Beijing 2008 Preview

Fresh from the fantastic Mario and Sonic Olympic tie-in, SEGA’s Beijing 2008 title will be released from the starting blocks this Friday. With full online play for the first time in an Olympics game we’re looking forward to setting some records on the 100 metres, having tuned our button mashing techniques since the ZX Spectrum, but what else can sports fans look forward to?

Well, for starters this is the official Olympics game, so you’ll get all 32 countries properly represented and 38 events at your disposal, including various athletic disciplines, gymnastics, shooting, aquatics, weightlifting, table tennis, kayaking, cycling, judo and archery so you can expect a rounded set of mechanics rather than just the three button dash, as we like to call it.

Both male and female competitors are available, and with over 1000 character models you’re sure to find someone that matches your undoubtably toned physique. From there, you can take your avatar through training, single competitions and career mode, and obviously take part in the Olympics, the greatest sporting challenge.

We’re also looking forward to the online sections, and SEGA have promised us full online gameplay for all events, so you’ll be able to compete live against opponents from around the World. In addition, we’re promised best time and score leaderboards, plus the ability to download ghosts of the best performances.

Our favourite events have always been the track and field games, so we’re especially happy to hear that Eurocom have focused much of their attention on the sprints, with a new analogue starting block mechanic bringing skill and tension to the 100m in particular. Fans of big Russian women will also no doubt be pleased that the Hammer Throw, new to this game, is present and correct, alongside the usual suspects like High Jump, Shot Put and the Javelin Throw.

With the British summer clearly well and truly over, this is just the ticket to get us in the mood before the Olympics kick off for real in August. Naturally, we’ll have the full review as soon as humanly possible, so keep one eye on TSA this week for all your Beijing 2008 news.