In the annals of bad video game ideas there are a lot of familiar faces. We already know that your average movie game isn't going to win any awards, that full-motion video can't replace good gameplay, and that Star Fox peaked in 1997. Well there's one more clich? that can be added to our ever growing list of video game don'ts: Games based on the Olympics.
I don't care if it's summer or winter, video game companies need to just so no when it comes to working on games based on the Olympic events. It's hard enough to enjoy the Olympic Games when they are on TV, there's no reason to torture your fans by recreating the "excitement" with a dozen half-assed mini-games that you'll be sick of before you even start the game. And it's not like these Olympics games have gotten better over the years, the games we get using the Olympics' license are arguably worse now than they were twenty years ago. When it comes right down to it the important thing to remember is that you should just avoid the Olympics and everything connected to them.
This goes for World Sports Competition, which doesn't actually use the Olympic Games' license but still manages to suck out of association. You know something's wrong when the only good thing there is to say about a game is that it supports up to five players, which usually would be a recipe for a fun time. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to find five people who are so numb to pain that they will knowingly sit down and go through a game with you. If you do manage to meet the kind of people who would "enjoy" this game with you then either they have recently undergone a lobotomy or are the most understanding friends you will ever know. In either case it's important you run and never look back.
World Sports Competition is exactly what you think it is - it's a collection of mini-games from a large number of sports you would find in the Summer Olympics. I'm talking about running races, swimming, rowing, archery and more. In all there are more than ten different mini-games to play, including variations on a lot of popular sports. Most of the sports play similar to each other, so expect to run a race and swim a lap using the exact same button configuration. Most of the time you'll be pounding on the buttons trying to get your guy to swim or run faster, usually making your fingers hurt and creating the first stage of carpel tunnel syndrome.
Thankfully not every mini-game has you pounding the buttons; there are a few games that are about aiming and shooting stuff. The shooting range and archery games can offer a little fun, but compared to all of the races and swimming games they feel a little out of place. It's fun to shoot out the clay pigeons ... fun for about twenty seconds, and then it gets real old and boring.
While it's easy to just play this against the computer it's clear from the get-go that this game was intended to be taken as a multi-player experience. I'll give the game credit that it's better when you have friends over, but just because it gets better doesn't mean that it's worth playing. Some of the turn-based mini-games can be fun with friends, but true to form they end up going on too long and will bore everybody by the time they end. The computer opponents aren't much better, you'll find that they are usually too difficult to beat and require you to be at the top of your game.
World Sports Competition does offer a few different modes, but it won't take you long before you realize that the game is largely the same no matter how you play it. It all comes down to just pounding on buttons and fighting through the pain. But this game isn't worth the pain, so save your hands and pick up something that is actually fun to play with ... which, sadly, is just about everything else ever created. It's not the worst game of all time, but I would love to know how this game even qualified to compete.