Looking for a fun-filled, action- packed Olympic sports game? Summer Challenge probably isn't it. Accolade merges colorful, digitized graphics with top sports competition, but somehow manages to trip over its own Nikes on game play.
The Thrill of Victory...
Summer Challenge offers eight Summer Olympic-style events. There's enough variety to please all you armchair athletes, but not enough sustained challenge to keep you glued to your seat. You can practice each event in Training mode, or go for the highest score against a field of athletes in the Tournament, which has adjustable challenge settings and passwords. One to ten players alternate turns in each event.
ProTip: In the cycling event stay towards the inside and your rider will lean into banked turns.
Solo events, such as archery, horseback riding, pole vault, high jump and javelin, get pretty good treatment. The best event is kayaking, which gives you a twisting, turning ride down narrow waterways.
Don't wait too long to release your arrows in the archery event or your bowman's muscles will tire and his aim will waver.
...The Agony of De Game
Summer Challenge really stumbles in competitive events, such as cycling and the 400-meter hurdles. On TV, competitors jostle for position in these sweat-drenching events. In Summer Challenge, you get only one guy straining against the clock with no opposition, whether you play in Training or in Tournament mode.
Not only does Summer Challenge lack on-screen competition, but as a whole the game is slow and deliberate, rather than fast and furious. The events usually involve rapid button-pressing. The pad controls height, angle, jump, or steering. Like most Olympic-style games, the action isn't too complicated, because only a couple of the controller's buttons are utilized. As a result of simplistic action and only eight total events, your interest in this game will probably fade quickly.
To reach new heights in the pole vault build as much as possible on your approach.
Olympic Looks and Sounds
Stylish graphics compensate somewhat for the sluggish game play. The opening and closing ceremonies burst with pageantry and color, the athletes get detailed renderings and facial portraits, and the behind-the-athlete 3D perspective draws you into the action. You even get an instant replay. However, a near-gold for visuals is reduced to a silver by the blocky forward-scrolling scenes, which make depth difficult to gauge.
Summer Challenge's clear musical themes pump your adrenaline, the athletes' grunts are emphatic, and you even get the occasional, garbled announcer's voice. However, more sound effects are needed.
The Mild World of Sports
This game's high point comes when your athlete plows headfirst into an obstacle -- Accolade's always done wrecks well. The events are fun for a while, and the unique graphic perspective is worth a look. However, the repetitive action and slow game play are frustrating. Summer Challenge qualifies for the final heat, but it's a long shot for a medal.
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- 8 levels
Take yourself to the limits of human endurance with Summer Challenge for the Sega Genesis!
Compete in eight great Olympic-style events such as Archery, Cycling, Equestrian, Hurdles, High Jump, Javelin, Kayaking and Pole Vaulting. You can participate in a tournament or just practice using the Training Mode. Have some friends join in; you can enter the names of ten additional players! The superb animation is really something to see!
If you think you have what it takes, try our luck at Summer Challenge by Accolade. Let the games begin!