Let's start with some interesting facts about the Olympics. 1. Live pigeon shooting used to be an event. 2. So did Golf and the Obstacle race. 3. This is now out of date because the Olympics has finished, so let's waste no further time and do fifty press ups to prepare for Gold, Silver And Bronze, Epyx's latest sortie into the world of people who make me sick by being so athletic.
Gold Silver Bronze is one third compilation, two thirds new game. Let me explain. Winter Games has been released on the Speccy already, but the two other games in this package, Summer Games I and II haven't been out for our little rubber keyboards before. There are 23 events in all, making this a sort of Twentythree-athalon, I suppose, and no I'm not going to list them all, (although golf and obstacle racing don't feature) just the most notable.
Winter Games is lots of sports from the Calgary Olympics, generally involving snow, skis and ice skates (quel surprise). The Ski Jump, Biathlon (ski around and shoot things) and Hot Dog (do wacky stunts in mid air on skis) were my faves in this game, probably because I found them most easy to get to grips with. In Summer Games I the Pole Vault, Diving and Skeet Shooting had a certain something about them, whilst Summer Games II included the Triple Jump, Javelin and the Equestrian event (horse riding to you!)
The first thing which I noticed in this package were the graphics. The screen layouts were all well thought out, and the sprites were for the most part large and well animated. The Summer Games also featured a spiffing little opening ceremony, where an athlete jogged along, up some steps, and lit a big Olympic flame, whilst a number of peace doves flew away to their freedom. Very pretty, but on with the review.
Epyx has tried to steer away from the rabid waggling joystick type of event in this compilation/game, and instead success depends more upon good timing and reflexes than breaking your joystick and wrist. This works well in some events, but not in others. Those above are the ones which I found the most appealing, precisely because the joystick control worked well. Some of the 'faster' events, however, such as sprinting and swimming, which are of course less dependent on good timing and more on legging it as fast as possible, didn't work on this system, and perhaps a bit of waggling should have been incorporated into these events to add variety.
One thing which I found frustrating was the never ending re-winding and re-loading of events, tapes, and sections. There wasn't a separate 128 version, so even those with big memories still have to go through this drudgery, I'm afraid. The instructions provided also left something to be desired, and each of the three games seemed to operate with totally different 'front ends' and perhaps having the same keys doing the same thing in all of them would have been easier and more user friendly. Having to re-learn what the joystick did for each of the 23 events was also difficult initially, although by using the 'play one event' option this was overcome after a time.
If you are a fan of this type of game, then this package will doubtless appeal to you, and I am sure that you'll be pleased should you buy it. Personally, I found it a little too bitty and fiddly to really grab me, and perhaps too much like its many predecessors. It does have many redeeming features however, and Epyx has certainty done its reputation no harm with this package.
Fiddly sports package more dependent on good timing than joystick waggling, which works on some events, but not on others.
Doing the back flip is easy, it's landing which is impossible!
Landing proves just as tricky on the regular ski-jump. This 'head-first' approach didn't rake in any high scores.