I was really excited to get my copy of Beijing 2008: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games, so that I could play along with my favorite athletes during the competition. Initially, I thought I was in for a good time, since the graphics and characters looked so darn good - they are fit I tell you - but unfortunately not all was well in Beijing.
In a nutshell? I haven't had "Mario Thumbs" since, well, Super Mario Bros. You know when you walk away from a game and your thumbs are sore and red? That's the idea, but I had only been playing Beijing 2008 for about 15 minutes. I love a button masher just like everyone else, but this was ridiculous! Almost all of the games require you to repeatedly push buttons to gain speed and power, while other events have you rotating your joysticks for far too long than it is pleasurable.
To read why you should watch the Olympics rather than play along, just read more.
The overall concept of the game seems fine – you get to play along with the Olympians in 36 different events – but it's the frustrating controls that ruined it for me. Not only are you stuck figuring out what to do after you've gone through the lame tutorial, you will most likely be doing one of two things: frantic rapid fire button mashing, and rotating your joysticks. Swimming, track and field, martial arts, gymnastics, weightlifting, the list goes on, and not one of these events is really that fun.
And only to add to your stress, you arrive at the Olympic games totally unprepared, untrained, and are no competition to your competitors, so you find yourself struggling not to come in last in every event. Now, I'm not a sore loser in the least, but come on. Olympic athletes that are untrained, showing up at the qualifying events and you are expected to place? It's kinda irritating.
If you seriously want to spend any money on this game, at the most it's a bargain bin buy. But if you're up for some punishment, you can pick up Beijing 2008 online now for your PS3, XBox 360, and PC. Just remember to wrap your thumbs in some protective tape first!