London 2012 The Official Video Game PlayStation 3
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Released on 29-Jun-2012
With over 30 events in which to claim gold, players will enjoy more gameplay variety than ever before, even taking the race for medals online by competing for personal and national glory with online leaderboards.
The London 2012 Olympic Games kicks off this Summer, and already athletes around the world are training harder than ever to ensure they're at peak fitness to take part in the glittering highlight of the sporting calendar. But what of us gamers? Our exercise may be mostly centred around the thumb area, but that doesn't mean we can't get into the Olympic spirit in our own sedentary way.
The most obvious solution is to tackle the official video games of the Olympics. The first is the gracefully titled Mario & Sonic at London 2012 Olympic Games, or MSL2OG as we like to call it. Admittedly, this isn't the most realistic recreation of international athletics you'll play, but it is incredibly good fun and even involves a bit of actual exercise. MSL2OG is out now, for Wii and Nintendo 3DS.
If the thought of fat plumbers and blue hedgehogs is too silly, then consider pre-ordering London 2012 �The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games, aka L2TOVGOG. This Sega-developed spin-off boasts over thirty official Olympic events and will use motion-captured footage of real athletes to deliver maximum authenticity. That's due on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii later this year.
That's all very well and good, but what if you're not interested in playing every Olympic event but still want to join in at home? Here are our suggestions for the games that will let you recreate your own video game Olympics at home.
FootballYou're spoiled for choice here, but FIFA 12 is your obvious choice even if the games being simulated won't match those in the Olympics. Alternatively, pick up Football Manager 2012 for a more cerebral take on the beautiful game.
BoxingThe Fight Night series from EA Sports should be your first choice here, with latest entry Fight Night 4 offering the chance to pit legendary boxers from throughout the sport's history against each other. Perfect for resolving those inevitable �ho was the greatest?�arguments.
TennisAnother sport well served (ho ho) with games, so we'll point you in the direction of Top Spin 4 for the very best court-side action.
BasketballNBA 2K12 is your slam dunk choice for this event, attracting critical acclaim for its nuanced yet accessible simulation.
Table TennisRockstar's appropriately titled Table Tennis is your best �and, let's face it, only �choice. Thankfully, it's a genuinely great game.
EquestrianA tricky one. My Horse and Me for the Wii should supply all the dressage action you'll ever need, while the Kinect-enabled Champion Jockey for Xbox 360 supplies the excitement. No, horse racing isn't an Olympic sport, but it's either that or trotting around in Red Dead Redemption. Your choice.
WrestlingCan we get away with suggesting WWE '12 for this category? Probably not, but are you going to argue with these guys?
ShootingModern Warfare 3 counts, right?
Finally, a sampling of the various motion sports games �Wii Sports, Kinect Sports for Xbox and Sports Champions for PlayStation Move - will supply a broad array of suitably Olympian events, along with enough cardiovascular activity to make you feel like you deserve a gold medal of your own.
For those who couldn't afford a downpayment of £20,000 to secure a seat for an Olympic event they actually wanted to see, fret not because London 2012: The Official Video Game for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC is here to put you on the podium. Virtually at least...
Once every four years, there are two glorious weeks when international rivalries come to the fore; where spectators across the globe are left breathless by the sheer scale and expense of the event. Yes, that's right - it's when the world's greatest brands compete to hawk us shoes, deodorant and, erm, burgers off the back of, you know, that Olympics thing.
So while we gear ourselves up to celebrate the coming together of the world's greatest
advertising executivessportsmen and women (with a Union Jack held aloft in one hand and a brand-name product in the other), Sega Australia has been busy beavering away on something that actually reflects the true ethos of the Games; a chance for us humble gamers to compete in 49 events across 13 different sports. From weightlifting and archery through to track and field, no discus is left unthrown.
God awful analogies aside, Sega has strived to ensure that this latest Olympics tie-in isn't merely a button-bashing fest that will leave fingers twisted and ruined. While some mashing is inevitably required, skill and timing also factor heavily. For instance, tap on the button to get yourself up to speed in the javelin event before pulling back on the analogue stick and pushing it forward to hurl said pointy stick; timing then is everything.
Now include dynamic commentary, Party Play events and full Kinect and PlayStation Move compatibility (you just know how well the archery will work), and you have a game with more personality, impulse play and scope than any other previous outings. A podium finish for sure.
Olympic fever has gripped the planet, and we're only just over halfway through a year that has already been defined by amazing sporting action. From regular favourites like Wimbledon and the UEFA European Championship, to the glitz of the Olympics and surprise wins in the Tour De France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous face certainly helps to catch our attention (although Mario and Sonic don't really count...). Here's our look back over the history of sporting heroes in games.
You can almost go back to the dawn of gaming and find examples of famous athletes promoting games. Daley Thompson's Decathlon was one of the enduring classics of the 8-bit home computer era, a keyboard-bashing run through ten track and field events overseen by the ghostly white pixellated face of digital Daley.
It was inevitable that a footy-loving nation such as ours would attract a flood of cheesy football endorsements as well, with everyone from squeaky scouser Emlyn Hughes to telly pundits Saint and Greavsie, to top flight players like Gazza and Beckham, putting their name to digitised kickabouts. We even had the bizarre sight of a Peter Shilton goalkeeping game, cheekily renamed Handball Maradona after the infamous "hand of god" incident at the 1986 World Cup. And while there's no name on the box, there's no ignoring the key players endorsing both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer even today.
Ever-obsessed with sports and strategy, it didn't take long for American software companies to follow suit. John Madden had already retired as both player and coach when his name first adorned the Madden NFL American Football simulation in 1988, but it kicked off a series which endures to this day and is widely considered to be the benchmark of gridiron gaming. Madden was part of the EA Sports stable, a label that knows the value of the right endorsement. In 1999 the company's popular PGA golf series became Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and the fairway superman has been the face of golf games ever since. Indeed, the close tie between game and name may soon become a problem, as the digital Tiger performs better than his struggling real-life counterpart. Will the series revert to plain old PGA Tour when Tiger's star fades, or will EA find a new golfing hero to carry the torch?
That's the gamble when signing a player at the peak of their game. Sometimes, a games company will sign an up and coming athlete in the hopes of backing a long term winner. That worked for Nintendo, when it paid a young Mike Tyson $50,000 to use his likeness in the NES Punch Out boxing game. Within months, Tyson was on his way to being the world heavyweight champ, and the retitled Mike Tyson's Punch Out benefited from his success in the USA.
In the UK, meanwhile, Punch Out was ported to home computers with our very own Frank Bruno as the main character. Punch Out returned to Wii minus its star, while Tyson makes a surprise return to games this year in WWE '13, re-living the brief sting he spent using his name to boost the wrestling company's ratings.
Often, a sport will bubble up to the top of the popular consciousness thanks to the eye-catching feats of a particular sports-person. In the late 1990s, it was Codemasters that perked up long-running, but fairly obscure rugby and cricket sims, by shrewdly putting hot new stars like Jonah Lomu and Brian Lara above the title. Likewise, it was only when legendary racer Colin McRae put his name to the publisher's rally games that they became the owners of a blockbuster franchise, and while the DiRT series has continued to thrive without him, it was his name that got the customers through the proverbial door to begin with. Such moves weren't restricted to cult UK sports either. In 1999, Japanese firm Namco quickly rebranded the latest entry in its fledgling tennis series as Anna Kournikova Smash Court Tennis in order to attract European gamers.
It's perhaps notable that the area where celebrity endorsement paid off most spectacularly was in the rise of extreme sports, where off-beat personalities are more openly celebrated and the players are more likely to be gamers. Tony Hawk pioneered this with his skateboarding games, lending not just his credibility but also his insight and expertise to ensure maximum authenticity. Snowboarder Shaun White and BMX rider Dave Mirra quickly followed Hawk's example. Hawk's back this year, too, in an HD re-jigging of some of his classic titles for Xbox LIVE; he's gone from extreme rebel to a traditional figure, but we still love him!
Whenever sport becomes national obsession, you can bet an enterprising games developer will seize the opportunity. Gold medal-winning swimming star Michael Phelps has got a head start on his Olympic peers this year, with his Push The Limit game for Kinect already on shelves. Will we see Bradley Wiggins grace the cover of next year's Tour De France game? Will Jess Ennis and Mo Farah be running alongside us in the next Kinect Sports? Whoever is next on the podium, it's a good bet that gamers will be the winners.
The London 2012 Olympic Games kicks off this Summer, and already athletes around the world are training harder than ever to ensure they're at peak fitness to take part in the glittering highlight of t…
Editor's Choice - London 2012: The Of… (28/06/2012)
Sega Australia has been busy beavering away on something that actually reflects the true ethos of the Games; a chance for us humble gamers to compete in 49 events across 13 different sports.…
From the Olympics to the Tour de France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous…
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