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June 30, 2004
Athens 2004 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
30/7/2004SonyEurocom1-4$99.95

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Expect plenty of action.
Athens 2004 is the official game of this years Summer Olympics in Greece, and the only place you will be able to play the game is on the Playstation 2 with Sony snapping up the rights to create a game based upon the event. Unlike the real event (although things seem to be coming together very quickly for the Greeks now) this game seems to be coming together quite nicely with the developers Eurocom promising some unique gameplay techniques (such as the dance mat and new control techniques - as may be evident in the gymnastics screenshot) rather then the buttom mashing of other similar olympic and track and field based games.

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Targeting in the archery.
So what has Athens 2004 got on offer then? Well for starters the developers are including 26 events from seven sports including Athletics (Track & Field), Aquatics (Swimming), Gymnastics, Equestrian, Weightlifting, Archery and Shooting. This is certainly an impressive list that no other game in the past has matched. Specifically the events include:
Thirteen Athletics (Track and Field) Events 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, hurdles, long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vault, javelin throw, discus throw, and shot put.
Four Aquatics (Swimming) Events 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke and 100m butterfly.
Four Gymnastics Events Floor exercises men, floor exercises women, rings men and vault.
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One of the gymnastics events.
One Shooting Event Skeet.
One Archery Event Individual 70m.
One Weightlifting Event Clean & Jerk.
One Equestrian Event Jumping individual mixed.

Athens 2004 includes four arcade and eights competition game modes from Practice to the Official Decathlon and Hepthlon combined events. Some of these modes include a practice mode where you can hone your skills before entering the worlds greatest competition. The Single Event allos you to enter a single event to earn points and unlock hidden items and features. The Challenge mode allows 1-4 players to compete against real teams and world records. The Competition mode includes Individual, Decathlon, Hepthlon, Athletics (Track & Field), Aquatics (Swimming), Gymnastics, Champion and custom competitions.

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Equestrian looks fun.
Perhaps the most fun, however, will be the Party mode. Athens 2004 is truly an interactive experience while competing in Party Mode. Display your athletic ability by using the Dance Mat while competing in 10 different events including hurdles, 100m freestyle, gymnastics floor exercises plus many other challenging events while chasing the gold medal. Yes, you read that correctly, the Dance Mat makes this game a truly interactive experience, and could provide more then a few laughs.

Athens 2004 is topped off with 800 characters from 64 countries. If you want the full Olympic experience then this is the only option to you. Eurocom are pretty good developers, and this game should be a blast, as long as enough time has gone into refining the controls. At this stage it looks like a winner.