Vancouver 2010 Xbox 360
Av. User Rating
Av. User Rating
Released on 15/01/2010
Compete in four spectacular venues where you can take center-stage at Vancouver 2010. Vancouver 2010: The Official Video Game of the Winter Olympic Games (Vancouver 2010), SEGA will capture what makes the Olympic Games special by absorbing the adrenaline rush and the athletic drama of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games into a videogame. Vancouver 2010 will feature uncanny realism with fully rendered models of the actual Olympic arenas where competitions take place as well as the surrounding cityscape of Vancouver Canada. Players will strive for national pride as over 20 countries are represented in Vancouver 2010 with 14 different sporting events to participate in. Players will also have the ability to compete against others online and compare scores on online leader boards; truly capturing the international competitive spirit of the Winter Olympic Games.
- 14 of the premium Winter Olympic events to take on: Giant slalom to short track speed skating, freestyle snowboarding and more!
- Challenge Mode offers a different way to fine-tune your skills. Outrun the avalanche, beat the blizzard and many more.
- Take your snow boots online: set a new world record and see if anybody can knock you off the top of the leader-board in competitive online play.
- Pick the events you want and play with your friends for the ultimate in Winter Olympic bragging rights in Competition Mode.
A Day on the Piste
Since the days of Konami's Track and Field series there have always been gamers willing to suffer the likes of blisters, calluses and agonising friction burns in pursuit of the gold. Although the athletics genre may have started its life as a button-bashing, finger-mashing frenzy times have moved on and recent instalments have become certainly become more sophisticated.
Vancouver 2010 offers 14 snow-topped events ranging from downhill skiing to two-man bobsleigh runs. With events like curling, ice hockey and figure skating left on the bench Vancouver 2010 initially sounds a little light. However each of the 14 events have been implemented almost without fault, which is a far better scenario than packing the game with 40 clumsy and unpolished contests.
As is the case with all official Olympic titles the Olympic committee have been involved within the design and development. Consequently realistic accuracy has clearly been one of the key objectives. The realistic sim-like style certainly works for the gameplay, however it's worth pointing out that this is not an adrenaline fuelled, superhuman, mountain top blast. This is never more apparent than going over a jump in the Snowboard Cross event. The next SSX Tricky, this is not.
You are at the top of hill, you must get to the bottom past/over obstacles and gravity is your engine.
Most of the events follow a similar race mechanic. You are at the top of hill, you must get to the bottom past/over various obstacles and gravity is your engine. That being said there is still a good degree of variation in these race events, achieved though different courses, obstacles and control schemes.
Other events such as Ladies' Aerials and Ski Jumping are a combination of timed button pressing/holding events, although Aerials also incorporates the analogue stick alignment last seen in the Diving on Beijing 2008. The Short Track Speed Skating involves a little nostalgic button bashing however this is balanced by crucially timed steering using the triggers.
All Under Control
Although the control schemes vary from event to event it's worth mention that they have been strongly implemented throughout. The same can be said for the presentation. Although many of the events share tracks, the levels are always crisp, clean and supported with a much appreciated level of detail from the trees, supporters and flags to the cloudy mountains in the background.
The snow can sometimes feel a little inanimate, however the character animation is very sharp and helps to hurdle the lack of character customisation or real world athletes in the roster. Each event is played through an unknown avatar, complete with lycra body suit in the national colours of your selected country.
It's certainly more enjoyable to taunt your hard earned gold medal at something fleshy rather than the CPU.
Although real world athletes would have been a nice addition, when combined with the optional first person perspective, playing as an unknown starts to makes sense. Hurtling down a mountain, weaving in and out of gates, tips of your skis just in view, and a soft blue hue over the environment thanks to your tinted goggles certainly feels immersing. Particularly as you have no association with a specific playable character.
The attractive welcome menu offers two main options for the gameplay, Olympic Games or Challenges. Olympic Games allows you to play any specific event or stack them into an order where they're played one after another. There's a little national anthem scene at the end of each event for the winner, but it unfortunately lacks a real sense of the games as a whole.
I Ain't Saying She's A Gold Digger
Challenges mode is a welcome variation that offers the same events, however rather than competing against other competitors each challenge has a specific objective such as maintaining high speed or beating a final time. There are 3 scaled levels of difficulty (referred to as mountains) with 10 challenges in each.
Multiplayer is supported up to 4 players either via the sofa or Xbox Live. It feels more suited to the Snowboard and Ski Cross events where all competitors take part simultaneously but it's not without its charm on the turned base luge/skeleton runs. It's certainly more enjoyable to taunt your hard earned gold medal at something fleshy rather than the CPU.
Unless you're Scandinavian it seems to be common practise that the Winter Olympics tend to get side-lined compared to its older sun-tanned brother, however in this case it has to be recommended that you give Vancouver 2010 a chance. Certainly as far the official game goes anyway. Offering quality over quantity, you'll need to be a leaderboard enthusiast to get the most out of the singleplayer however as a multiplayer it still packs bags of the competitive opportunity for sessions with your mates.
- All 14 events feel polished with a well implemented control scheme.
- From the menus the tracks, the presentation is impressive throughout.
- The multiplayer can still be bitterly competitive.
- What happened to Curling? Ice Hockey? Figure Skating?
- The quantity of tracks feels a little shallow.
- Never really feels like an Olympics Games as a whole.
Ready? ... Go!
Sega is on to a bit of a winner with its Olympic licensed games. First we had Mario & Sonic joining forces for the summer Olympics, followed by the none-too-shabby official summer Olympic Games release a few months later. Then the former two were back on Wii and DS for fun in the snow; which neatly (if somewhat unimaginatively) brings us to this official gaming realisation of the lower-profile Winter Games.
Much like the official game for Beijing 2008, Sega has gone to town on the presentation and animation of athletes in each and every event. Whether you're snowboarding, skiing, skating or sliding in a bobsled or luge, Vancouver 2010 definitely looks the business in screenshots and doesn't disappoint in a purely superficial sense for the isolated disciplines.
Sadly, what Vancouver 2010 lacks is Beijing 2008's sense of real Olympic spectacle; the slopes, rinks and tracks here feel largely devoid of life, with little sense that you're performing for a crowd, let alone a gobal audience. Medal ceremonies meanwhile are small-scale affairs with little fanfare, after which you're booted back out into the menu to pick your next event. It's all a bit of an anti-climax.
Scores on the doors
It's not helped by the way in which Vancouver 2010 structures its career mode - or doesn't. Because there isn't one. Where Beijing asked you to pick your team, develop your athletes' stats and ultimately win medals across almost 40 disciplines in what amounted to a pretty compelling career mode, Vancouver 2010 simply gives you a menu with a list of 14 events, all of which you can play in any order at your leisure. It makes Vancouver good for dip-in, dip-out play, but won't really have you gripped to your screen for hours on end.
Unless you're big into your high-score gaming, that is. Vancouver 2010 features a host of online leaderboards for the compulsive completionist types battering their thumbs into submission. On top of that, the Challenge mode adds a novel twist to the 14 events, with distinctly arcade-like criteria, such as slaloming headlong into snowmen to earn extra seconds. It doesn't make up for the lack of a real career mode, but it's a fun and rather silly diversion from the stifling seriousness of the official events.
And ultimately it's those events which will either sell the game to you, or leave you... erm... cold (sorry, the pun was unavoidable). If you enjoy racing down slopes with various forms of wintry apparatus strapped to your feet or body, then you'll find a lot to enjoy here, since the majority of gameplay takes the form of skiing, snowboarding or bobsledding. Tutorials at the start of events are clear and snappy, and the controls simple and responsive, asking you to push off with X/A steer with the sticks, and in the skiing/snowboarding events accelerate by holding the trigger; carving tighter lines by holding L.
The other events in Vancouver 2010 however are less straightforward. They boil down to two ski slope jumping events - Skeleton, a trick-based discipline, and Ski Jump, which is all about distance - and speed skating.
Pick up and play
The first two both require you to time button presses, move the sticks mid-jump, and then press another button to land. In the case of Skeleton, there's also the adding confusion of moving the sticks to line up with two different bars circling on-screen, which is not only incredibly difficult, but ensures you're more focused on the heads-up display than on the effect your button presses are having on your athlete.
Skating, meanwhile, is typical Track & Field button bashing, coupled with racing that you half steer, and half feels on rails, with your racer going into corner-turning mode and requiring minimal input. We would have liked to have seen biathlon, figure skating and curling too, which would have really helped flesh out the package.
The major redeeming feature for Vancouver 2010 is that the simplistic controls, pick-up-and-play structure and highly competitive nature of its events make it well-suited to quick-fire multiplayer, and especially fun for newcomers to gaming, who will enjoy its silky good looks and immediate accessibility.
It may lack the depth demanded by dedicated gamers, then, but Vancouver 2010 will do enough to entertain families looking forward to following the Olympic winter action from the warmth of their sofas.
+ Looks great.
+ Some of the events are quite well realised and prove a good laugh in multiplayer.
+ Challenges and online Leaderboards add a little longevity.
- No in-depth career mode or real sense of progression.
- Lots of similar events with a few glaring omissions.
- Generally shallow gameplay that lacks variety.
Vancouver 2010 Review (27/01/2010)
As a valued customer we now offer you the facility to sign up to email price alerts. Please enter the price you want to be, or below, and if drops to that level we will let you know...
NewOut of stock
- Only £19.99
Free UK Delivery
- Only £7.50
Free UK Delivery
Earn 160 reward points
Please note: prices in GAME Stores may differ.
You have chosen to add this product to your Wish List, but which version would you prefer to add?
Similar Xbox 360 games you may like
- Only £37.99
Av. User Rating