Games to cure your Olympic hangover

Missing that Beijing magic? This'll fix you up


Above: Getting hard to tell the game from real-life? You'll love playing this

Aquatics: Tomb Raider Anniversary (PS2, 360, PSP, Wii, PC)
The official Beijing 2008 game sees you rotating the two analogue sticks in time with the diver's feet and arms, or hammering buttons to swim faster. Slowly. But Tomb Raider lets you perform a swan dive from the top of giant waterfall and serenely glide through sub-terranean caverns. You don't get points for it, but you can deliberately dive onto rocks instead. Therefore it wins. Bester.


Above: Don't worry, Lara gets to wear a swimsuit in her new game

Equestrian: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
Sure, there are 'proper' horse games out there, and several 'care for the sick horse by grooming it to within an inch of its life' games for the under-9s, but we'd pick Zelda any day. Link's horse Epona is a joy to ride, and using amelody played on a reedto call her is magical. She can jump over stuff too, so that's that base covered. And she could crush lesser horsey games under her pounding hooves.


Above: Olympic horses can only dream of such adventure. Salt lick doesn't count

Football: PES2009 (Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii,PC)
We remember Olympic Soccer on the Saturn/PSone being very playable despite looking dreadful. But these days nobody's going to make an Olympic-licensed football game, mainly because FIFA and PES have the market sewn up. PES2009 is looking amazing and should make up for last year's disappointing showing on 360 and PS3. Mind you, both of these games would benefit from the commentator shouting "WHACK!" every time you shoot, as the one in the old game used to do.


Above: PES doesn't have women's football yet, but maybe one day

Fencing: Soul Calibur IV (PS3, Xbox 360)
Fencing at the Olympics never used broadswords. Or Nunchaku. But there are definitely some moves in Namco's brawler lifted directly from this most gentlemanly of weapon arts. Take Xianghua's double-back attack where she steps back then thrusts her pointed implement forward. And a perfectly-timed parry deftly opens her up to an attack of your own. Bravo! Bravo, I say!


Above: Olympic fencing has more padding and less panties. For shame.

Gymnastics: Tomb Raider: Underworld
Underworld's motion capture was 'done' by an Olympic Gymnast, so it's actually probably more faithful than the official Olympic game in that respect. And although you're not graded on the flips and leaps, it sure beats pushing buttons when a girl's feet and hands touch coloured circles. And there are tigers to dodge while you do it. Now that would boost Olympic ratings!


Above: New Lara is lithe and supple butshe's also got a motorbike. Win.

We should add that there aren't that many trampoline games, in truth. Except maybe forgotten old Namco classic Mappy. But bouncing an already bouncy yellow… 'thing' on a trampoline to reach higher places in LocoRoco on PSP is very endearing. And if you haven't played LocoRoco yet, you really must.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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