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Before we get to the good part (!) I will give my final opinion on the game:
Gameplay: 9 out of 10 - I have to say that this is one of the best games that I have ever played, I love button bashers, but I think that some of the events are flawed or glitched.
Graphics: 10 out of 10 - This is what you would expect to see from a new game out on the market, great graphics, great scenery!
Sound: 10 out of 10 - from the theme tune to the starting pistol, crisp, clear, relevant.
Online Play: 5 out of 10 - The idea is sound, "beat and compete with records from around the globe" - but in practise, some faults are apparent. For example when I look to see what the "world's best" is for high jump, the answer is 500m, when the max available is 2.5m….and this isn't the only event like it!...
Multiplayer: 10 out of 10 - Great with friends on one Xbox or system link!
Now the game…
Beijing 2008 on the Xbox 360 includes 35 events from the Beijing Olympic Games, these are: Archery 100m
Backstroke Balance Beam 100m Breaststroke 100m Butterfly Team Cycling 10m Air Pistol Discus 50m Freestyle Floor Exercises Hammer Weightlifting Javelin High Jump Kayak Hurdles 1500m Long Jump 800m 400m Parallel Bars 10m Platform Diving Pole Vault 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Rings Skeet 200m Shot Put 3m Springboard Dive 100m Table Tennis Triple Jump Uneven Bars Judo Vault
Also available for play is a heptathlon and a decathlon (where achievements are available) - as well as Olympics mode.
The game offers a whopping 50 achievements for a total of 1000Gs, where it's not just as easy as you would think. After a few days play I have got 24 achievements, each one harder than the last - and to get the rest is going to take some serious work!
As you can probably guess, it's basically another track and field game where the idea is to hammer your controller and press a button or a sequence of buttons at the right time and speed in order to come one step closer to your goal - the world record…
The 100m, 200m, and 400m and swimming events are all pretty much the same as you would expect, hold down a trigger at the right time (when the gun goes) to start - then hammer away at A and B, or wiggle the analogue sticks to gain and maintain your speed… great fun all round…although a little tiring (and blistering)!
Long Jump, Triple Jump and Javelin are similar too, in the way that you hammer your speed up, then hold one of the triggers at the right time to angle your take-off. (Also quite similar with pole vault).
All of the gymnastics events are pretty much the same too, where its generally just a case of pressing the right buttons at the right time…
Table tennis is TOO EASY, just press A for topspin, B for backspin and Y for power…that's about it!
I haven't managed to get any points at judo or kayaking yet…and I feel that im not alone! Judo incorporates a secret series of button combinations that you have to really discover for yourself, and in kayaking it seems impossible to do anything but fail!. Kayaking seemed to change the way in which you play the game, so that to row forward, you pull both analogue sticks away from each other and to turn you simply pull the relevant analogue stick downwards…now that's impossible in practise!
Discus hammer and weightlifting are all rotational exercises, to be good at these - you need to be able to rotate the analogue stick - fast!
The last events to comment on are the long distance running and the cycling, they are pretty similar too. In the long distance running, you have to maintain your speed like any of the other running events but you have a heart shaped fatigue meter, you don't let this go to 0, or you will slow down and lose terribly…similarly with the cycling, you have 4 cyclists in a line, and you monitor the fatigue of the lead cyclist and when he is low press the trigger and the second cyclist takes over - and so on and so on. All in all this is a great game, and I'm sure I'll be playing on it for hours and hours to come!.