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A popular game in the arcades back in 1985 was Track and Field, a simple 2D game where you competed against others in various olympic events. Sega Sports has taken this idea into the 3D world with improved speed, camera angles and graphics to bring you "Decathlete" or "Athlete Kings" in Europe.
Decathlete is a a decathalon competition played with one or two players selected from eight different countries (USA, France, China, Germany, Great Britan, Russia, Japan, or Jamaica). Players will compete in two days of five events each that include the 100 meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meter race for day one, and the 110 meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and the 1500 meter race for the second day. The top five scores are kept for each event including the world record, as well as the total best scores for the Decathlon and Arcade modes.
Difference between the Decathlon and Arcade modes is that you are not required to qualify on each event in order to continue the competition. In Arcade mode, your game comes to an end and you see your character down on the ground frustrated, but you are given the chance to try again and continue with the same amount of points. After each event is completed, a summary of the events and points you have scored on each is given.
Graphics in Decathlete are among the best seen for this sort of game. The stadium, characters, and events are all in textured 3D graphics. Your character will run, jump and move just like they would in real life with all the movements being very accurate. The background consists of tall skyscrapers and mountains with a partly cloudy sky. As the day comes to a close, the sky will darken with the sunset. For events that include a best score of three attempts, each of the tries will be displayed using a different camera perspective with zooming effects.
The sound effects contain voices for each of the athletes with victory and defeat phrases recorded. Each of the athletes are presented before starting the competition with a voice announcing their names and which country they represent. Another voice declares each event before it's starts. The events are accompanied by the cheers of the crowd adding to the competitive atmosphere.
Playing the game is fairly simple. To run, you press the run buttons as fast as you can, the quicker you press, the faster you'll run. Jumping and throwing is done via another button, and depending on the event, will also control the angle at which you jump or throw according to how long you hold the button down for. Something new this time around, however, is that during the longer runs, such as the 1500 meter run, you'll have to pace your player by taking it easy on the run button. Otherwise your player will run out of energy and not be able to compete against the others. The bottom of your screen contains speed and strength bars which provide ideal results when they are at maximum. At the top of the screen you have your players name and flag displayed in the upper left corner, the time left for the current event, the world record, and on the right are your results from each attempt.
In the Options menu, you'll be able to set the D-PAD configuration, view the Hall of Fame, test the sound, and set the game settings. There are four difficulty modes you can choose: easy, moderate, hard, and hardest. The number of attempts per event can be set from one to three, and you can have instuctions displayed before each event if desired. This is quite useful for first time players. The instructions on how to play are displayed along with graphics showing the exact controls and angles you should be aiming for to obtain optimum results.
At the end of the game while the credits are scrolling and after you have received your medal, each event will be quickly reviewed on the left hand side of the screen displaying each of your results for the events.
Written by Trevor Bennicke
Sega of America Inc.,
255 Shoreline Drive,
Redwood City, CA 94065
Web site: Sega of America
Sega Europe Ltd.,
266-270 Gunnersbury Avenue,
London W4 5BQ
Web site: Sega Europe
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