Have You Played… Asterix at the Olympic Games?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I didn’t expect much from Asterix at the Olympic Games, and that’s definitely part of why I like it as much as I do. I think it’s a genuinely good PS2-era action-platformer though, and one with a delightful, meta story.

Based on the comic of the same name, you must steer Asterix and Obelix – alternating control between the two – towards entering and winning at the Olympic games. There’s lots of block-pushing environment puzzles, beating up of Romans with entertaining combat and some tolerable olympic minigames.

It’s also based on the 2008 French-language film of the same name, though, and part of the plot of the game deals with the merging of those three universes. The villain Brutus has opened portals between worlds, causing a 2D papyrus Getafix from the comics and real actors from the movie (depicted in filmed cutscenes) to cross over into the 3D world of the game. This is an amazing amount of commitment to the various versions of Asterix – one that I suspect didn’t pay off in terms of sales, but does in terms of making the game more remarkable than it would have been otherwise.

From this site

12 Comments

  1. Merry says:

    This demo is available here. It’s a Polish site, but you want the big button labelled Pobierz program.

    It’s a single setup exe file in a zip. It’s about 600MB (rather sweetly, so as to fit on a CD) and it works fine on Windows 10.

  2. sillythings says:

    I have, and what I remember most about the game are the brilliant references to other video games, such as Beyond Good and Evil and even Psychonauts, if my memory doesn’t betray me.

  3. Someoldguy says:

    Never heard of it, but you’ve tempted me into investing £2.99 into acquiring it as another bit of fun for my kid. Naturally I’ll have to ‘test it’ first.

  4. poliovaccine says:

    Haha no, never played that, but wow, I just got buried in a great big nostalgia dump when I saw Asterix and Obelix – I got a good bit of those two as my French teacher would use em for exercise material in school. We also saw a good bit of Muzzy, haha. Whatever that green fuzzy thing even is.

    Anyway. Mostly this HYP post just reminds me, I am actually interested in gameifying language-learning. I’ve considered stuff like just taking a game I know very well – i.e. New Vegas or Skyrim or etc – and simply playing it in French. Back in school I read The Stranger alongside a copy in the original French (L’Etranger) and that was really helpful actually, helps you figure things by context, so I imagine something like that, where I already know the dialogue and the text content basically by heart, would be a similar idea. I realize that when one is immersed in a language one picks it up fast, and learning by speaking leads to learning more fluently than years and years of study can bear out. It’d be cool to simulate that immersion without having to travel to France or Morocco or Argentina or some other French-speaking territory… much as I’d like to, traveling to Skyrim or New Vegas is simply easier and more affordable right now.

    But yeah. I know it’s not really about Asterix at all, but I wanted to mention this stuff cus I’ve always got an ear open for ideas towards language-learning games, if anyone knows any..?

    • Gomer_Pyle says:

      Sounds like a cool idea. One way you could go about it would be having something like a little text bubble / pop-up for item names in both of the languages that the game is teaching, so the players could learn names for commonplace things while they are going about their adventure.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I’ve studied German and have been on the lookout for more ways to increase my skills in a less academic context. I recently watched Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and saw that the DVD had both audio and text in German (as does A Clockwork Orange). These gog lists link to gog.com link to gog.com feature games with german text and/or audio.

      I’m sure you could find something similar for other languages.

    • Marblecake says:

      Fun fact: a great many of my friends learned most of their English through PC games, since German translations weren’t all that common (especially when you pirated a game).
      It’s funny, but as a kid you just didn’t give a rat’s ass about whether you understood the language or not. You kinda got the gist of it through some sort of language osmosis, and the more you played, the more you understood.

  5. BooleanBob says:

    Join the army, they said..

  6. April March says:

    No, I didn’t play it.

    But when I was a youngster I remember having an Asterix game that was pretty great. Can’t remember what it was called. It was a board game in which the goal was to collect mementos from several places from their adventures. Spaces were illustrated with panels from the comics and most of them had minigames that, while pretty simple, seemed to have been made by people who really did care about the source material.

    But what I found the most amazing is that, well, I’m in Brazil, and that was the first game I played that was completely in Portuguese, with voice acting and all. I think it would be over ten years before I saw another one, and fifteen before it became commonplace.

  7. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Nope, but I distinctly remember playing an adventure game based on the Polish Asterix rip-off comics Kajko i Kokosz – it had quite nice graphics (similar to Asterix, ofc), but rather terrible gameplay.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>