I have to admit, it has been quite a long time since I played a title based on a certain year’s Olympic games, so I really wasn’t expecting much when I sat down to try out the recently released demo for Sega’s Vancouver 2010. Demos have been disappointing me lately, and this one, unfortunately, wasn’t an exception. While the game itself seems solid, especially if you’re into the winter sports that are covered, the content is very limited and probably wouldn’t give me a decent idea of the game if I was even interested in purchasing it in the first place.
So, loading up the game and not quite sure what to expect, I decide to head toward the one highlighted event that I can partake in – the Super G. There’s a tutorial, so I go through that and, to my surprise, things are fairly simple. I can crouch down to speed up, or slow down and cut through the snow to make fairly sharp turns. This downhill run is fairly straight-forward – just stay between the flags. After an attempt or three I get it down to a science. The visuals were pretty sweet, something I really wasn’t expecting from an Olympic game title. This portion brought back memories of SSX, of all things. I loved that game. Nostalgia is a powerful thing!
Also available in the demo was a ski-jump event, but done via the challenges menu option. I was a bit disappointed here, because there were no tutorials for this event! I screwed up a few times trying to figure things out. Unfortunately, the demo has a bug of some sort. When you mess up, it asks you to hit “A” to continue, but when I hit “A” it goes to a standard “demo over” screen that outlines what you can expect in the full title, and then shuts the game down completely. This got highly annoying after a time or two, as you can imagine.
The challenge itself seemed kind of cool, you had to land within a certain distance of two different markers. I was actually looking forward to it, but since the game wants to just quit on you, it’s hard to progress through those challenges and I’m unsure exactly how far the demo will let you go if you succeed in completing them.
Needless to say, I can see some parts of the full game being pretty fun, especially the downhill events, as well as the bobsledding and luge, perhaps. The ski jumping I’m not quite sure about yet, because I couldn’t really try it out in a reliable manner.
I did, however, enjoy the presentation of everything. When you finished an event, like the Super G, the results showed up on-screen just like it would if you were watching the games broadcast on television. That, along with your athlete and the crowd’s reaction really made it feel like you were there in Vancouver watching these events take place. Definitely try the demo or rent the game before your purchase. But, hey, if you’re a fan of Olympic-based titles of the past, it’s likely you’ll enjoy this one, as well.