International Track & Field
Review of International Track & Field
Newcomers to this genre should be interested to know how it all works so Ill try to enlighten you. The simple but challenging gameplay is set-up to test players reactions along with their stamina. If youve ever wanted to feel like you just ran the hundred meters with your fingers then look no further! Gameplay usually involves systematically pressing the X and O buttons on the game controller, which supposedly represent the athletes left and right feet. A shoulder button is used to perform an action such as jumping, throwing or setting of an angle. Speed events are accomplished by hammering away at your poor undeserving joypad as fast as you possibly can (use an old pad if possible). More skillful events require rhythm and timing with the occasional quick spurt. Thankfully confusion is avoided as each event is now preceded by a brief tutorial session.
Im sure the main thing that ITF veterans will want to know is just which events are up for grabs. 110-meter hurdles, rhythmic gymnastics, horizontal bar and trap shooting now join old favorites such as the 100-metre dash, javelin, pole vault, long jump, weightlifting and swimming. Meaning… cycling, diving, vault, canoeing and hammer events are no longer on the schedule.
Of the new events the hurdles not only involves rapid button mashing, but a rhythmic tap of the action button (timing helped by a scale bar). Both gymnastic events involve performing combos on the d-pad (thankfully not as complicated as the vault in ITF2), while the trap shooting is a straightforward aim and shoot exercise-requiring hand to eye coordination.
Sadly there are still only two modes of play, single event and championship mode. Surely a few custom competitions could have been included to expand on the gameplay? Even worse news it that there is only one difficulty level so once you strike gold in an event… thats about it!
Graphically ESPN International Track & Field looks mighty fine. Remember when we used to promise that in-game visuals would one day match those stunning intro movies? It appears that time has arrived as watching all eight competitors limbering up before a race is an event on its own. The stretching, bending, loosening up and nervously shuffling around movements could almost be footage of real people and not a result of some splendid use of the motion capture technique. In fact the only thing that doesnt seem to have been perfected is the athletes eye movement, which on occasion look quite scary.
Each competitor is introduced in turn by the stadium announcer. Once a race begins all participating athletes can be seen charging down the home straight, side by side, making for a mighty impressive spectacle. The once motionless crowd rise from their seats and begin waving their arms in excitement, whooping and cheering, reaching a crescendo as the winner cross the line. This is followed by a TV quality slow-motion replay captured from alternative perspectives by the animated trackside camera crew. The entire package in neatly wrapped in a foot-tapping rock soundtrack (with vocals sounding very much like David Coverdale).
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'International Track & Field' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 24 International Track & Field in-game screenshot slideshow
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