ATHENS 2004 -

Video Game Review

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Platform: PlayStation 2
  • ESRB: Everyone
  • Players: 1-4
  • Online: No
  • Genre: Sports
  • Developer: 989 Sports
  • Publisher: Sony
  • Suggested Retail: $39.99
  • Graphics: C
  • Sound: C
  • Gameplay: D
  • Replay: C-
  • Fun Factor: C+
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: C


By James Stevenson     August 19, 2004

ATHENS 2004.
© Sony Computer Entertainment

With the current Olympic Fever, it makes sense that Sony should attempt to cash in on the craze with the offering of a game allowing gamers to win the gold. Including dance pad support will surely conjure fond memories of TRACK AND FIELD on the Nintendo and definitely helps the game to partially overcome a lack of depth.

The game is a set of 24 mini-games representing events from the Olympics. The range of sports in the game includes plenty of track and field, a few swimming events, equestrian jumping, skeet shooting, archery, weight lifting and a few gymnastics exercises.

You can start by just playing the individual games or if you want, set up a whole Olympics and play all of the events to see how well you do. The game supports four-player competition as well as use of the DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION dance pad ala the NES Power Pad.

If you couldn't guess just by the premise of the game, it involves lots, and I mean controller-breaking amounts, of button mashing. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO doesn't mean you really like someone in this context, it means you're trying your damndest to outrun the other guy in the sprint. It's all easy to play, but the problem that arrises is why do you want to play something that just involves button mashing MARIO PARTY is much more entertaining for that sort of thing.

That's the best part, and I'm afraid it's just not enough to probably warrant a purchase. The dance pad support might make for a fun party-game right now while the games are on, but then you also must realize that as far as dance pad games though, this doesn't even hold a camera to DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION itself.

It's hard to find a good reason to recommend the game, besides the fact that this is THE Olympic game. So if you want to enjoy the Olympics on your videogame console, this is pretty much what you'll have to buy to do it. Even then, a rental first might be the best idea.

The graphics are

A screenshot of ATHENS 2004 weightlifting competition.

pretty good though and the game has a nice look to it. The only drawback is the player models are pretty mediocre. There is no real variance at all. Despite that, I'd have to say it's the best looking Olympic game out there a safe bet for any reviewer. The presentation of the game is pretty cool as well and feels like the non-live Olympic coverage on NBC.

The sound is mediocre as well. There is no real effort put into making it an awesome sound experience. It checks off the important parts of the list and then moves on. The commentary is ok, the sound effects are generic and there is some music that is vastly forgettable.

If you're into button-mashing, or really into the Olympics, or just don't have anything else to play, ATHENS 2004 is probably right up your alley. That said, don't look for this one to be standing on the medal pedestals at the end of this year.

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