2004 is basically more than two-dozen mini games rolled
into one. It's an improvement over those old Track
and Field games, but there's still a lot of button
the 2004 Olympics draw near, so too does the greedy
hand of licensed merchandising. I actually had to
purchase this game myself and I can tell you it will
be the last piece of Olympic merchandise that I waste
my money on for at least the next four years. Unless
you count the Winter Olympics. I might have to fork
over a few bucks for that one too.
2004 is not a total waste of money. For me it was,
but I can see that this game would interest some sports
fans. The only thing that kept me interested is looking
forward to the next event. Each one seems like a game
in itself but truth be told many of them are very
similar. Although there are new control configurations
to learn for each game, it doesn't take long to get
used to any one in particular. There is a practice
mode for each event which gives you unlimited access
to hone your skills before you attempt to go for the
for the medals is fun but it's short lived. If I found
that I wasn't in range I just didn't care enough to
go back and practice. It just doesn't interest me.
On the other hand if I found an event that I had a
decent chance in, even coming in somewhere around
sixth place, it inspired me to do better. I was quite
surprised that I was better at some events that I
didn't think I would do so well in such as swimming
and pole vaulting. Other events like skeet shooting
and gymnastics I absolutely sucked at. You don't always
have to go for the gold in the single-player mode.
You can earn points which you can redeem for stuff
at the Olympic store. I wonder if I could accumulate
enough to get my money back for this game.
include high jump, long jump, javelin throw, archery,
gymnastics, weightlifting, Equestrian, aquatics and
various variations thereof. For example there are
13 different track and field events. As you can guess
the gameplay makes use of button mashing, power meters,
split-second timing and even some platforming skills.
All of the events are relatively easy to perform but
will require some practice to develop. In some modes
you'll actually playing against real world records.
No wonder some events can be difficult to beat.
are 64 different countries that you can represent
and some 800 characters that you can choose from -
but more on that later.
Party mode is an arcade-style of gameplay that utilizes
the Dance Mat to perform 10 different events including
running, jumping and swimming. It's a lot of fun and
you can actually get some exercise using other parts
of your body other than your forefinger. The Challenge
mode lets you compete against two to four players.
not so sure that the spirit of the Olympics has been
captured to great effect in Athens 2004. Although
the arenas have been rendered from actual architectural
drawings, they appear too cold and sterile. As though
you're competing in a series of uber-hip, Eurotrash
hospitals. Speaking of Eurotrash, remember the 800
different characters I mentioned earlier? It appears
as though the developers have a difficult time rendering
the various cultures. Some of these characters look
downright scary. Their faces are distorted and their
bodies and heads are misshapen. The women are anything
but beautiful. It also doesn't help that the animation
is choppy and makes all of the athletes look less
2004 is the only officially licensed Olympic videogame.
As a novelty it's not a bad way to kill a day but
I wouldn't recommend paying full price for it. This
is the kind of game that I would expect to find in
a cereal box. At least that way I'd have some cereal
to look forward to for the rest of the week.