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"[GAME] Track and Field"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Track & Field'.
Thu 26/07/12 at 21:53
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
Track and Field Review

Hello and welcome to a very special edition of Highflyer’s Retrospect, where we go through some of the great (and not-so-great) titles of yesteryear and give them a run over for a second time. In this way we can have a look back and remember the titles that have gotten us to where we are as gamers, here today. We can also see how gracefully, or not, they have aged over the years.

With the Olympic opening ceremony merely hours away, Olympic fever has (evidently) hit us all. So, to celebrate, we look back at one of the greatest and most addictive arcade releases of all time. Released in 1983 and designed to coincide with the 1984 Olympic Games, Track and Field allowed players to control and make medals with moustachioed marvels.

Featuring six events, players would attempt to qualify for the next event by beating a preset score. Going with a “hexathalon” like event spread, qualification on one event was necessary before the ability to get to the next. Upon completion of the six events, a champion is crowned (you), and the events are repeated with much more difficult to achieve qualifying prerequisites.

Track and Field makes a good habit of mixing up the gameplay between the events. I’ve split them into three separate categories. Sprinting events take up the speed events. Using a double sprint configuration, players would mash buttons as quickly as possible in an attempt to beat the time for qualification in the 100m sprint and 110m hurdles. The 100m sprint is a straight-to-the-finish affair, and is as simple as it comes - don’t jump the gun and mash your way to victory. The 110m hurdles also adds a secondary button required for jumping, adding a timing element to the event.

A few events do not require any speed at all, and are all about accuracy. Hammer throw has the character spin, with the player determining angle and time of release. The fine balance between potential distance and margin of error makes the event a surprisingly perilous one, especially when going for the longer distances. The long jump involves the player negotiating his way over a series of poles with marginally increasing heights. It’s an interesting mechanic of lowering the angle at a time suitable for the clearing of the obstacle. It is probably the most difficult event to get to grips with initially, and probably the least interesting once it’s been mastered.

The remaining events include elements of both speed of finger and accuracy. The long jump is an Olympic staple, and requires the player to perform the run up, followed by a jump into the sand, avoiding stepping over the tape and providing the whiskered wonder with an angle to take off from the turf. Finally, there is the javelin. In much the same way as the long jump, the javelin consists of a player-controlled run up, followed by the determination of throw time and angle. Stepping over the line causes a foul, but this time it is a lot thinner and harder to see. Personally, I find the javelin to be one of the more difficult events to actually qualify from, where, especially on the second run through, the qualification is rather difficult to attain.

One of the major features implemented in most great arcade classics is a leaderboard, and this is no exception. Track and Field offered not one, but two types of bragging rights. A score value is put to the scores of individual events, the completion of these events leads to a cumulative score which is taken to the point being partly responsible. The machine also takes note of the “world records” for each event - with the best three competitors of each event are immortalised in the standard arcade fayre 3 initial form.

The gloriously upkept facial hair of the competitors is lovingly rendered in the typical 16-bit sprite style. For those who are great students of the button mashing era may experience some interesting leg movements in the sprites, but for the most part it is solid for the time of release. Sound-wise, the game isn’t exactly spectacular. The crowd noises sound a little scratchy and the noise can be quite offensive. However, it must be said that there is something unusually pleasurable and soothing in the robotic delivery of the times and lengths from events.

There are some little issues with the game which can be irritating. The inability to start at higher heights on the high jump can make it a frustratingly long and slow experience, especially when it takes a few successes to get to the qualification height, even the first time round. It’s more of an oversight, but it still annoys me.

With the simplicity of gameplay, Track and Field ages incredibly gracefully. It may not be the most realistic, or the most thorough representation of the Olympic Games. It may be limited in graphical capability, gameplay nuances and depth. It may not include such Olympic delights as the BMX biking, football or the equestrian events. However, in controlling the handlebarred hunks, it is one of the purest and undeniably fun virtual incarnations of the Games ever released, even if it is nearly 20 years old.

Score: 8.0/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Thu 26/07/12 at 21:53
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
Track and Field Review

Hello and welcome to a very special edition of Highflyer’s Retrospect, where we go through some of the great (and not-so-great) titles of yesteryear and give them a run over for a second time. In this way we can have a look back and remember the titles that have gotten us to where we are as gamers, here today. We can also see how gracefully, or not, they have aged over the years.

With the Olympic opening ceremony merely hours away, Olympic fever has (evidently) hit us all. So, to celebrate, we look back at one of the greatest and most addictive arcade releases of all time. Released in 1983 and designed to coincide with the 1984 Olympic Games, Track and Field allowed players to control and make medals with moustachioed marvels.

Featuring six events, players would attempt to qualify for the next event by beating a preset score. Going with a “hexathalon” like event spread, qualification on one event was necessary before the ability to get to the next. Upon completion of the six events, a champion is crowned (you), and the events are repeated with much more difficult to achieve qualifying prerequisites.

Track and Field makes a good habit of mixing up the gameplay between the events. I’ve split them into three separate categories. Sprinting events take up the speed events. Using a double sprint configuration, players would mash buttons as quickly as possible in an attempt to beat the time for qualification in the 100m sprint and 110m hurdles. The 100m sprint is a straight-to-the-finish affair, and is as simple as it comes - don’t jump the gun and mash your way to victory. The 110m hurdles also adds a secondary button required for jumping, adding a timing element to the event.

A few events do not require any speed at all, and are all about accuracy. Hammer throw has the character spin, with the player determining angle and time of release. The fine balance between potential distance and margin of error makes the event a surprisingly perilous one, especially when going for the longer distances. The long jump involves the player negotiating his way over a series of poles with marginally increasing heights. It’s an interesting mechanic of lowering the angle at a time suitable for the clearing of the obstacle. It is probably the most difficult event to get to grips with initially, and probably the least interesting once it’s been mastered.

The remaining events include elements of both speed of finger and accuracy. The long jump is an Olympic staple, and requires the player to perform the run up, followed by a jump into the sand, avoiding stepping over the tape and providing the whiskered wonder with an angle to take off from the turf. Finally, there is the javelin. In much the same way as the long jump, the javelin consists of a player-controlled run up, followed by the determination of throw time and angle. Stepping over the line causes a foul, but this time it is a lot thinner and harder to see. Personally, I find the javelin to be one of the more difficult events to actually qualify from, where, especially on the second run through, the qualification is rather difficult to attain.

One of the major features implemented in most great arcade classics is a leaderboard, and this is no exception. Track and Field offered not one, but two types of bragging rights. A score value is put to the scores of individual events, the completion of these events leads to a cumulative score which is taken to the point being partly responsible. The machine also takes note of the “world records” for each event - with the best three competitors of each event are immortalised in the standard arcade fayre 3 initial form.

The gloriously upkept facial hair of the competitors is lovingly rendered in the typical 16-bit sprite style. For those who are great students of the button mashing era may experience some interesting leg movements in the sprites, but for the most part it is solid for the time of release. Sound-wise, the game isn’t exactly spectacular. The crowd noises sound a little scratchy and the noise can be quite offensive. However, it must be said that there is something unusually pleasurable and soothing in the robotic delivery of the times and lengths from events.

There are some little issues with the game which can be irritating. The inability to start at higher heights on the high jump can make it a frustratingly long and slow experience, especially when it takes a few successes to get to the qualification height, even the first time round. It’s more of an oversight, but it still annoys me.

With the simplicity of gameplay, Track and Field ages incredibly gracefully. It may not be the most realistic, or the most thorough representation of the Olympic Games. It may be limited in graphical capability, gameplay nuances and depth. It may not include such Olympic delights as the BMX biking, football or the equestrian events. However, in controlling the handlebarred hunks, it is one of the purest and undeniably fun virtual incarnations of the Games ever released, even if it is nearly 20 years old.

Score: 8.0/10

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