Sometimes the most silly of things is what makes a game and that’s exactly what happened with Winter Stars when it included a story mode about a group of athletes trying to win their cups with some truly nutty cut-scenes that made little sense. Summer Stars 2012 is 49 Games’s latest Olympic sports game and while it takes the story mode on as a fully fleshed out career mode, the story isn’t nearly as stupidly good.
18 events are on offer although the running and swimming all handle exactly the same. Gone are the long distance events this time, obviously not getting much last time. Fencing gets a massive overhaul and now far more slicker and less wooden. It’s still a reaction time button game but there’s far more going on than the terribly stilted version last time out. Archery too has been tightened up with a better wind effect system. Diving however has taken a bit of a turn for the worse with a difficult Simon Says game that wants everything so exact it’s very difficult to get right. Pole Vault too suffers from awkward controls. Clearly ported over from Winter Stars is the BMX event which plays like a Snowcross event from the winter games with a basic trick system.
It’s all pinned together in a nice career which 49 Games always do well. Each tier has lots of hexagons in, each representing a challenge to accomplish. The results then level up your athlete and give you skill points to unlock upgrades. It’s then well worth going back and getting gold standard on the earlier challenges if you’re on the hunt for trophies. It’s all wrapped up in a story mode where the main characters this time aren’t so offbeat silly and its left to our Get Sports rowing commentary team to provide the “laughs”. Again, it’s so bad its good. Sadly there’s no online modes but 4 players locally is a good call as these games are more enjoyable locally. It doesn’t shy away from a good waggle of the stick and move controllers are catered for and well looked after.
~The return of so-bad-its-awesome story mode (including the Mascot Bunnies!!!)
~Much tighter controls and graphics than previous entries
~Some creative trophies
~Full move support
~Doesn’t have as many events as London 2012
~Doesn’t support online multiplayer
I’ve always had a soft spot for this series. I prefer Winter Stars’ career mode but this gives London 2012 a decent run for its money. You can pick it up at less than half the price already and while yes, London 2012 is the better game, this goes more for the old skool style of Olympic games and therefore a slightly different audience. I feel there’s room for both in your collection if you enjoy these types of games.