updated 7/6/2012 3:18:48 PM ET 2012-07-06T19:18:48

Every four years, the Olympics bring together the world’s best athletes to compete in a number of events. Likewise, it seems that Sega produces a video game to go with each Olympiad, trying to put the thrill of being an athlete into the hands of casual players. "London 2012," its latest version, succeeds more than most, but still can’t shake the feeling that you could be doing more in it.

On the plus side, the athletes look very realistic this time around, instead of robotic creations that move awkwardly, as in previous Olympics-themed games. What’s more, the team has done a bang-up job recreating the crowds and atmosphere of each event. [ NBA 2K12: Game of the Year Slams It Home ]

There’s plenty of competition to go around. Along with taking on friends locally in races and other events, you can also go online through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network and compare best times through leaderboards. "London 2012" also comes with a great deal of unlockable content, including additional outfits and other items, which you unlock by progressing through winning events.

There are more than 40 mini-games in all, each based on an Olympic event, including diving, volleyball and a number of track-and-field competitions. However, they’re all mostly played the same way, requiring you to hit buttons at the right time, “mash” them like crazy when you want to give more effort or hold the analog stick in just the right position. This leaves a disconnected feeling with the athlete.

In addition, Sega cut a few corners when it came to the game’s development. Rather than incorporating the 200-plus nations competing in this year’s Olympiad, you’re stuck choosing from 36. The fact that popular favorites like Cuba and Egypt aren’t included is bound to be a bummer for players who want to see them.

Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions support the Kinect and PlayStation Move through the party mode, particularly with games such as archery, table tennis, 100-meter dash and more. It’s essentially using your body to complete certain motions in the game, and not all the events are supported.  Still, it does provide a strong change of pace from simply tapping buttons. And it can be fun when you have friends over.

"London 2012" probably won’t be remembered when the next Olympic compilation comes out in a few years., But for this current era, it is one of the best games for getting into the spirit. "London 2012" doesn’t win gold, but it scores a modest bronze.

RATING: 2.5 / 4

© 2012 TechNewsDaily


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