gaming since 1997

Torino 2006

That some titles live of their name alone is something we’ve known for quite some time already. That there’s games with little more content than their name is even for me, a guy that has a fetish for crap, quite surprising. And you can take that even literally: the cd is only filled for 535MB.
To compare: NFS:MW had more than 8 times the amount of ones and zeroes, and the difference is really not in the tracklist!

From a didactic point of view however, Torino 2006 is highly interesting: if you want to make clear how not to make a game, this game will show you everything. I can’t think of a more bold example of your statement. Why is Torino 2006 so bad? I’ll tell you!

The “realistic” comments the official site mentions are only as realistic if sports reporters in real life are all complete morons. They find the audience great while there’s no audience to see. The surroundings are quite sterile. And if there’s some audience that passes by, it looks more like a bunch of pixels than the enthusiastic crowd they’re talking about. They haven’t got a lot of interesting comments to make and the little sentences they do pour out are constantly repeated. It’s like two parrots have been put in place.

Furthermore you’re supposed to be overwhelmed by the breathtaking environment. As a regular Joe Schmuck that hardly ever leaves the house I’m quickly impressed by landscapes, but the small, clinical surroundings were all but impressive. A picture of 2 by 2 that comes with bubblegum has more persuasion that this world. I admit, it doesn’t look completely like crap but the game owes that to its simplistic character. Two tries and a skier put together in a 3D world isn’t enough anymore these days. Beware: I’m talking about the PS3 version so the screenshots are a euphemism to the second degree.

If the game would have been made 15 years ago, it would have been quite spectaculer. The problem is that when a game was released back then, it would run perfectly on a 286 from a diskette. That diskette also would make a lot less disturbing noise than the CD of Torino 2006. I almost felt pitty for my PS2, having to go through such torment at its old age isn’t humane.
Was that Olympics game back in the days then equally good? Yes, it was even better as in those days it was revolutionary and very addictive and you can’t really say that of this piece of junk.

If you hadn’t made the thought yourself: of course Torino looks graphically a lot better. But that’s where it literally stops as there’s completely no innovation on the gameplay. How much I cherrish the memories, such moronically simple mini-games are past time. And this game really doesn’t run on its variation either. There’s 8 “different” sports disciplines but only 4 different games!

Cross-country skiing is actually biathlon without the carabine shooting. Skiing as such is so immensely boring that you can play it with your toes so those five shots you get to do once in a while are a breath of fresh air. And still that part is also quite stupid: you have a vibrating visor and you push X when you want to fire. You do that about 2000 times an hour in an FPS and still something as dismal as that can offer an enormous added value to Torino 2006!

And then there were 6. Then we come to the bobsleigh: words fall short to me. So abominable that I was dazed. I think the devs made a corner to the left, a corner to the right and added a straight lane. They’ve cut and paste those after each other in a random fashion and it made me remind those Musti-episodes from the ’60s: three background screens that constantly run while Musti sits in the train.
On top of that you can’t even crash so what’s exciting about bobsleigh? Ok, you can hardly turn so what am I talking about crashing? Onto the next discipline called luge. Or bobsleigh with one person. A difference, by the way, that you only notice at the start as for the rest it plays completely the same: awful.

Four bottles of beer on the wall, five bottles of beer. Normandic Combined: first ski jumping and then again the sleep-arousing cross-country skiing. Here the recycling isn’t even hidden. The fact that you can get negative points in skiing by doing bad with the jumping will put any gamer at the tip of his shoes.

Drei Lufballons. With the skating they even managed to badly implement button-bashing. Ski jumping is little more than an easy variant to balancing a ball on half a circly, in short: one small gameplay part from Tony Hawk is put forth as a full gametype. If it would have been a full copy it might have been fun, but even copying and imitating wasn’t possible it seems. Then the only thing that remains is alpine skiing: as flashgame it might have fooled an unsuspicious surfer.

The fact that you constantly have to type your name (with a controller) after playing for 30 seconds is bad enough. If afterwards you’re still “Player 1” surrounded by players called “computer”, things really get out of hand. I believe that in one discipline they even forgot to program “Are you sure?”. As I said: even copy/pasting didn’t work well. The instructions are also all but readable, probably they were typed in at the very last moment by a programmer that was already full on dope. All details that confirm the alpha-stadium Torino 2006 clearly hasn’t surpassed.

So, now you know why Torino 2006 is marginal: a lack of depth, innovation, quality, progress compared to 15 year old games and content overall. Compare it with a Magnum Champagne that’s only filled for 1% and of which you dump 0,99% immediately with hazardous waste. Next to the white spirit and sulfer. That 0,1% you did drink will leave a scar for the rest of your life.

Our Score:
related game: Torino 2006: XX Olympic Winter Games
posted in: 2K Games, PS2, Reviews
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