New International Track & Field

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New International Track & Field review
William Thompson

Review

Running, jumping, throwing. Bring it on!

Dont stand in the javelin field


Visually, New International Track and Field is a typical Nintendo style game. The standard characters have that cartoon-style big-head look that we have become so familiar with not quite in the Mii mould, but you get the idea. The backgrounds are colorful and do a decent job, but are nothing spectacular.

The audio is much the same. There is some fanfare from the crowd when records are achieved or events won. There are the usual athletics sound affects such as jumping noises, grunting sounds when throwing, splashing sounds when diving or shooting sounds (similar to a carnival sideshow) for the skeet shooting and double-trap events. The characters do like to talk themselves up on occasions too, which is OK. The background music was fairly plain, but I like that when it comes to games of this type, as any overuse of music can be distracting.

A personal best


One aspect of the game that is outstanding is the interface. The menus are all laid out well and it is very easy to find everything from a list of your personal best times, distances, scores etc, to the trophies you have been able to unlock. Also, prior to each event, a graphic presentation of how to complete each event is. This certainly helps out the younger gamers who havent learned to read. Setting up multiplayer games is also simple (as is the case with most of the DS multiplayer games).

This brings me to one of my favorite aspects of the game. Multiplayer. Competing with AI is fine, especially as you go through the career mode to unlock the individual events. But the satisfaction of beating a friend by the narrowest of margins is just that much sweeter. The fact that the game handles the setup of multiplayer events so easily, makes this aspect of the game just that little bit more enjoyable. One thing to note, however, is that if one gamer has traveled further through the career mode, it is advisable that he/she creates the game as he/she will have access to more events.

Watching the replay


As mentioned earlier, there is a certain amount of unlockable content in the game. This helps with the longevity of the game, as you strive to get all the unlockable content. Completing each level of the Career Mode unlocks classic Konami characters such as Frogger, Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid games), Simon Belmont (Castlevania) and Pyramid Head (Silent Hill). Once unlocked, a Challenge mode game, set in a specific scenario for each character, can be played. Other unlockable items include special trophies as well as costumes for your characters to wear.

The other reason to continue playing the game is the multiplayer aspect. With up to eight players at a time, the gameplay can get frantic, and the competitiveness of your friends will start to show. But not only can you compete in a room of friends, you can take on the best from around the world using the Nintendo WiFi Connection. This feature, combined with the online leaderboard, gives gamers an extra incentive to keep bettering their personal bests.

Step onto the dais


Despite my feelings towards the over-use of the stylus-rubbing method for particular events, this game is a heap of fun. The graphics and sound wont win any awards, but in the end, it is gameplay that weighs most heavily. The multiplayer is the standout feature, allowing the gamer to play against a nearby friend or against someone on the WiFi Network. The Career Mode is certainly set at the right level, allowing the gamer to learn the skills at a reasonable pace to qualify for the next Stage and the unlockable content gives the gamer incentive to improve their performances. All in all, New International Track and Field is a worthy inclusion to the athletics/Olympic genre of games. Now, if youll excuse me, Ive got some limbering up to do before my next event.

7.0

fun score

No Pros and Cons at this time