In the wake of the Olympics, here’s another sports game package jumping on the already overloaded bandwagon. The difference being that we’ve seen most of the contents on this compilation before - The Games Summer Edition, California Games and Winter Games, but Summer Games and Summer Games 2 have been commissioned solely for this compilation.
The Games Summer Edition, as you’ll probably remember, is based around the 1988 Seoul Olympics in South Korea. There’s a choice of eight events – archery, diving, hurles, velodrome cycling, hammer throw, pole vault, rings, and asymmetric bars. All are laid out well on the Olympic Village map screen.
By going to an event icon which is drawn above one of the stadiums, your choice is made. You can just practice, compete in all events or just choose one event. Either way it beats Ocean’s Espana – The Games by putting the player straight into action. You can also choose the two player set-up and compete against a chum. So as well as event variety there’s a bit of flexibility and scope too.
Summer Games and Summer Games 2 comprise 16 events including many of those already offered in The Games: Summer Edition, as well as extras like kayaking and skeet shooting. It has to be asked, why commision a game that includes events already in the package? Were they commissioned at all?
The Games Winter Edition is set up in much the same way as the rest of the compilation, with a choice of seven events, the luge, figure skating, speed skating, downhill skiing, slalom, the ski jump and cross country skiing. You can practice, compete in just one event or try your luck through all the events with the ultimate reward of medals.
Winter Games offers the Amiga sportsman even more variety with figure skating, free skating, speed skating, hot dog aerials, ski ump, biathlon and bobsled. It too is based around Olympic competition and is a definite must for all Eddie the Eagle fans. Yes the ski-jump has to be seen to be believed. Could this be the beginning of Eddy Eaglets on the Amiga?
On a more alternative note California Games puts you on the trail of hip dudes and cute babes, but remember to take your Bill and Ted phrase book. You’re taken to the sunny wacky West Coast where you’ll find half pipe skateboarding, foot bag, roller skating, BMX bike racing, flying disk, and surfing instead of field events and skiing. There are no more stuffy officials here – it’s freedom city where you’ll be disqualified unless you celebrate with wild dreams and behave like a bad dude. The judges are all washed up hippies while babes on the beach mark the surfing. Now that’s what I call radical, dude! (Calm down, Matthew – Ed.)
Yes, it’s a pretty varied package, but what about the mechanics? Well with events varying from horse-jumping (I’m really great at at that. I jumped three horses in a row once – Ed.) and athletics to clay pigeon shooting and surfing you’d expect the control system to be a complex one. Fortunately you’d be wrong, for the most part. The joystick is used in a different way for each different even, but everything you need to know is clearly explained in the manual. Although it can be awkward at times, controlling your sportsmen is generally a straightforward affair.
Graphically all of the games use a familiar, well worn, but successful formula. Animation is minimal, but effective with some alternative 3D views while backgrounds and intro sequences do create the right atmosphere.
Mega Sports offers variety, action and scope with a two player option, and despite a number of silly flaws (like the duplication of events), it’s a much more together sporting experience than most of the Olympics-inspired efforts we’ve seen so far. It’s a bit repetitive and there are a lot of disks to juggle with, but this isn’t too bad at all.