Olympic Video Game Review: Olympic Gold - Barcelona '92
Today there are dozens of olympic games, but it all started with the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona when the International Olympic Committee officially licensed Olympic Gold. This game was the first in the Olympic sub-genre and was licensed to SEGA for their Master System, Genesis, and the handheld Game Gear consoles.
Today I will be reviewing the Game Gear version as it is the one I owned as a child. This game was released in 1992 by Tiertex Design Studio to coincide with the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. (duh...) To start you can chose from eight countries by selecting their flag. The options are USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, and Sweden. These mostly affect the language displayed in the game and is reset by powering off the console.
You can compete in seven events: 100m sprint, Hammer Throw, Archery, 110m Hurdles, Pole Vault, Diving, and 200m Freestyle Swimming. There are three game modes available: Training, Mini Olympics, and Full Olympics, and you can pick from difficulty levels (club, national and Olympic). Computer-controlled athletes are actually capable of breaking world and Olympic records at the higher levels, but score less than impressive results on the lower levels.
100m sprint, 110m Hurdles, and 200m Freestyle Swimming are very similar, where you alternate pressing buttons 1 and 2 to gather speed. The only difference is that in 110m Hurdles you must press left to jump the hurdles and in 200m Freestyle Swimming you have a stamina bar that makes you have to conserve your energy. In Hammer Throw you gather momentum by the alternate pressing of buttons 1 and 2 and then releasing the hammer at just the right time for maximum distance. For Archery, the mechanics are fairly simple where you draw your bow and with button 1 you release the arrow. That being said, these are olympic class athletes, but they are super shaky so it makes hitting a bulls-eye next to impossible. Pole Vault is okay but I never seem to be able to clear the higher levels. Diving... who the heck knows whats going on with diving. There is a bunch of options to set and the guy seems to do whatever he wants.
I remember this game as being difficult in many aspects and not fun, and what can I say? 25 years later nothing has changed. Graphics and sound are decent for the era, but once you've played through the events it becomes boring and repetitious.
Please let us know in the comments below if you have ever played this game and if you gad better luck than I did.