The 29th Olympic Games are currently taking place in Beijing, China. You may have noticed. In 4 years time the games will be coming to my home country, giving me what will likely be the only chance I'll ever have to see the games in person.
We're not interested in that though, what we're interested in is how the game of the games will bring the Olympic licence back from the brink that the Beijing 2008 game has taken it to. With that in mind here's why I think the London 2012 can recapture the greatness of Sydney 2000 (and Athens 2004, to a lesser extent) for this week's 5 Reasons.
1) Advanced Controls
By 2012 we'll be into the next generation of consoles and hopefully the new set of controls those consoles will bring. Be it better button layouts or more accurate motion sensing there will have to be a better method of control in the next wave of Olympic games than Beijing. More accurate motion sensing should be the key though, if Mario and Sonic's controls could be tightened up a bit then they could be the new standard, and deservedly so.
2) More Events
Why must we settle for the same set of track and field events with the usual mixture of shooting, archery etc. I'm hoping that with the larger storage capacity that the next generation (Blu-Ray) will bring we should get more events, stuff like judo, equestrian and the return to track and field of kayaking. Lets get the whole olympics into the next game.
3) Online Potential
One review (I think it was Eurogamer) commented on the online features of Beijing and suggested getting a simultanious full Olympics going online with representatives from as many countries as possible going through qualifying and finals to win the medals against proper human opponents over the full repertoir of events. Make relays between teams of 4 people, giving the proper changover timing and synchronising between 2 people. Giving an entire country the chance to take on others in the Olympics themselves would no doubt be immensely entertaining. Not to mention give the game more of a chance to have some lasting appeal past the games themselves.
The best athletics game of this olympics is Mario and Sonic, followed closely by New International Track and Field. If other developers do the same thing they've done this year and release Track and Field style games to compete against the Olympic game (Summer Athletics and Deca Sports making up the 5) then it should force the developers to fight for those sales. As we all know, as a genre sells well it increases a developer's desire to get some of that, and how many units did Mario and Sonic shift again?
5) HD Gymnast Models
Need I say more.
There it is, 5 reasons to be excited for the next group of Olympic games and cash-ins. Hopefully in 4 years time these 5 things will be thought of by the next group of developers. I can hope anyway.