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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Eidos

 

Developer

ATD

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q1 2002

 

 

-Absolutely hilarious to play in a large group

-Great looking courses and characters

 

 

-Very little diversity in events (only 6)

-Gender-specific events Womens Slalom? … Men’s Alpine Downhill?

-Little to no replay value once you figure out an event

 

 

N/A

 

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Salt Lake 2002

Score: 5.5/10

With the ending of the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah there is that missing part of your heart (and your social life after having spent 2 weeks in front of the television after the whole Figure Skating Pairs controversy) which begs to be filled. One of the potential ways is to relive the games (at least in a small part) with Salt Lake 2002. The game features 6 playable events – Alpine Skiing Downhill, Ski Jumping K120 Individual, Snowboard Parallel GS, Alpine Skiing Slalom (Women’s), Freestyle Skiing Aerials (Women’s), and the 2 Man Bobsleigh. This begs the question… why exactly did the game-makers specify genders for the individual events; it seems strange that you have to be a man to participate in 4 of the events and a woman to participate in the other 2 (I think that it would have been nice to have been able to choose your gender for the event). 

salt-lake-2002-1.jpg (16629 bytes)          salt-lake-2002-2.jpg (35633 bytes)

Each of the events are repeated on their respective courses – which is good and bad: good in the fact that it is more representative of the actual event, bad in that there is little reason to replay the event once you master the run. The game itself is perfectly suited for play in groups – it even supports multi-taps and can handle up to 4 gamers… I personally had the most fun on the game with a group of my friends when we were making fun of each other’s performances.

The graphics are good; all of the competitors actually look human which is a tribute to the model designers. The only detraction is what they put on those competitors – those “nation inspired” outfits are downright ugly… especially the Canadian team, I’m sure if the Canadian Olympic Committee had unveiled that gear the team would have seen a large defection to other nations (ones with better designers). The music is understated to the action, which blends nicely in the game play; in a game of this type the action should not be overstated by the score. The narration is good, the announcers list off the competitor’s home nations (correctly pronounced thankfully – although it would have been nice for them to announce the nation in French also, which is done in all “official” Olympic activities).

 

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The events themselves represent a mixed bag, some of them are extremely fun – the Bobsleigh and the Alpine Downhill for instance. Some are alright – Alpine Slalom and Ski Jumping; while the remaining two are down right infuriating. The Bobsleigh and the Alpine Downhill are the easiest of the events in my opinion and the most entertaining – move as quickly down the course as you can (while actually staying on the course). The Alpine Slalom and the Ski Jumping are the more “skill events” where technique is everything. Balancing timing with 

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speed, makes these events alright but requiring multiple runs before mastering. The Snowboard Parallel GS and Freestyle Skiing Aerials are downright horrible – the physics in the snowboarding event makes me wonder if the designers have even seen a snowboard up close and the Freestyle Skiing is more of a practice in pushing the correct direction and button than actually jumping. The controls for each of the events are simplistic which certainly makes the game ideal for pick-up and play (a definite plus).

All in all, you end up with a game that is alright to play once or twice but really lacks replay value once you master the events.

Tazman

Gentleman, vegetables have threatened mankind for many generations.

 - Dr. Weird (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)

(March 14, 2002)

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