Olympic Gold: Barcelona '92

Moby ID: 6597
Genesis Specs
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Description official description

The official game of the Games of the XXV Olympiad, held in Barcelona in 1992, featuring seven different events: 100M Sprint, Hammer Throw, Archery, 110M Hurdles, Pole Vault, Springboard diving and 200M Freestyle Swimming.

Gameplay features the typical button mashing formula used by Epyx during the 80s. 100M Sprint, 110M Hurdles and 200M Freestyle Swimming feature a button mashing sequence with just some changes: in the hurdles the player must hit the action key to jump over a hurdle (the timing sets the loss of speed) and in swimming, the sequence takes over one and an half minutes and the action button touches the edge for the return swim. In these events, the player initially faces a semi-final round and only qualifies for the final if ends in the top half. It's possible to watch the other semi-final. Hammer Throw combines a strong mashing sequence, along an accurate press of the action button to release the hammer, while Pole Vault combines an initial mashing sequence, a first tap on down to set the bar, then pressing up and the action button to release the pole and jump over the bar. Archery is a technical event where the player has three rounds with six arrows each, the winner being the one with the highest score on all three rounds.

The player can choose to compete for eight nations: Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, hosts Spain, United Stats, Japan and the CIS (formerly the Soviet Union). Each nation has it's own sample of the anthem and a set of athletes to compete against the player. Each athlete is unique, and will perform differently according to the event: in some they are capable of breaking World Records, in others, lucky enough to get to a final or a top-6 spot. The competition is split in two tables: sorted by medals and by total score (the gold medalist gets 24 points, the 12th only 13).

Spellings

  • オリンピックゴールド - Japanese spelling

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Average score: 77% (based on 18 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 1 reviews)

A license not wasted

The Good
The first game with the IOC license, a lot could go wrong with it, but didn't. Gameplay is exactly what could be expected from a button-masher, with some variations (notably swimming, which is a stamina-testing event). It is interesting to see how each one of the eight participating nations (USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and the CIS) has their own set of athletes, and some are stronger than others. While you can expect the Americans to have the better times in sprinting events, the French take the lead in the hammer throw, the Italians in swimming and the CIS in pole vault. World Records can and will fall in the highest difficulty level, so training is required to compete at that level. Sounds include clips of the anthems of the participating nations and the usual effects, from hitting an hurdle to the white noise when a record is beaten. Everything is done quite well, same as the "workout" music going in-game.

The Bad
The game looks too much a 8-bit game. While there are six tracks (as opposed to only four in Olympic Summer Games), all athletes look exactly the same, except the players', which uses a white/red/blue gear instead of purple. While the locations are recognizable, the game simply overuses single-colour block, which just contributes to the poor impression of the graphics.

In other events, like the Pole Vault and Swimming get too easy as the player learns the trade, and making it to max height and clearing all max difficulty jumps (four 3.5 and one 2.9) with all scores above 9.0 is perfectly possible. Others, like the hammer throw, are as much talent as luck - with only two attempts, it's too easy to lose a medal over mistimed button presses.

The Bottom Line
Anyone who remembers the classic Epyx titles will recognize their touch here and there - after all, those classic titles were published by US Gold, and a few parts (like archery) were picked from their fantastic back catalog. Variety - a problem that affects many of these games, is not a problem here: There are two straight button mashing events (100m dash and 110m hurdles), two of mashing and control (pole vault and hammer throw), two without any mashing involved (archery and diving) and one that requires stamina (swimming).

While the dull graphics might upset some players, it does a much better job at giving that special "Olympics" feeling than Olympic Summer Games, which was released four years later.

Genesis · by Luis Silva (13443) · 2005

Trivia

Milestone

It was the first game to be licensed by the IOC.

Spiritual predecessor

This game features some similarities with its spiritual predecessor, The Games: Summer Edition (which only included a USOC license). A lot of events feature similar graphics (such as the pole vault, springboard diving and the hammer throw), which comes to no surprise as U.S. Gold published some ports of the original game.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by JPaterson.

SEGA Master System added by Tibes80. Game Gear added by Macintrash.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Luis Silva, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】.

Game added June 7, 2002. Last modified January 27, 2024.