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The graphics in the PS2 version look pretty good, especially the environments, though the PS2's anti-aliasing problems are prevalent, and the participants suffer equally from a lack of polygons and a lack of charisma. The sound effects are convincing, re-creating the sound of skis sliding down packed powder with surprising accuracy, while some DDR-reject music and announcer phrases ("Now they're heading into a great turn now!") are unintentionally amusing. It's definitely one of the healthier members of the Decathlon clone army.
Winter Sports 2002 is definitely one of the better Olympic Games on the market today, but could have been so much more if the time and effort would have been taken to create a masterpiece. If you liked the summer version, then you no doubt will enjoy the similar gameplay in ESPN International Winter Sports 2002. The game is definitely a strong rental, and a possible buy for fans (like me) of the genre.
This isn't as solid a game as I'd have hoped. There's a significant amount of enjoyment to be had here, if you're of the mind to find it, but the more annoying events (those with poor control) really bring the rest of the title down for me. It's put together well enough to be worth playing a few times, but unfortunately, this is another title that I couldn't keep in my normal rotation for long, as it just got too boring to play. Definitely not what I'd call a mediocre title, but it isn't a really good one either.
Game Informer Magazine
Button timing and mashing is fine, but it would be great if Konami could expand snowboarding (and even figure skating) into a more combo-laden affair á la Tony Hawk. Then again, neither would have the high drama, skill, and competition of ESPN's curling event. Rent this and save your money for when your mom makes you buy her a new Swiffer 'cause you wore out the old one curling in your garage.
Wer dank der wunderbar inszenierten olympischen Spiele noch immer im Schneefieber steckt, sollte bei diesem Titel ruhig einen Blick riskieren. Da ESPN International Winter Sports jedoch aufgrund der vereinzelten Disziplinschwächen schon nach kurzer Spielzeit seinen Reiz verliert, sollten alle Anderen dieses Spiel eher als heißen Tipp für kühle Spielabende unter Freunden ansehen und dazu die örtliche Videothek aufsuchen.
Game Over Online
Winter Sports is a decent game that falls short in some areas and rises in others. I liked the overall feel but didn’t find it as exciting as I had hoped. The few good events are not good enough to really justify playing this game for an extended period of time and the low replay value is discouraging. Pick this one up if you are a winter sports nut but otherwise, it might not be worth the price of admission.
Neither of these games bring home the gold in accurately simulating the Olympics, but ESPN International Winter Sports does a less-worse job of doing so. Still, if you want to have an Olympic experience, switch off your PS2 and turn on the TV. You're not going to have much luck on the console.
ESPN Winter Sports 2002 is really a collection of rather weak mini games. They have taken a quantity over quality approach. However, the lack of variety in characters music or gameplay (and I don't think having to bash R1 instead of Triangle counts), quickly cancels out the large selection of events.
Winter Sports 2002 features a medley of gameplay modes, but unfortunately not all of them are fun. Everyone will have a favorite, but the bobsledding and downhill skiing events are particularly boring, lacking the thrill and speed associated with them. The most fun I had was usually in figure skating and the halfpipe as they required a good amount of skill and dexterity. Playing single-player gets old fast, though. I had to call IGN Overlord Peer Schneider over for a round of curling to break up the single-player monotony. Eventually we ended up gravitating to a few other multiplayer sports, and this is really the biggest appeal of the game. You can get a group of friends together and enjoy the various sports. Most of this can be accomplished in a night or two. If you really want to hone in on your skills, earn some gold medals, and post your scores on Konami's website then the single-player experience may appeal to you.
ESPN International Winter Sports is a collection of 10 minigames that can be played solo or head-to-head--and little else. Considering 60 minigames isn't enough to keep Mario Party-style games interesting for more than a week, the appeal of ESPN Winter Sports 2002 is extremely limited. If you're having friends over for an Olympics party this winter it's definitely worth a rental, but its frustrating single-player mode, dated gameplay mechanics, and lack of interactivity make it difficult to recommend for a purchase.
I watch the pretty pictures and hear the neat audio presentations of "International Track & Field 2000" and "International Winter Sports 2002", and hope that one day Konami will provide the user-friendly control interface that will make me want to play this type of game instead of avoiding it. Until that day though, this ESPN-sponsored beauty takes baby steps in the right direction and is at least worth a rental whether the Winter Olympics are on or not.
All Game Guide
One would think four years is enough time to create a definitive Olympics game, but International Winter Sports doesn't have enough strong events to keep you coming back and modes of play lack depth. Only 16 playable characters are available (eight male, eight female), and the majority of featured events have you staring at a meter rather than participating on the screen. If players had to judge this game on overall performance, it would end up with a disqualification.
Reviews like these are hard, not because the games are poor but there's not much I can tell you. Winter Sports suffers like every other Olympic game made. They don't give you enough events and never capture the feeling of the games. To make matters worse, the game, around the country, is being sold for $49.99. I might recommend this game if they charged $9.99 or $19.99. This game is barely a rental and since the Olympics are over I hope the urges of reliving the Olympics are over because this game won't satisfy many.
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