A bit more of an effort would have at least made this decent, instead we got a mediocre Olympics game

User Rating: 4.5 | Athens 2004 PS2
We have played so many Track & Field games over the years, there's the original Track & Field, my personal favourite Hyper Sports, how about International Track & Field for the PS, maybe even ESPN's version of Track & Field, all of which contain button mashing action and very sore fingers, OUCH! So as 2004 rolls in, it's been 4 years since the last Olympics in Sydney, which only means one thing, ATHENS 2004!!! Yes indeed, the greatest athletes in the world battle it out to win the gold medal. It also means another Track & Field game, ironically enough called Athens 2004, so what makes this game different from the other games of the same genre, absolutely nothing!

Okay okay I lied, actually there is a difference, this game covers more events than ever before (25 in all) and you choose to represent one of 64 nations (a new record), also it's not all Athletics, there Swimming, Archery, Equestrian, Skeet Shooting and Weightlighting, sadly Greco-Roman Wrestling missed the cut. To win the coveted gold medal, you need to ounce every bit of blood, sweat and tears, just warm up those fingers first.

There are different modes you can play in, there's Arcade Mode which allows you to Practise, play a single event, do a challenge with your mates, even a Party Mode which allows you to compete in various events using, A DANCE MAT?!?! I think the Track & Field days have officially died now, this is not dancing, this is THE OLYMPICS!!! THERE'S NO DANCING IN THE OLYMPICS. Well not in this game anyway. There's a competition mode in which you choose different competitions to play in, individual, Decathlon, Heptathlon, Athletics, Aquatics, Gymnastics and Champion, the latter gives you the chance to compete in EVERY event in one competition, you can even create your own competition to play on. For most events you use the same button mashing technique as before, rapidly tap X and O (100m, 200m, 400m, all Aquatic events, weightlifting etc.) but there are other controls, like Skeet shooting where you just move your analog stick and press X to fire. Or the Shot put where you just tap X to set power and X again to set the angle, the Discus has you wiggle your analog stick and then you press L1 to throw, so it's not all bash bash bash bash bash on your controller, which is a relieve to fingers all over the world, but there is a backlash to that.

Some of the records are dead easy to beat, but once you beat them, that's it, you can't keep beating them and beating them and beating them, yes my friends for the very first time Athletics has a limit. For instance you can never get more than 9.29m in the Long Jump unless it's a foul, whatever happened to breaking new records in the first place. The same applies for the Triple Jump as well, the High Jump, Pole Vault and Weightlifting are the same, but that's only because you can choose up to the maximum height/weight allowed (spoilsports!).

Imagine completing a gruelling Champion Mode, you win the gold medal representing your country, say you are from Japan, (Konichiwa!) you are very proud of your achievement and you stand on the podium awaiting for your national anthem to play, you've got your hand placed on your heart and your vocal chords ready as you step up to the podium to collect your medal, there they raise your flag up high, what next, it's back to the main menu as they auto save the data. NO NATIONAL ANTHEMS!!! Even a 15 second clip would have done, but none, nada, zip. Makes you wonder why you even bothered, next time just skip the ceremony cause there's nothing to see here.

So with records broken and your finger aching this game is pretty much so a flop, but don't cry folks, at least you can use your dance mat to create much more fun out of this game. I won't, I'd probably break my neck rather than my fingers. NURSE!!!