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Vancouver 2010 360 Review

13/03/2010 Family Returning Gamer Review
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Vancouver 2010 360

Vancouver 2010

Format:
360

Genre:
Sporting

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Other GamePeople columnists have reviewed this from their perspective - huh?:
Family Gamer (360)
Frugal Gamer (360)


Vancouver 2010 has its moments but the overall package lacked the bite of my childhood classic track and field. As a returning gamer I was disappointed with the repetition of events and the lack of any structure.

Even though it has less of a draw than its Summer Olympic counterpart there's always been something magical about the winter Olympics to me. The cold month of February was always lessened by watching Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards come last with such British Bravado. Even the cold personalities of the dominant countries were amazing to watch just for their expert skill and class when it came to the bob-sleigh or downhill slalom.

None of that charm or excitement has been captured by Vancouver 2010 and I was puzzled on several occasions because the game seems to shy away from its official Olympic sponsorship. None of the events seem connected in any interesting Olympian way. All we had presented to us was a list of events that we could play in practice or championship mode. There was no sense of occasion whatsoever and this was a disappointment for everyone taking part. Playing a sports game like this should be all about the occasion and it felt no more Olympic than playing Wii Sports Resort - even Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games felt more official than this.

The cold month of February was always lessened by watching Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards come last with such British Bravado.

This let-down was partly assuaged by the fantastic visuals on offer through each event. The crisp nature of the snowy environments and the deep blue sky make for a fantastic sight on the TV and the detail and animation of the athletes really adds to this effect. Even though the game doesn't feel like an Olympic event the little touches to the animation helped to draw us into the individual sports a lot more than I thought they would.

The first skiing event was really impressive in this regard and the option to go into 1st-person mode makes the experience that little bit more visceral and fun. The ski-jump is also one of our favourites with the sense of height after flying off the end of the ramp tremendously effective - even causing my son to gasp audibly the first time we played it.

Unfortunately the repetition of the game ruins any chance for enjoyment.There's only a couple of courses for all of the downhill ski events and once we'd played it for half an hour we were already bored of each corner and curve. It's a real shame because the control mechanics of the game are excellent and we never had any trouble getting to grips with any of the events. It's a long way from the button bashing and joystick waggling games of my youth - if the ski events had a better variety of courses then I could see us playing this section of the game for much longer than we did.

The ski-jump is also one of our favourites with the sense of height after flying off the end of the ramp tremendously effective - even causing my son to gasp audibly the first time we played it.

There's also a lot of similarity with the events on offer with many of the bobsled variations like Skeleton and Luge playing exactly the same as each other. The same was true of the downhill disciplines with the Ladies Slalom, Giant Slalom and Men's Super-G all playing in an identical fashion that effectively cut the amount of events offered in half.

Once we had played through all the events we came to the conclusion that Vancouver 2010 was a lightweight and paper-thin representation of the Winter Olympic Games. The scope of the game seemed far too shallow from the moment we started playing and although the visuals looked stunning, they couldn't hide the lack of depth the whole package suffered from. Just like Eddie 'The Eagle', Vancouver 2010 brings up the sporting rearguard but without any of the entertainment and charm of Cheltenham's most famous skier.

Written by Sinan Kubba

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Sinan Kubba writes the Returning Gamer column.

"As an 80s kid I was obsessed with gaming. But university, stress and life relegated my hobby to the backseat. After years in the wilderness, I'm back into video games. I don't just want to play games that remind of a happy youth though. I'm just as excited about games that take things forward, experiences that re-ignite that curiosity and fascination I had years ago."

Here are the games I've been playing recently:




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