The Olympics have a strange way of inspiring us about things we generally do not care for. Hockey, for instance, has been struggling south of the Canadian border for years, but when it comes time for the Winter Olympics, Americans transform into fanatical fans.
Perhaps gamers are the same way. We might not think much about these types of games normally, but when SEGA releases their new Olympics video game in step with the actual Olympics, we sit up and take notice. At the very least, we are going to rent a copy and give it a spin on either the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360.
In terms of providing a video game version of the Olympic experience, Vancouver 2010 mostly delivers. one downside is that it only provides fourteen events. The upside is these are the most popular events, and SEGA has done a brilliant job designing them. one of the challenges with such a game is that the designers have to fit a great deal of diversity into a single game engine, and SEGA has impressed.
In this regard, Vancouver 2010 is very much worth renting or buying used. Then play the game out until you grow bored of the events, which is where the game starts to show its warts. There is nothing else. What would have made this worth keeping would have been some form of a career mode that would have added some importance to the player’s actions.
Instead, we get one and done events, and these lose their luster as soon as we master them. A problem with this franchise is that SEGA cannot release it every year. They can and will release it every two years. What we hope is that they can develop the engine between both the summer and winter editions. In doing so, they might be able to build on their successes and transform this into a franchise that deserves a gold medal.