After their Track and Field games achieved success in the 1980s, Konami resurrected the series in 3D on the PS1. This is International Track and Field. Oh yes. While it lacks any long term replay value in single player, there is much to be said for the multiplayer side of the game. This is where you’re likely to put in the most hours, and cause yourself the most injuries. Button bashing games require a certain temperament to avoid inflicting serious injury, shall we say.
There’s no official olympic licence here, but it looks the part. There’s no clutter and it’s easy enough to know what you’re expected to do in each event. There’s a pure simplicity to the setup, one that is easy to appreciate almost 20 years after its release.
Frantic four player action follows as you try to best each other across 11 different olympic events, button bashing to achieve the position of number one in the world. That you are fighting for this ranking is repeated at the start of every single event. Yes, thank you, we got it the first time.
Controls are a simple combo of two or three buttons, which are easy to learn but increasingly difficult to master. And that’s it, really. Once you’ve mastered each event it’s just a case of trying to beat your previous best score. This can delight and annoy in equal measure, especially if you think the game is cheating you out of a number one ranking. Here’s a hint: it probably isn’t.
If you have a copy of the game still lying around and three friends to compete against, International Track and Field still holds up today. And who wouldn’t want to find out if they’re number one in the world? We know we would. And then find out we’re not very good at all.