Defunct Games
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Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996
Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996
  • Review Score:

  • D+
If you were to tell me that U.S. Gold took the name just so it could secure the rights to the Olympic Games, there's a good chance I would believe you. But alas, that would be fiction. What is
true is that Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 was the publisher's final retail game. Talk about a crummy way to go out.

Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 is a product that singlehandedly proves the point I made in my review of Winter Olympic Games: Lillehammer 94. Like it or not, the Winter Games are more compelling than their summer counterparts. The Summer Games may get more viewers, but sledding is more compatible with the video game experience than running and jumping.

Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 (Genesis)

But U.S. Gold has the license and has to make the best of it. What we're given is a hastily assembled mini-game collection with ten mediocre events. Your choices include the 100 meter sprint, 110 meter hurdles, pole vaulting, triple jump, long jump, high jump, javelin, discus, archery and skeet. Talk about a lackluster collection of events.

Individually there's nothing wrong with any of these sports. Athletes spend their entire life training to run the fastest and jump the highest. But as a video game, these events couldn't be more disappointing. Most of the games revolve around you mashing buttons, while the other half are too shallow to care about.

Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 (Genesis)

The highlights include skeet shooting and archery. Both of these events feel like they came out of a completely different game. The discus throw is also unique, though I quickly grew tired of the repetitive play. The long jump, triple jump and high jump are all a variation on the same theme, which involves button mashing and jumping. The worst of the bunch include anything involving running, as it's a terrible throwback to the bad old days of Track & Field.

Coming so late in the 16-bit lifecycle, Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 manages impress with its amazing presentation. The animation is superb and it's often hard to tell if the game is using polygons or sprites. Plus, the fields are littered with spectators and other distractions. This is a good looking Genesis game.

Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 (Genesis)

This is yet another sports mini-game where they don't even attempt to explain the rules. If you buy the game used, make sure it comes with an instruction manual. Then again, with a lackluster assortment of events and bad controls, Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996 isn't worth tracking down. But don't feel bad, it's an honor just being able to compete.
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