Product Type: Konami Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... Still, for the occasional weaker events, there are plenty of others that will keep you coming back for more. Where NITF really ... more
Summers over but let's not forget about the olympic games
International Track & Field (DS)
Member Name: yackers1
International Track & Field (DS)
Advantages: loads of events, based on the original, good fun
Disadvantages: A real risk of wrecking the DS' touch screen if care is not taken
I remember the abuse the control pads took whilst playing this game. Frantic button bashing was required for every single event, with the 100m, 400m and swimming events giving the control pad the most abuse. Through trial and error we learnt that rather than bash the buttons separately if you put a scarf or old t-shirt over your knuckles and scrapped it across the buttons you could get your character to run faster of throw further.
June 2008 saw International Track and Field launched on the Nintendo DS. Celebrating the 2008 Olympic games there were many other games of the same genre released around the same time so Konami had a big task ahead of them if they were to capture the lion's share of this market.
Would this be a pure replica of the original or would it come back new and improved? More importantly could this game now compete against the competition of Mario and Sonic at the Olympics and Asterix at the Olympics?
Career mode involve six different sets of four events across three difficulty levels and each difficulty level must be completed in full before you can move on to the next.
Training mode gives you the chance to compete in each event on its own giving you the opportunity to practice your skills and ensure that you are able to complete the events in career mode.
The graphics are actually quite good with bright vibrant colours and clarity. They are not up to the high standard of those found in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games but they are a lot better than those found in Asterix at the Olympics.
This game uses the touch screen and stylus of the DS to its full extent. All events are completed using this and the ferocity of scrapping the stylus along the screen to get more speed or power can certainly take its toll on the touch screen,
After a few hours game play I decided to put International Track and Field down in order to save my DS' touch screen. I found the more I tried the harder I was using the stylus and the more likely I was going to damage the screen.
It was then I realised that the game can be played using the buttons, hence leaving the touch screen alone and preserving its life. This is a fantastic feature of this game, although constant long term button bashing may also cause significant damage to your DS.
At the start of the game you can choose from four classic Konami characters.
As you progress through the game you unlock the chance to play one of eight additional Konami characters, such as Sparkster, Solid Snake and Simon Belmont.
In addition to the above, there are additional team kits and outfits unlocked as you progress through the game. Whilst this may not seem much it does give you the chance to personalise your characters a bit which is a nice touch, although it adds nothing to the game at all.
****Events and difficulty****
There are 24 different events to complete, each with its own strategy to get that all important world record.
This is quite a difficult game as the stylus motion required in some events is difficult to master. The series of movements is difficult enough on its own but when you need to consider timing as well it makes it that much harder. I found the hammer throw and the discus the hardest events to master, although I am sure this will change from individual to individual.
Using the stylus will get your speed or power up to an acceptable level quickest and this is the suggested method for beginners, although make sure that you watch out for your DS' touch screen.
If using the buttons as opposed to the touch screen this game becomes even more difficult. Frantic button bashing in order to increase speed or power is a test of stamina itself nit helped by the hand positions you will be using to ensure that you can reach all the buttons. It should be noted, however, that the button bashing method will give higher top speeds and if you are looking for the world records or making sure you can pummel your mates' times in to the ground then you need to adopt this method.
The sound, like virtually all DS games I have played, is really weak. There is cheesy music and limited sound effects and these add nothing to the game at all. In fact, they are quite annoying and I find it best with all sound off.
This game has a great multi player option that can be used both on and off line. This can lead to some great nights with mates where you can go head to head and then have small disagreements and calls of foul play between you all.
****Price and availability****
International Track and Field can be bought from all good game retailers. From a very quick online search I have found it at £17.99 from Play.com, £23.99 from ShopTo.Net and £24.99 from Gamerz World.co.uk. Note - all of these exclude postage and packaging and insurance.
There are many other places so if you are intending to buy then carry out a bit of research before hand to ensure that you get it at the best price.
This game has barely changed from the original version I played on the Playstation back in 1999. It still consists of the same frantic button bashing approach in order to get any world records, however, instead of destroying a game pad which can be replaced for a few pounds (and yes, we did end up breaking a few of these during our time playing International Track and Field) you are running the risk of damaging the console itself.
Don't get me wrong this is a great game and really good fun to play. If nothing else it is worth progressing through the game purely to play as some of the classic Konami characters but would you want to do this at the expense of your DS? I don't and decided to get stop playing it.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympics is a much safer bet. Thanks to the 'speed locking' feature it prevents unnecessary rubbing of the stylus and hence damage to the screen. In addition, both the graphics and sound effects in Mario and Sonic at the Olympics is much better.
Summary: A good game but there are better ones in the same genre out there
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