Back in the day i use to love button mashing with my friends playing track and field on the NES - those were the days. When i saw this released on Xbox Live Arcade i just had to download it. At only 400 Microsoft points it was a bargain especially with some of the crazy achievements that are available.
The game itself is split up into a number of track and field events including 100m, Long Jump, Javelin, 110m hurdles, Hammer throw and High Jump.
My definite favourate is the 100 meter sprint up to 4 players can play at once and this event is purely who can mash the buttons on the control pad the fastest, the site of 4 grown men rapidly mashing buttons is a sight to behold haha.
In true arcade fashion you often notice the CPU players 'cheating', when ever your ahead in a sprint or the hurdles the CPU player suddenly becomes a man possesed and sometimes comes rushing past you.
Overall a great throw back to 1980's arcade games and a worthy purchase of 400 MS points.
Track & Field was a revelation in the Arcades when it was released in 1983. It seamlessly encapsulated a huge competitiveness amongst gamers and incorporated a great multi-player experience. Many players were to find more ingenious ways to play and I remember various people getting mouth infections due to users licking their fingers for extra pliancy allowing them to get better and better times. Now the risks of infection are a thing of the past and the whole Track & Field experience is available in the home.
The port is arcade perfect - not unexpected on today's hardware! The game plays at it did back in the day although the control system can't compete with the arcade machine. The big problem is that the player can not reconfigure the buttons. This leaves the more adventurous players from finding their best playing techniques. This is a great shame as more and more authentic arcade controllers are being released on the 360 console.
So it's an authentic port slightly marred by the control mechanism in place. Still, as a trip down memory lane it's hard to beat - unless you have the full MAME experience to hand.
Back in the mid 80's when I was a teenager, video games in amusement arcades were all the rage. One of my all time favourites was Track and Field by Konami. This game was released on most home computers in the 80s and also the latest consoles at the time. One console I did not expect to see the game appear on was the Xbox 360 so I was really surprised and intrigued as to how it would play today, more than twenty years after its release.
Track and Field on the Xbox is an exact port of the arcade version. Apart from an improvement in sound and making the graphics high definition, the look and feel of this game is identical to the game you would find in arcades up and down the country in the 80s and 90s.
The idea of this game is to meet the qualifying time, distance or height in each event in order to progress to the next event. If you manage to achieve the qualifying mark for all events, you cycle through the events again, this time with much trickier qualifying targets. As the qualifying gets harder, you are awarded an extra life after each circuit. This is essential as you start the game with only one life. After each event you are awarded a score which relates to your best attempt for the particular event. These individual scores are then added together to give you a grand total. The beauty of this game in the arcade was that these scores were stored in the machines memory meaning that top scores would never get erased, even when the machine was turned off. If you were good at this game then your name would be up in lights for everyone to see. With the Xbox version of this game, all scores are posted to Xbox Live leaderboards which allows you to see how you are performing in the game against all other players in the country. I used to think I was pretty good at this game but when I find out I'm 60,000th in the country then suddenly, I'm not so sure.
As this is a 1980s game, the graphics look nothing like those you would expect to see in todays game. The stadium is extremely 2D with the people in the crowd being very simplistic indeed. The actual athletes are not the muscular specimens you often relate with real track and field events these days, instead they bear an uncanny likeness to the 118 118 athletes. The fact the graphics are so dated should not be seen as a downside however. This game is all about playability and somehow the graphics seem so appropriate for it, super animated graphics just wouldn't feel right in this game. As this game was originally released before widescreen TV's and consoles were even thought about, I am pleased to see that the Xbox Arcade version has been left in its original 4:3 aspect ratio as the graphics would look terrible if they were stretched to suit todays widescreen televisions.
I always remember Track and Field being one of the first arcade machines which actually talked. As well as the on your marks, set, go commands, the game actually spoke to you to tell you what your time or distance was. Even though it sounded like the person who was doing this audio had been holding their nose while speaking, even to this day, I still love hearing this audio as I think it sounds so amazing for something so simple. The enhanced sound on the Xbox doesn't actually improve the game in any way for me. The music sounds a lot smother than the original but I am relieved that they have resisted the urge to tinker with the voice.
People recognise the Wii as the first console which gives you a workout whilst playing on it. The Track and Field arcade machine did this decades before. Back in my youth, I was pretty good at this game and could make one go last me 20 minutes. By this time, due to the control method sweat was pouring off me. The original game consisted of 3 buttons, one for each leg and a jump/throw button. The idea was to run as fast as you could by hammering the run buttons as fast as you could, this required a considerable effort and at the end of the game it felt as if your arms were about to fall off. With the Xbox version, you are required to use the analogue stick on the controller to make your athlete run. This requires a great amount of skill as getting this wrong could lead to either a broken controller due to getting overexcited by hammering it left and right a little too much or, if you choose to use the palm of your hand, a nice big red blister after playing for half an hour or so. The best technique I have found is to place your middle and forefingers on the analogue stick and use these in a controlled manner, this way you will save both your controller and your hand from any serious damage.
The game is made up of six events, each of them bringing their own challenges. These events are :-
100m dash - This is a nice gently introduction to the game. On the starters pistol, you need to move the analogue stick left and right as fast as you can to get your athlete to the finishing line. Although this only takes 9 or 10 seconds, I guarantee your arm will start to ache by the time you finish the race. There is a nice easy qualifying time on the first circuit so if you want to take it a bit easier to begin with, you should still not have any problem with qualifying for the next event.
Long Jump - This is one of my favourite events. In the long jump, you need to combine the speed of sprinting with the timing of launching yourself into the air and ultimately into the sand. You build up speed in the same way as the 100 metres but this time, when you get to the end of the runway you have to press and hold the A button to allow your athlete to take off. As you press the A button the angle of decent gets higher until you release the button. For a good jump, you need to be aiming around the 45 degree mark. If you overstep the takeoff board then you will be given a foul and your distance wont count. Again, first time round, this event is easy to meet the required qualification distance.
Javelin - The controls for this event are very similar to those used in the long jump. Again you have to build up your speed before firing the javelin into the sky. Around 45 degrees again seems to be the optimum angle to throw but if you have already qualified with an early throw, I prefer to thrown the javelin straight up and spear a bird which brings 1000 bonus points to your score. This is a simple event to qualify in first time round although getting really long distances takes some practise. From my experience, the longer distances rely heavily on the speed of the run up more so than the angle of the throw.
110m hurdles - This is another of my favourite events. It combines the speed of the 100 metres with timing to jump the hurdles. If you get into a nice rhythm with this event it is simple, but if you catch one of the hurdles, it literally knocks you off your stride and makes it difficult to qualify. The athlete can jump hurdle quite long distances so I always try to jump early so as to avoid kicking the hurdle. The only downside with this is that if you go too early, you'll hit the hurdle on your way back down.
Hammer throw - This event looks completely different to all of the other events in the game, instead of the side-on view of your athlete, you have a top-down view. The aim of this event is to build up enough speed in order to throw the hammer the required distance to qualify. This is the first event where you don't need to build up your own speed as this is taken care of for you. Saying that, this is still a hard event to crack as if your timing is slightly off you will either throw the hammer into the cage or outside of the scoring area. This is one of those events where I can qualify 50% of the time with the other 50% being an abject failure. The qualifying distance is very reachable but getting the hammer to land in the scoring area is where the problem lies.
High jump - If you thought the hammer was difficult, you'll think the high jump is near impossible. Again, speed is taken care of, leaving you to get your angles and timing right to make the jump. This event requires a lot of control over the A button as you need to press it a few times at various stages of the leap to get your athlete over the bar. This is easier said than done as this is by far the most difficult event of the game, so difficult in fact that I have even resorted to watching youtube videos to refresh my memory as I just couldn't manage to qualify. If you manage to get past this event then give yourself a pat on the back and prepare to do the circuit again but with stiffer qualifying targets.
Amazingly you can play this game online against upto 3 players. In my opinion this is an amazing feature when you consider online gaming was not even on the agenda in the 80s. The only downside with the online game is that if you get knocked out of the game, you still have to sit and watch the other players until they are all knocked out.
As previously mentioned, you can view leaderboards online as well as compete. This allows you to see your overall score compared to everyone else or you can even filter to your friends to see who has the bragging rights. As well as overall score leaderboards, you can also break it down by events so you can see who is the fastest at the 100 metres for example.
At 400 Microsoft Points, this is one of the cheapest games you can buy from the Xbox Arcade. This is an absolute bargain as anyone from the generation where amusement arcades always boasted better games than the consoles will have a great time reminiscing over how perfect this conversion is, even though its almost 30 years old. The only negative I can find to say about this is that the Xbox controller isn't really suited to games like this but even so, once you get used to it, you can cope fairly well. Compared to the most recent Olympic video games, Track and Field doesn't have the same finesse or technical gameplay but in my opinion, these newer far more eye-catching games lack something that Track and Field offers in abundance and that is fun. I was always a bigger fan of Track and Fields sister game, Hyper Sports which sadly isn't available on the Xbox Arcade but I cannot recommend this game highly enough. If you are unsure if you will like this game or not, you can download a demo from the Xbox marketplace which allows you to play the first three events, this should be enough of a taster for you to decide. This is a game that experience and new gamers alike will be able to pick up and get enjoyment out of in a matter of seconds as there is always room for improvement, be it in your overall score or beating your personal best times in individual events. I would thoroughly recommend it to gamers everywhere.
I think most points were covered in the previous reviews so here is my very personal look at Track & Field.
It's a classic button basher, one of those I loved when I was small. Of course it's the competition with your mates that brings these to life - on your own the draw to play this is small.
In years gone by we worked out all sorts of ways of beating times on this game, from grazing my knuckles as I ran my closed fist over the buttons to using a pen or ruler to rattle over the buttons as fast as I could possibly manage...
But here is a problem for 360 owners. You'll notice the Xbox 360 controller while being well sculpted for an easy hold in your hand doesn't quite sit flat to allow you two handed button mashing and the buttons are little bubbles in comparison to the old style flat buttons. It all makes beating those times rather difficult!
Which leads me to another point - and this comes from the original. It is incredibly difficult! But then I'm older and as you move into your mid-20's gaming abilities definitely tend to slip and determination fades... All of the computer times are almost unbeatable, so playing your friends is crucial to avoid total exasperation!
Also fail just one challenge and you will be returned to the startup screen...
We may pine for retro games but playing them again has you asking 'Do I really?'
This is a strong update, bit of fun, but limited playability due to difficulty and having to go through all games in a specific order...
Worth a look - Enjoy!
When I first started playing computer games many, many years ago, there was a particular genre which I used to enjoy most of all - the sports game, and in particular, the athletics game. I'm not sure why this was, as most of these experiences revolved around pressing or 'bashing' a button faster than your opponent could - not exactly thoughtful gameplay; but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
'Track and Field' for the Xbox 360 is basically the original game which first hit the arcades back in 1983. The graphics have perhaps been updated a little to make them clearer, but haven't been polished up significantly in order to stop them looking retro in style.
In the game you play an athlete at a major track and field meeting, who has to take part in six different events which include; the 100m Dash, 110m Hurdles, Hammer, Javelin, High Jump and Long Jump.
Most of these events will end up with you having a sore thumb - or in the case of extreme players, a bit of arthritis in a few years time!
The game is actually quite difficult to play using the Xbox 360 controller, as the buttons aren't as responsive as one might have hoped. This is incredibly important, as hitting buttons quickly is the main aim of the game in the majority of the sports which make up Track & Field.
In conclusion, Track & Field is an entertaining party game which is best enjoyed with a group of friends. It's a decent reminder of how games used to be, and although it won't hold your attention for long in this day and age, it's good for a quick blast. On the downside, the weak control method will have the older games slightly annoyed, and remembering the old-skool arcade machines with fondness.
Track and field was a series of Olympic games released in 1983 by the developer Konami. They involved the typical button thrashing technique that was the basis for all the following athletic style games including the more recent Athens 2004 and the new Beijing 2008. This game was originally released as an arcade style game and has later been released on several different formats with some updated versions, one of these releases being the arcade version available on the xbox live marketplace.
I recently bought this game as i had played a few versions of this game and thought it was great fun, and i am also a keen fan of athletics. It costs me 400 Microsoft points and was worth everyone as i have played it numerous times and had loads of enjoyment, as well as being annoyed when i fail to complete an event!
The game includes 6 different events. They are all controlled in a very similar way with two buttons to control the power and to run - i thin they are A and B, and another action button to complete a required action be it jump or throw. The six event s you compete in are as follows:
- 100 metres - run as fast as you can by alternately hitting the two buttons as fast as possible
- Long Jump - running as above and then using the action button to jump, you need to hold it down in order to set the angle.
- Javelin Throw - same as above and action button sets the throwing angle (the best it abut 40-45 degrees)
- 110m hurdles - running and using action to jump over the hurdles.
- Hammer Throw - press run button to spin then action button to throw at right time after enough power has built up.
- High Jump - run then action to set angle, then press run buttons to gain extra height while in mid air.
When you play the game you compete in a championship and must achieve a required time or distance or level in order to qualify for the next event, if you fail to reach this the game ends and you must restart all over again. You get just one heat in running event and three attempts at the other events - throw or jump.
If you complete all events there is a medal ceremony and you can then restart again with higher qualifying levels. I am personally struggling to complete the high jump qualifier at the moment!
You can also play this game with up to four players, competing in pairs in the running heats and on your own in the other events. This is a great game to play online over xbox live and can be both fun and competitive. You also accumulate points dependent on how well you do in each event - whether you just get the qualifier or complete thrash that level.
The only problem with this game is the graphics aren't brilliant as it is exactly the same as the original in 1983, and the fact that if you fail an event the whole championship ends - this can be rather annoying having to repeat all over again.
I would recommend this game to anyone whether they want to play competitively, or if they want to just have fun. It's great for both supporters and non-supporters of athletics!
Price: 400 microsoft points (2100 points = £17.50). I think this is bargain for a great game and much cheaper than most arcade games which cost 800 points.
Compete with the best and cement your legacy as a world champion. Online Download.