sunnuntai 12. elokuuta 2012

REVIEW - International Track & Field | PS1 | 1996

GENRE(S): Sports
RELEASED: June 1996

Track & Field was one of the few franchises originating from the 8-bit era that skipped a whole console generation. When International Track & Field was announced for the PlayStation in the wake of the Atlanta Summer Olympics in '96, eight years since the release of the previous major title in the acclaimed franchise, critics were overjoyed, but many also made note that the game would not survive if it was carved from the exact same wood as the previous games. ...Yes, it would have.

It's in your face, but you can't grab it

Discus fuckin' sucks.
I wanted this game so bad. I didn't have a PlayStation back when the game was released, but my friend had it and he called me one day to tell me that his dad had bought him the new Track & Field game. I rushed over and found out that the game he got was actually Olympic Summer Games, the official video game of Atlanta '96 which came out around the same time as International Track & Field, and it wasn't very good. My desire for International Track & Field kept on growing and the game was nowhere to be found at any right time. I finally downloaded the game 12 years later from the PlayStation Network, and was immensely disappointed.

The game looks quite all right, considering that it's a relatively early game for the original PlayStation, but the music and sound effects are absolutely horrid.

Could we just go already? Like, today?!
For years, I've been complaining about Hammer Throw in all the forms it has taken in all games it's been featured in. Not only is that event in the game, but it's accompanied by similar, and just as frustrating events in Discus and Shot Put. That's not the whole story, not by a long shot. The game utilizes a new type of button mashing system, which requires you to alternate between two dash buttons, with an occasional press of an action button. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it requires you to come up with a specific, even more uncomfortable technique for merely holding the controller.

And I thought pole vaulting in Track & Field II
was frustrating.
Even if you do come up with a technique, you have to get used to the game's idiotic ways of teasing you with the thought that you're actually doing well, when you're not even close to qualifying the current event. Javelin Throw is a good example of a deeply frustrating event; it's always been one of my favourites, but in this game, it drives me nuts. No matter if I manage to do the perfect approach, no matter if I find the perfect angle, the throw can still go both ways: just barely above qualification, or just barely below it. I swear I did two 100% identical approaches, and ended up with results that differed by ten whole meters. Doing well just once in Practice does not mean you're ready to take on the real deal, 'cause the game is a two-faced BITCH! You can't work with her at all.

Out of the 11 different events, four or five are playable. Just trying the rest is like pissing in the wind and having the piss soar back in your face. I simply don't get why this game is so acclaimed, and because it is, I wasn't sure if I should even have reviewed it, 'cause my opinion on it seems to be so different from everyone else's - International Track & Field is a worthless waste of time and money. It's frustrating and uncomfortable, and that's the bottom line.

+ It looks pretty good

- It sounds pretty terrible
- It's frustratingly random, which becomes most evident in the main mode in which not qualifying actually means something
- Alternating between three buttons is hard, slow, uncomfortable and even painful; they should've just stuck with the classic system, win or lose
- The opening sequences for the events last for decades

< 4.4 >

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