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If you've ever wanted to feel like you just ran the hundred meters with your fingers then look no further! Gameplay involves selecting any two buttons on the joypad to represent the athletes left and right feet, and a further single button to perform an action. Speed events are accomplished by hammering away at your poor undeserving joypad as fast as you possibly can. More skillful events require rhythm and timing with the occasional quick spurt.
There are two game modes. Each has three difficulty levels, which affects the qualifying time for all events. Arcade involves up to four human or CPU players. They must compete all 12 events against each other without being disqualified and the player with the highest score is deemed to be the winner. Challenge mode involves attempting to break the World Record in one specific event of your choosing. These records can then be saved onto memory cards as certifiable proof to your mates that you have the fastest fingers in the land.
Before entering an event each player must choose a country to represent and insert his or her name. Teams include GB, USA, China, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Kenya, Japan and of course everybody's 'favorite' the Russians.
Events are as follows;
Athletics Men's 100m
Simply hit each of the run buttons in turn as fast as physically possible and push the action button just before the finish line to make the runner lean forward and thrust his chest at the line. This event will prove everybody's favorite due to its simplicity and competitiveness. On normal difficulty rapid finger tapping provides a fair challenge against the CPU controlled opponents. However if you insist on using a foreign object (a pen, a lighter, a finger nail, a thimble... yeah, we know all the tricks!) to rub together the buttons then moving up to hard mode is recommended.
Athletics Men's Long Jump
Hit the run buttons until the athlete nears the take off line. Press and hold the action button to make the angle gauge rise, releasing at the desired angle. Press the action button once more as the athlete is landing to pitch forward. This event is a bit more complicated but with a little practice records will undoubtedly be broken. I noticed a really awful jump will see a mole pop it's head out of the sand to pour scorn on the athlete.
Athletics Men's Pole Vault
This event is all about timing because after a short run up the athlete automatically inserts the pole into the box. The tricky part is hitting and holding the action button to set the leverage and grip.
Athletics Men's Hammer Throw
In my opinion the most difficult event to get to grips with. The run buttons set the thrower into a spin and the action button sets the angle and release. Duck!
Athletic Men's Javelin
From the most difficult... to one of the easiest events. Short run up, angle set and launch. Watch out seagulls!
Weightlifting Men's Clean and Jerk
Select desired weight before combining timing and finger strength to raise and hold that bar above the weightlifters head. Prolonged playing will lead to huge biceps on your index finger, so be warned.
Diving Woman's Springboard
Select a style of dive from four difficulties. The run buttons determine the amount of spring and the action button smoothes entry into the water. Start on the easier dives and gradually move up the difficulty.
Swimming Women's 50m Freestyle
Similar to the men's 100m sprint... only the women get wet. Swimwear looks nice, though.
Cycling Men's 1km Time Trial
The run buttons work the pedals and the action buttons move the cyclist higher and lower on the track. Four circuits of rapid finger tapping is quite an endurance.
Cycling Men's Sprint
This is a knockout tournament involving four cyclists. The rider on the inside must take the lead on the first lap, and be moving faster than walking pace. The race is three laps but there is no need to start sprinting until the bell rings for the final lap.
Canoe/Kayak Singles 500m
This is one of the few events where rapid button pressing is not required. Time each row of the oar by matching the onscreen movement meter. As speed increases the meter gets faster, and it becomes harder to match the timing accurately.
Gymnastics Women's Vault
Parappa the Rapper eat your heart out! No rapid run up this time as the start is automatic but the timing of the jump and hands on the vaulting horse is essential. Once in the air try pressing the random on-screen button commands to perform a vault. There are up to ten commands which must be pressed in under a second... Crazy!
So that's about it. International Track & Field 2 is a vast improvement over the original. If you love playing games against your mates then be sure to check this out.
This is a 1 disk game for 1 to 4 Players (Multi-tap required). It is compatible with the standard (digital) joypad and the dual shock joypad. Games can be saved via memory card (1 block per save).
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