Summer Olympix (CD32)


Title           Summer Olympix (CD32)
Game Type       Sport
Players         1-4
Compatibility   CD32
Submission      Courtesy of Sean Caszatt


Review
Billed as a humorous sports simulation, SUMMER OLYMPIX allows gamers to
compete in eight events: Boxing, Long Jump, Swimming, Javelin, Kayaking,
Skeet Shooting, Archery, and the 100 Meter Sprint.

Each player (up to four can play) begins the game by entering their name
and picking a country to represent.  The events can be played in a
constant order (the same every game) or can be shuffled so as to keep the
players on their toes.

The archery event is one of the best parts of the game.  The player must
press the red button on the CD≥≤'s controller, to stop the archer's arm,
when the bow is drawn to the desired power setting.  The shot must then be
aimed to compensate for wind direction.  By "one of the best parts," I'm
saying it's one of the events that's actually fun to play.  Some are not.

One of those is the swimming event.  The 200 meter dash requires
the player to tap the top left and right buttons as fast as possible while
trying to keep the onscreen swimmer oxygenated by pressing the red button
when required.  Sound confusing?  It's not that hard to do, it's just very
hard to do it well enough to qualify.  The game has very high difficulty
levels and no way to set them lower for new players to get the hang of
each event.

The javelin event is another that requires the tapping of the top left and
right buttons.  While doing that, you must also hold the red button until
the onscreen graph shows the desired angle of your throw.  Releasing the
button is supposed to make you throw the javelin.  Sometimes you do,
sometimes you don't.  It's actually possible to qualify in this event,
just not consistently.

The long jump is quite similar to the javelin event.  This time you pick
the angle of your jump.  It's even less consistent and much more
frustrating.

The kayaking event requires you to manuever your kayak through 10 marker
buoys while trying to beat the clock.  You view this from an overhead
perspective.  There's not a whole lot to do in this event except to steer
the kayak in the right direction.  Pressing up on the directional pad
makes you speed up, pressing down makes you go slower.  This one takes
some practice and isn't aggrivating.

The 100 meter sprint is another left/right button smacking contest.  Just
hit the buttons as fast as possible and you've got the hang of it.  It's
possible to qualify at this event too.

Boxing is the absolute worst event in the whole bunch.  The instructions
tell you to watch for your opponent's reach or your chances of victory
could be slim.  This, roughly translated, means the computer can beat the
hell out of you, but you can't hit him.  You'll get knocked out in less
than thirty seconds.

Skeet shooting is the second most frustrating event.  The clay targets fly
toward the horizon while the player must aim the cursor to blast them.
Since only one shot is allocated for each target and the control is
hampered by really shoddy programming, this event is likely to be
hazardous to any gamers with high blood pressure.

If some effort had been put into this game, it could have been a lot of
fun.  Some of the best times I ever had while playing videogames was
playing the Epyx SUMMER GAMES series on the old Commodore 64.  This game
has some (but not much) of the chemistry from that series of games.  The
archery event is a joy to play.  It's fun and funny.  (Miss the target
once, if you get a chance to play it.)

Unfortunately, much of the game is too hard to control.  That's partly the
fault of bad programming and partly because of the CD≥≤'s controller not
being built to be held in a position to be slammed on.

An example of the bad programming is the slowdown that occurs when a
second clay target appears during the skeet shooting.  It's only one
additional object on the screen!  It can't possibly slow the cursor
movement down like that for any other reason but poor programming.  Also,
at several times during different events, the screen would slowly start to
break up.  It never caused the game to fail, but it was annoying and
shouldn't happen in the first place.

SUMMER OLYMPIX is a game that had the potential to be a great game, but
fell on it's face.



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