With the Winter Olympics finally kicking off, it's time to take a quick look at Vancouver 2010, the "official" video game of the 2010 Winter Games. The title's been out for a couple of weeks, but I finally got around to playing it a bit and in typical Olympics video game fashion, it has just enough positives to frustrate you into thinking about how much fun you might be having had the developer had the time, money, or vision to take the gameplay to the next level.
For starters, as you can see by the screenshots below, Vancouver 2010, which is playable on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, looks pretty good. And individually, the events themselves (there are 14 of them) are engaging and keep you interested--at least initially. (Critics have said that this game's an improvement over Beijing 2008, which Sega also produced).
But then you start to notice that many of the events have similar mechanics. For instance, the skiing, bobsledding, and snowboarding events have you pointed down a mountain, trying to steer your way to the fastest line. The ski jump and aerials have button-timing controls to master and short-track speed-skating has you button-mashing to maintain top speed and cornering with the left trigger (on an Xbox 360 anyway).
As I said, it's all pretty fun at first and you'll certainly get a kick out of trying out each event and improving your performance to the point where you earn a medal. But what's ultimately lacking is a greater goal and bigger payoffs for victory.… Read more