Monday, February 13, 2006

VG REVIEW: Torino 2006

"TORINO 2006"
2K Sports, for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC
rated E for Everyone, $19.99.

Despite what naysayers may tell you, there are more than two certainties in life. Along with death and taxes, for example, we can include really horrible video games based on the Olympics.

Exhibit A for the prosecution is "Torino 2006," the latest in a long line of bad Olympics games, this one obviously focusing on the winter games in Torino (or Turin for those not fluent in Italian).

"Torino" claims to feature 15 different events such as speed skating, bobsleighing, slalom skiing and the biathlon all in one package. Closer inspection, however, reveals that a lot of the mini-games are so identical to each other that you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart.

"Luge" and "Bobsleigh," for example control the exact same way with only minor variations, while the only difference between "Downhill Skiing" and "Giant Slalom" are that the flags are spaced a little closer together.

What’s especially amazing are the number of notable competitions left out. Why isn’t there any figure skating? Or ice hockey? Or snowboarding? Or curling, for Pete’s sake?

Spend even the briefest amount of time with this game, and you’ll come to the quick conclusion that there’s just not a lot of meat on its bones. You could easily run through every mini-game offered here within a half-hour and still have time to make yourself a sandwich.

What "Torino" offers is pretty dull fare to begin with. Each game boils down to some occasional button mashing akin to the track-and-field games from the 16-bit era, while keeping your athlete on the track with the left thumbstick.

When the game does require a bit more effort, such as in the speed skating routines, it creates frustration by offering as little instruction as possible.

Even for a title that’s modestly priced, "Torino 2006" is a complete waste of time. Technically it might not be as broken as, say, some Olympics-themed games in years past. But in terms of game play and entertainment value, it marches lock step right behind its predecessors.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2006


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