The Dreamcast version's graphics do boast plenty of realism-enhancing details - from judges on the field to birds in the sky. Most importantly, the athletes' animations really stand out, especially when they are celebrating success or failure. These animations, when seen from the seemingly infinite variety of camera angles on replays, really breathe life into the graphics. The only noticeable visual flaws crop up with the water-related events. In 100-meter freestyle swimming, the graphics seem slower and more choppy than usual. In 10-meter platform diving, it looks like the athletes are splashing through glass (triangle polygons and all) rather than water. In addition, the camera view in the kayak competition occasionally gets squirrelly, especially when you take sharp turns.
In terms of audio, the two-man commentary holds its own, although some of the special effects (such as the splashing water sounds) need a bit more variety. As in the PlayStation version, a lag time between commentary audio in the skeet shooting event results in the occasional announcing gaffe.
One solid innovation this game offers is the Olympics training mode, in which you develop athletes via "minigame" exercises such as working a treadmill or moving a medicine ball. Although most of the events require button jamming, a few require quick timing (or good hearing, such as in the starting pistol exercise). For those who can stand the repetitive nature of these exercises, it's rewarding to see an athlete improve and eventually win a gold medal. It also gives the game some replay value. Plus, die-hard fans can "save" these athletes on VMU and compete head-to-head with other gamers.
Timing is everything. With that said, the Dreamcast version of Sydney 2000 seems a little rushed to market - obviously to capitalize on the hoopla surrounding the September 2000 event. Surely, if the developers had a couple of extra months, they probably could have improved this version immensely. Still, it remains a decent enough game for button-jamming fanatics despite its flaws.