The Olympics are happening. They've been happening for a long time, but thanks to awesome new innovations in technology we get to collectively laugh at hilarious inadvertently embarrassing things people do when they're competing in the sports equivalent of The Final Countdown.
We also get to play video games based on their exploits.
While once the Olympic Games were limited to Grecian city-state representatives that could speak Greek, now gamers are gifted with the opportunity to boil something that takes a lifetime to achieve down to some button-mashing minigames. Sometimes we even get to play as Sonic or Mario and compete against eachother in the iconic competition.
The list this week is going to be the three mind-bogglingest olympic themed video games, but it must be acknowledged that licensed Olympic games are about as equally insane as the following list.
They're rushed, lazy, and generally only purchased because kids are able to feign just enough interest in their cultural heritage to score a free game from mom and dad. Check out the 1996 Nagano Olympics themed game for more crazy, and maybe also check out the article if you're so inclined.
3. Track and Field Track and Field is awesome, and about as close to a gaming Olympic event on its own. Generally, Track and Field tests a gamer's ability to mash buttons quicker than the other guy. Originally released in 1983, the game includes events like the 100 Meter Dash, Javelin Throw, and the High Jump.
Essentially, this means press buttons really fast while occasionally pressing another button. You've probably spotted a Track and Field machine at your local bar, and it makes for an ideal way to spend a couple of quarters. The game functions as a kind of crazy meta-commentary on the olympics, as all of its grand gameplay ideas can be boiled down to a game where you get to laugh at the other guy because your dude ran faster than the other dude. USA! USA! USA!
2. Qwop Qwop is an innovatively weird title. It challenges players to act as a runner's thighs and calves. Creator Bennett Foddy taught himself to develop video games while procrastinating his disertation in philosophy, and the result is an existential crisis in gaming.
The game's difficulty is legendary, as it's surprisingly difficult to directly control the muscle groups in a runner's legs. Most games tend to result in an inadvertent backflip and summary neck-snap, which only entices the player to keep trying.
Achieving the complete 100 Meter Dash is usually impossible, so players are forced to aim lower. Specifically, figuring out how to actually run without uselessly jiggling the muscle groups they control is a task in itself. If that isn't hard enough, players have to jump a hurdle at 50 meters. Crazy. You can check out Qwop, and give one of the few games that actually channels the Olympic spirit out here.
1. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Finally, the iconic blue anthropomorphic hedgehog and Italian stereotype go head to head in celebration of both capitalism and global unity.
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You'll press buttons and watch your favorite 90s platformer heroes jump around and do cool gymnastic tricks and rafting. The game fully utilizes the Wii's motion controls, and you'll get to pretend you're shooting guns along with the olympic event where people shoot guns. Only this time it's Sonic who's blowing away skeet like there's no tomorrow.
It's kind of a weird gaming celebration where two mascots unite to break sale records and once again get kids to con their parents into shelling out another 50 bucks.