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Espana - The Games '92 logo

Espana - The Games '92
T he Olympic Games are over for another four years, and once again we (Great Britain that is, and Eire for that matter) came way down in the league table of medal winners. If you think you can do better than the British team, now is your chance with Ocean's contribution to Olympic fever.
There are more than 30 separate events (disappointingly, it doesn't include synchronised swimming), and you get to choose which country to represent as you compete with the computer for those vital medals.

The biggest portion of the game is the management section where you take a team of 12 athletes to the Olympic Village a fortnight before the opening ceremony. In these two weeks you have to get your motley crew to peak condition by setting training regimes for each contestant, along with making every member of the team practise each of their chosen events at least once a day. So, day in, day out, you take the same people through the same routines: first it's off to the medical room (it's a pity that there's no 'take steroids – then deny it' option). You can implement the doctor's recommendations in the gym, then take the athletes into the stadium to practise the same events that you've got them to practise for the last two weeks.

Espana – The Games '92 needs 1 Meg to run When the day of the 24th finally arrives you would expect, at the very least, flash graphics at the opening ceremony, lots of flames and scantily clad dancers. No such luck, the big day comes along and you go on doing exactly the same as you did before: medical room, gym, then the arena to either compete or practise depending on the agenda for that day. This goes on until the closing ceremony, when all you get for your efforts is your country's name displayed on an ever so dull listing of who won which medals. Worth all the hassle, I don't think.

Just say no
If you don't fancy the idea of going through all the problems concerning your team's welfare, the Action section enables you to just go straight to joystick-waggling mode. The manual's explanation of different sporting techniques leaves a lot to be desired, as do the rest of the instructions. The Action Section of the game is the same as the practice sessions in the Management part; you are unable to compete in heats against other countries.

Espana The Games '92 is only a single-player game. There is no option to test your skills against friends'; you can only compete against the computer. And the only indication of how well or how badly you are doing is how you compare with past Olympic records (all of which are listed in the compendious reference section). Sports simulations have been around much longer than the Amiga, and Ocean have mad a brave attempt to leap out of the tired 'waggle your joystick as fast as you can' formula. Unfortunately Espana The Games '92 happens to be the most tedious thing I've played in a very long time.
Claire Hodgson

Amiga Format, Issue 39, October 1992, p.104

ACTION SECTION

Entering the Action Section of the game enables you to control an athlete in any of the events, but only in practice mode. In action mode you are unable to actually compete in the Olympics themselves, or to practice against other players. If you want to run against anything but the clock, you have to enter the Management section (See below).

MANAGEMENT SECTION

The Management Section is the major part of the game. It enables you to train a team up to Olympic standard, starting from two weeks before the opening ceremony. In your office you will find a diary of all the events that will take place, a file on each of your athletes and a rather inefficient secretary. Push open the doors and either find yourself in the medical room, with your chosen athlete lying provocatively on the couch, or go to the gymnasium and force a member of your team to pump weights for up to three hours a day. And don't forget the 'highly amusing' click-ons around the office – there is nothing funnier than pens rattling in a desk tidy.

Espana The Games '92
Ocean * £29.99
  • A sports management section as dull as Championship Manager.
  • Poor documentation leaves you sitting on the side of the pool not knowing what to do next.
  • Difficult-to-use waggling system, you're better off leaving the computer to control the athlete's performance.
  • But if you do that, what is the point of playing the game at all?
verdict: 43%



Espana - The Games '92 logo

In Barcelona bestimmt inzwischen längst wieder der Stierkampf das sportliche Geschehen, da schiebt Ocean noch schnell einen olympischen Nachzügler hinterher. Aber der hätte sowieso keine Chance auf eine Medaille gehabt...

Espana - The Games '92 Immerhin bewies das Team aus Manchester echten Sportsgeist, indem es neben einem Alibi-Managerteil gleich 30 Disziplinen auf Disk bannte: Vom Boxen über Laufen, Schwimmen, Judo und Radfahren bis hin zum Speerwerfen ist theoretisch so ziemlich alles dabei, womit man sich und seine "Freundin" außer Atem bringen kann. Leider ist die olympische Praxis dann alles andere als atemberaubend. So kann bloß ein einziger Spieler mit einem einzigen Sportler teilnehmen, wobei die zwölf angebotenen Helden der Tartanbahn wiederum nur bei ihren (drei bis zehn) jeweiligen Spezialdisziplinen zugelassen werden. Daß man als Manager seinen Schützling erstmal zum Doc und in den Kraftraum schicken und dann noch einen Blick in den Terminkalender werfen kann, rettet die Motivation halt auch nicht mehr.

Besonders, weil die Steuerung teilweise fummelig, teilweise viel zu träge ausgefallen ist, und zwar ganz unabhängig davon, ob man sich nun mit Maus, Stick oder Keyboard auf Medaillenjagd begibt. Sowohl die Hintergrundgrafiken als auch die gemächlichen Animationen der Athleten und der sporadisch erklingende Sound (Musik und Kümmer-FX) erinnern an die Digiwettkämpfe der Gründerzeit – nur daß man bei Epyx schon damals das Gameplay wesentlich besser hinbekommen hat. Ja, der Gesamteindruck ist hier sogar noch etwas schlechter als bei der PC-Version, was Oceans olympisches Großereignis am Amiga endgültig zur zweitklassigen Provinz-Veranstaltung deklassiert. (pb)

Amiga Joker, October 1992, p.82

ESPANA – THE GAMES '92
(OCEAN)
MASSENSPORT
41%
"UNSPORTLICH"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
59%
48%
36%
21%
39%
42%
FÜR FORTGESCHRITTENE
PREIS DM 89,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
4/JA
NEIN
NEIN
KOMPLETT


Espana - The Games '92 Logo

With his cycling shorts stuffed with fruit, Tony Dillon reckons he can do better than the British Olympic team...

Espana - The Games '92 PLAYER MANAGER
Olympic fever has returned, and with it comes the usual wash of multi-event sports sims. Ocean have also dully jumped on the bandwagon, and have released something almost completely unlike anything seen before. Sure, it has its similarities to others within the genre but, in general, this definitely isn't a game for Epyx fans.

You take the role of a country's player/manager, looking after the entire squad both training-wise and competing in the games themselves. And there are more than enough of them to keep you busy – over thirty in all, ranging from the standard 100m sprint and relay swimming events to the more unconventional Judo and Olympic Wrestling. Oddly enough, classic events like archery and gymnastics haven't been included, but I think there are enough sports here to keep most people happy.

The focal point of the game is your office. From here, you can select an athlete, train them up, check their medical details, scan the events on your agenda, advance the date, and, of course, take each athlete out to their chosen events. So far so good – but for one thing. You may have noticed that I said 'you' in the singular sense. I'm afraid to say that this game is solo only. Although you and your mates can all control different athletes under the same national banner, you can't actually compete against a human opponent at any time. That in itself takes most of the fun out of the game.

Virtually every event is played by moving the joystick in time with the on-screen moves – for example when running, you swing the joystick in time with the runner's feet. This isn't always a regular speed, however. Runners in particular are graced with curious limps. You don't have to control the players, though. If you fancy a managerial slant to the game, you can train the runners and leave them on automatic, and watch their progress from afar. Needless to say, this is very dull.

CONFUSING
The thing that really winds me up about Espana is the layout. Everything is presented within a hierarchy of menu screens, and part of the challenge of the game is remembering to go to certain screens at certain points. For example, on one day you have the javelin, the discus and the 100m freestyle. The order of play goes: go to office screen, leave office, go to action screen, do event, and so on...

This makes for a very confusing system made frustrating because the machine accesses the disk drive every time you go to another screen! The other real problem is tat at no point are you told who you are competing against, which completely kills the game's competitive aspect. Dull lifeless graphics jerk along the same old bit of track used in every game, while you spend your time wondering what you are supposed to be doing and why the loading times are so long. Even the inclusion of a full reference library on the Olympics does little to raise the standard of this appalling sports sim.

CU Amiga, September 1992, p.68

OLYMPIC TRIVIA On the reference disk included with the game you will find two sets of information. The first contains the names and achievements of all the competitors in this year's Games, along with full details on all the stadiums (plans, descriptions, etc). Accompanying this is a full history of the Games complete with topical and interesting stories about each. For example did you know that in the 1972 Games, thirteen people were killed as a result of terrorist action? You would if you bought this...

buyers guide
release date:
genre:
team:
controls:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
memory:
 
July '92
Sports sim
Creative Materials
Mouse, Joystick
4
1
No
Any Machine
 

OCEAN £29.99
Dire events and an overcomplicated menu system...
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
62%
73%
60%
58%
OVERALL 59%