Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Original Olympics - "Summer Games" for the Commodore 64

Yes, the Winter Olympics have arrived...and it seems that every Olympics, both Summer and Winter, seem to get bigger and bigger every go around. To me, I can't think of the Olympics without thinking of one of the greatest computer games ever made...Summer Games for the Commodore 64.

I never had a Commodore 64 but a good friend of mine that lived in my neighborhood did and I think it was the first game that I really fell in love with. It was the perfect game at the time and had all the qualities I love in a game...head to head action, easy to play but difficult to master controls, and some of the most awesome music and sound effects you'll find in the 1980's.

I haven't played this game in probably 15-20 years but I remember it like it was yesterday...let's take a quick look at the below clip.

0:00-0:30 - You can have your wild special effects, crazy stunts, and people swinging from the rafters with the real Olympics...just give me the single runner with the torch to light the Olympic flame. See how easy it can be? I learned how to play the Opening Ceremony theme here on my Casio SK1...next time you see me, ask me and I'll play it for you. Nice touch with the flying doves too.

0:30-1:00 - I think this was my favorite part...just listening to the different national anthems with that cool organ type sound the game featured. My favorite was Italy for some reason. This game also led me to believe that EPYX was a real country and that their flag had a man thinking on it.

1:10-1:24 - Ah yes, the pole vault. Again, the sounds in this game were awesome. I love the "clack clack" of the running...almost like the guy is wearing tap dance shows...and when you clear the jump, I love that little roar of the crowd.

3:15 - 4:10 - I think this and gymnastics were my favorite event just by how you can torture the poor computer character. I think my buddy and I would try and execute the perfect belly flop or cannonball more than a real dive (watch the second dive at the 3:30 mark for an example).

4:20 - end - Yup, good old gymnastics. No matter how many times I tried to land her on on her head or back, the pony tailed girl would always get up and gracefully run off the mat.

Looking back, there were more events and eventually other games like "Winter Games" (fun just for the ski jump), "Summer Games 2" (not as good as the first one but cycling, fencing, and taekwondo were fun), and the very underrated "California Games" (where you actually COULD break the BMX racer's neck)...but I'll always have a soft spot for this beloved game.

Finally, the cover art for the video game box, seen above, is actually pretty scary now that I look at it again.

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