Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Arcade - Track & Field vs. Hyper Sports

Track & Field vs. Hyper Sports

OK, time for some controversy. Konami released a couple of athetlics games in quick succession back in the early 80s, specifically Track & Field (a.k.a. Hyper Olympic) and Hyper Sports (a.k.a. Hyper Sports). Popular opinion seems to be that 1983's Track & Field was the better title... but I've never been popular, and I'm going to take a contrary viewpoint.

You see, event for event, I think Hyper Sports wins hands down... But first, the plot: You're an athlete. Press the buttons to win. Repeat. Erm... no, I'm actually serious, that is it. Alright, there's more timing and accuracy involved than the usual bashing in these types of games, but I'll discuss that when it comes to the relevant events.

In each of these sections, it's Track & Field vs Hypersports, ok? So the first event is from Track & Field, and the second is from Hypersports. Make sense? Really? Good, then I'll continue.

Event 1: 100m Sprint vs Swimming

OK, this is fairly straightforward. Bash the buttons for speed. For the 100 metres, that's it... for the swimming, you need to breathe every few seconds or you'll slow down. Breathe too early and you'll swallow water and stop completely. It's a no-brainer choice for me, Hyper Sports' Swimming event every time. Just that extra skill alone would even beat hurdles hands down any day.

Event 2: Long Jump vs Skeet Shooting

For the Long Jump, bash the buttons to build up speed. Close to the line hit the action button to set the angle, and see how far you go. Skeet Shooting is a little less strenuous, you have two square aiming reticles on screen which will vertically follow clay pigeons shot from the side. Simply press the corresponding run button to shoot the appropriate side, left or right. Timing is everything. Look, I'm not great at explaining things like that, you should learn by doing instead, go and play the game!

So which is better? Well, Skeet Shooting made it into the BBC quiz show First Class, and that's good enough for me. In fairness, it's actually pretty fantastic, and the sudden appearance of the duck if you shoot perfectly almost catches you by surprise...

Event 3: Javelin vs The Vault

For the Javelin, bash the buttons to build up speed. Close to the line hit the action button to set the angle, and see how far you go. Hold on, I've got a bit of deja vu here. That's the same as Long Jump, just different graphics! The Vault, meanwhile, was another staple of First Class. The run-up is automatic, but you must time the springboard launch and then the subsequent vault from the horse with the action button, and then perform somersaults with the run buttons, landing on your feet for maximum points.

Once again, the inclusion on First Class helps, but also the ability to land on your head and bounce along ensures that for comedy value alone, Hyper Sports takes the third round... this could be a clean sweep!

Event 4: 110m Hurdles vs Archery

NOW we have a battle. Hyper Sports' Archery is a challenge to say the least. First, hit a button to randomly select the wind speed and direction, then each target travels along on a belt or pulley of some kind. Using the action button, you must hold down to select the optimum angle of 5 degrees, timed correctly to land as close to the bullseye as possible. The 110m Hurdles over on Track & Field is another button bashing game, where you must hit the action button to jump over the hurdles.

You would expect me to say Archery wins this, right? Almost unbelievably, no, and it's all down to the Hurdling Physics. See, in a lot of athletics games, your hurdle jump should be taken as close to the hurdle as possible to maintain maximum speed. But here you have quite a long jump, which is slightly unrealistic, but infinitely more fun. Round 4 goes to Track 'n' Field.

Event 5: Hammer Throw vs Weight Lifting

Finally, a Track & Field event where you don't have to bash buttons! Speed increases constantly, it's all about the timing as you hit the action button to release the hammer and set the angle... just depends on your nerve getting the throw at the last possible moment to ensure maximum speed! Meanwhile, Weight Lifting is a button bashing MARATHON. Select a weight, then you have a limited time to bash enough power to lift it. You'll need to press the action button a couple of times at the right moment to change stance, then keep bashing to keep the arms locked vertical until all 3 judges are satisfied. Trust me, on heavier weights you'll wish you'd played something else. For that alone, Track & Field takes this one.

Event 6: High Jump vs Pole Vault

And now the challenge... both these play very similarly. Don't worry about power, that's automatic, it's all about the timing. Time the jump or dropping the pole, and the flop or the snap of the pole, and the landing, all with the action button. As a result, and seeing they both deliver the events very well... we have a tie.

Which means, without any doubt, we have a winner. The better of the two games is undeniably, unquestionably, Hyper Sports. Because I said so.

1 comment:

  1. I disagree with the Hurdles v Archery... Archery all the way, I just love that event. Its also very pleasing to get the nice on a perfect throw. Trying to throw the perfect throw for the 'nice' is almost a sub game in itself.

    PS 'Triple Jump' was a decent event on Hpyer Sports.