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US Gold



1-8 Player

Game Type

Sports Sim

Mem. Card

Review Date

July 1996


Setting the Scene

With this being an Olympic year, we were bound to get a rush of Track and Field style games during the period around the competition its self. US Gold have entered the arena with this offering. It has been stamped with the official "Adlanta1996" logo, which must have cost quite a bit of money, lets just hope that the game is good enough to justify the emblem!


Athletics simulation.


Well firstly lets be absolutely fair about this...... compared to previous two dimensional efforts that have been produced on other computer systems over the years, this is a fantastic effort at transforming the genre to a fully 3D environment. The Introductory sequence that starts off the game is truly brilliant and clearly shows off the visual power that the PlayStation possesses, all of the athletes shown in this demo have been beautifully rendered and light sourced and set the mood for the rest of the game very nicely.

Unfortunately once you get past the demo sequence and into the game the quality of the graphics begin to deteriorate. Had I not played International track and Field then I may not have noticed how poor the athletes, stadium and crowd have been produced. Whereas in Track and Field the competitors are comparable to TEKKEN characters and move with grace and ease in all of the events, the guys in this game are even less defined than the VIRTUAL FIGHTER characters, in fact they look as though they have been either carved from stone or are some form of alien creature that has just been hit in the face by a large plank of wood.

As far as the animation goes, most of the athletes look as though they have wet their pants and are trying to complete the event without any of the crowd noticing this. Again the whole thing looks as though it has been rushed to get it finished and therefore didn't have the final touches that ITF was given.

Sounds and Effects

I think that "Average" would be quite a kind way of describing the aural efforts within this game. The background tunes are very basic, the crowd and athlete noises are fine but don't blow your socks off. One thing that I noticed that makes me wonder if this game was rushed to be completed before the Olympics started, was the fact that during the swimming you are treated to a nice splashing watery sound when the athletes dive into the pool and start to swim, this same sound continues until you have completed the race and then STILL continues after ALL of the swimmers have finished and the end of race scores are being displayed, this is sloppy programming and should have been spotted and corrected during beta testing.


Well so far this hasn't been too positive. To its credit this game tries to solve a few of the problems common in this type of game in an attempt to prolong the interest level. Their are 15 events:

100 meters, javelin, long jump, pole vault, weight lifting, 400 meters, hammer, triple jump, fencing, archery, 100m crawl, discus, high jump, rapid fire pistol, skeet shooting

Regardless of the problems with sound and graphics all of the above games play well, but it is far too easy to beat the computer opponents even on the HARD setting. A great feature that was missing from ITF is that once you have completed all of the selected events ( you can play ALL or just a selected few events ) you go back to the start again and have to try and beat the new improved qualifying times or scores, whereas in ITF the game ends after one round.

You can play with up to EIGHT friends at once in this game by utilizing the multi-tap accessory. We played with five when testing this game out, it made it tremendous fun, especially in the 100 meters when we all qualified for the final. The tension in the air just before the starting gun went off was brilliant. All of the events were a nice mix of challenges, some requiring super-fast button pressing and others just good hand to eye coordination. Be warned, you should expect to take over three hours to play all of the events in the Olympic mode when playing with 4 other human players.

As is normal with these types of games, forget the single player mode, buy a MULTI-TAP and get four of your friends round to your house as quickly as possible for a fun-tastic few hours of adrenaline pumping, finger blistering fun.

Value for Money

Pretty useless as a 1 player game. Not bad as a 2 player game. Fantastic as a 5 player game. Unbelievable as an 8 player game.

Its a shame that US GOLD hadn`t spent more time play-testing this game in order to make it a better 1 player game. If they had then surely the problems with both graphics and sound would have been addressed, all of which prevent this game from becoming a classic.





I don't play this game on a one player mode any more, but if its a night in with some mates and a few beers, this game will still give you hours of fun and frustration. The format is simple enough so that you can pick up and play, rather than having to practice each event many times before registering good scores. My scores relate to this title as a multiplayer game.











Even one year after the release of this game I enjoy a link up with my mates.








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