Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Torino 2006

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Electronic Theatre Image            The 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games starts on February 10th, 2006, and once more the games industry feels compelled to go through it’s two-yearly motions and release an Official Olympic game. Unfortunately Olympic Tie-ins are generally a pretty hit-and-miss affair. They rarely attempt to do anything original, with most using the button-bashing system pioneered by Konami’s Track And Field games in the late ‘80’s. However, although hardly inspired, most offer decent playability, especially when played with others. The wide range of events involved in the Olympics help to keep games fresh but, unfortunately several titles have managed to make a total hash of gameplay, resulting in an annoying, uninvolving mess. Can we expect Torino 2006 to change the age old Joypad beating method? Or is it a case of the same old system with nicer graphics?

            Being the official game of the Olympics, presentation is of a high standard. The Menu Screen has several options including Fifteen and Nine Event Competitions, Single Event and various options for you Electronic Theatre Imageto tweak at your hearts content. In a Fifteen Event game, it would be plausible to expect a decent variation of gameplay. Sure, you play through various games based on the Winter Olympics, but to pass off this as Fifteen Events isn’t just an exaggeration, it’s dirty lie. In fact Torino 2006 only really features around Five Event games. For example, the developers have counted Speed Skating as three Events, 500m, 1000m and 1500m. The promising sounding Nordic Combined Event is just Ski-Jump and Cross Country Skiing together and the Biathalon is yet another Cross Country Skiing Event with a mediocre shooting Mini-Game. Thankfully most Events work fairly well and yes, they do use variations of the Track And Field formula. For example, Speed Skating involves tapping alternating buttons rapidly to get the best start before holding each button down for a certain amount of time to maintain a good speed. The events are, however, very simple and lack any kind of depth at all meaning that even with Multi-Player, Torino 2006 has very little in the way of longevity. Combine this with the fact that none of the games are particularly fun, the dire Cross-Country Skiing being a prime example of this, and you start Electronic Theatre Imageto wonder why the Olympic Committee decided to endorse this obviously sub standard game.

            Like most other games, there are a number of unlockables to increase the length of Torino 2006, which, to be frank, is around two hours tops. These include alternate costumes… and that’s about it. God knows why they even bothered since once you’ve played all of the events, it’s reasonable assumption that you won’t want to go through that experience again unless you are a) The world’s biggest Winter Olympics fan or b) Bored to the point of lapsing into a coma.

            But Torino 2006 does have a redeeming feature; it looks quite nice. Aside from the occasional bit of dodgy animation, Torino 2006 features some decent lighting, polished models and 3D crowds making it really look the part. There doesn’t seem to be any Slow-Down or Frame-Rate issues on the Xbox version and the title appears reasonably free of bugging. But how does Electronic Theatre Imagethe sound compare? The commentary rarely relates to the on-screen action and quickly becomes highly irritating. The music is instantly forgettable, but the effects do sound like you’d expect, although that is unlikely to spur you into forgiving the person who convinced you this title was a releases worthy of your Xbox gaming time.

            To put it bluntly, slapping five Mini-Games on a disc and charging around thirty-quid for the pleasure is outrageous. Although not as extensive as the Olympic Games, the Winter Olympics feature more than enough events to make a decent game that really shines in Multi-Player. However in this case it seems that the developers have gone to so much trouble making the Screenshots look good that they’ve totally forget to insert some form of excitement into this lifeless package. If you see this title and start to fondly reminice about Track And Field and broken fingers, do not for one second think that Torino 2006 is a worthy substitute, there are demo discs with more complete games. Avoid at all costs.Electronic Theatre Image





















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