This May Cause controversy, but I have never considered tapping two buttons in rapid succession or endlessly waggling a joystick to be fun. It wasn't fun when I was playing Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge in 1988, and it sure as hell isn't fun now. In fact, the only factor that remains fun about the experience is watching the pained expression on a fellow player's face as they trigger the early on-set of arthritis while systematically destroying their 360 gamepad. (Because, as ever, this isn't a PC port that's been particularly laboured over in the SEGA HQ).
What I won't take away from Beijing 2008 though is that it's a slick package with far more sports covered than you would otherwise expect (38 in all - including stuff like judo, gymnastics and diving) each with faintly interesting methods of control that go slightly beyond the long-established Track & Field template and into the realms of rhythm action and precision D-pad twiddling.
The problem is, three-quarters of the events are 24-carat bollocks - and in the remaining fields the Olympian skills of AI competitors far outweigh your own nandrolone-free digits. The videogame rendition of the Beijing Olympics is a smooth and shiny one, and vaguely fun in two player, but its frantic, pointless, Sisyphean button mashing couldn't stand at greater odds to the human drama, elation and despair of the real thing. Avoid.
Download Beijing 2008
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP