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It's difficult to conceive that International Track & Field was released way back in the summer of 1996, and since then it's hardly been out of the charts. The reason for this could possibly be that out of the many thousands of games already available on Playstation format there is still only ONE other title that allows players to enjoy the button-bashing experience of world athletics.
Olympic Games - Atlanta '96 ran a very close race against Konami's offering. While the US Gold compilation presented a wider scale of events Track & Field just held out in the playability stakes and after mixed reactions the result was declared to be a dead-heat.
International Track & Field 2 returns featuring ultra-realistic graphics and animations. Old favorites such as the 100 metre sprint, javelin, pole vault, hammer, long jump and swimming are now joined by gymnastics, diving, canoeing, cycling and weightlifting. Simple but challenging gameplay will test player's reactions and their stamina.
So get ready for the ultimate test of stamina and reactions. Button bashing athletics returns and the best just got better. International Track & Field 2 storms back onto PlayStation with stunningly realistic graphics that capture every sweaty moment. A stack of new events have been added, but the gameplay remains classic!
Sound and Vision:
Considering that the original T&F was released during the very early days of 32-bit gaming the graphics have stood up to the test of time remarkably well. Although the athletes remained almost featureless in appearance their movement was extremely smooth and realistic.
Moving the clock forward towards the end of 32-bit gaming International Track & Field 2 serves to highlight just how far this industry has progressed. Saying these graphics are of arcade quality may be truthful, but goes nowhere near to describing how good this game really looks.
There is no hint of the scrumptious feast on offer when first loading the game up. No intro movie, no lengthy titles list, no catchy theme tune... it's straight into the options screen where little has changed in the past four years. After selecting the game mode a wire-frame athlete fluidly mimes the action of each indexed event to a background of repetitive, bland electronic sounds.
Now this gentle introduction may hardly get the adrenaline pumping but I guarantee the initial shock on witnessing these in-game visuals will make you jump the starting pistol. To a background of deafening noise each of the four 100m competitors loosely limber up as they are introduced to the packed crowd. The athletes are big, colorful, smoothly textured and possibly the most lifelike bunch of polygons I have ever seen. As they slowly move towards the start line the spectators gradually calm as if caught up in the tense atmosphere of the occasion. Down into the blocks, forever fidgeting, swaying from side to side, each leg shaken to loosen the muscles and then stretched to achieve the best possible grip. The camera settles behind all four athletes.
"On your marks!" Calm... the twitching stops...
"Set!" ...arched bodies rise and stiffen...
"Go!" The crowd erupts as all four burst out of the blocks and streak towards the finish line. The camera trails the runners before gradually moving to a side-on view to capture the photo finish. A single replay, a celebration (or a gesture of disappointment) and it's onto the next equally gorgeous event.
The sound effects are perfect for this type of game. The announcers voice, starting gunshots, footsteps when running and the buzzers to start a jump are all nicely reproduced and integrated nicely into this package.
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