|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: 49Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Conspiracy||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 29, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There are some other noticeable issues throughout the game that definitely hinder any chance of enjoying it. For example, the difficulty is very skewed. Opponents are often much more competent at any given event than you might be, which, in and of itself, is annoying. You're given the chance to train your character in between events, but it's hard to customize your training for the coming event because you're given no notice as to what the upcoming event actually is. Then throw the incompetent in-game instructions into the mix and you've got yourself a recipe for frustration. Again, for a game that's geared toward children and families, there are some serious issues with Summer Athletics.
And then, out of nowhere, you've got something called Arcade mode. It's an optional setting that essentially gives you a set number of advantages to use during an event (a speed boost is one "power-up" that comes most readily to mind). With a game that attempts to be Olympic-esque, this whole power-up system feels severely out of place. I get rather sick of seeing this done over and over again in sports games. If it's Mario Tennis, that's one thing. But a title that emulates the Olympic Games shouldn't have this sort of mechanic included. Pure mode is the alternative, and it's definitely a good thing that Arcade is only an option. Playing with Pure, while generally more challenging, is also more satisfying.
Rounding out the package is a decent multiplayer mode that allows you to compete with up to three other players locally. But frankly, Summer Athletics wouldn't even really be that good of a "party game" thanks to its rather questionable control scheme. Progressing through the three different stages of the game, which culminate with the Summer Athletics (the non-licensed Olympics), is a fairly boring task and is often too frustrating to spend much time with. Overall, Summer Athletics is a disappointing game, and if you're looking to get into the Olympic spirit more than just enjoying them on TV, try Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games or SEGA's recent officially licensed offering.
CCC Frelance Writer