targeting system to aid players in accurately hitting targets.
  • In the Zone: Pulls players right into the athlete’s mind, getting them closer to the action and giving them time to accurately control every move.
  • Global Online Competition: As a member of the aspiring US Olympic Team, players will face challengers from across nations. A multitude of online features, including exhibition events, and leaderboards will allow players to prove themselves before the world.
  • Capturing the Olympic Spirit: As the exclusive official video game, Beijing 2008 offers an authentic look and feel of the Games, ultra-realistic recreations of the Beijing stadiums and a chance to soak up the atmosphere from the Olympic Host City in your own home.


  • Screenshots / Images
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