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Vancouver 2010 GamesCom 2009 Preview

Sega and Eurocom are partnering up again for another Olympics based title, but fear not for they have listened to the criticism and feedback from Beijing 2008 and made Vancouver 2010 into something completely different.

As you may have guessed, this title will be based upon the Vancouver Winter Olympics which begins 12th February 2010, The game however should hopefully arrive just before this to whet your appetites for the competition.

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Unlike Beijing, This iteration of the game will focus on the fast paced, exciting events including, bobsleigh, ski-jump and downhill skiing. This cuts down the number of events in-game from 36 to a more manageable 14. This cull of events has enabled Sega and Eurocom to concentrate on projecting the player as close to the event as possible, meaning all the events are playable in a first person perspective and thankfully, no god awful controls that plagued some events in Beijing 2008.

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First up for viewing was the Ski jump and in traditional Track & Field style it's button mashing ahoy to get you going. Everything looked pretty enough and accurately modelled after the real life ski jump ramp just like the one the competitors will use in Vancouver. What was a nice touch was the introduction of snow flakes hitting your visor as you hurtled at breakneck speeds before launching out to break records and/or all of your skeletal frame in the name of obtaining Olympic gold.

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Once reach the bottom of the ramp, then its the usual method of pressing something to get your angle just right for take-off, then after a short animation of you flying through the air with the grace of Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, you then have one final task of pressing a button to execute the perfect landing.

Aside the usual Olympic mode to strive for the gold medal, the team have also added a challenge mode into the game, but with a twist. There will be certain objectives within the event you pick to achieve to beat the challenge, such as hit X amount of flags in a downhill ski consecutively, these will add a fun element to the game but where this type of game excels will of course be its multiplayer capabilities.

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The chance to humiliate your peers in competition has been the main source of arguments between friends since the days of conkers in the school yards, the shouts of cheat when your friends discover that your conker is really an iron ball craftily painted to look like the fruit of Mother Nature... or perhaps that was just me?
Moving swiftly on. Yes, the multiplayer aspect of this title is where the game will shine, two player split screen and four player online, all at the same time in some events, is what Vancouver 2010 has on offer, additionally with the prospect of online leaderboards which are grouped by country, providing a basis to show off your skills worldwide is definitely something to savour, beating your peers is one thing but to beat people from foreign soil is a taste that is so much sweeter.

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Having viewed the improvements the team has made since Beijing 2008, I can safely say that control frustration is a thing of a past and will not impede your enjoyment of this title, also the more streamlined event selection and emphasis on pick up and play all sums up to a gold medal for Sega and Eurocom in my book. Look towards your favourite retailer towards the end of January 2010 and pick up this little bundle of snow covered joy.

Wedgeh | 10th September, 2009

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