International Track & Field is a 3D update of Konami's Track & Field series, in which up to four players compete in eleven different Olympic events. The game was released for the PlayStation and the arcades in 1996. The arcade version was released only in Japan as Hyper Athlete. In 2008 the game was released on PlayStation Network. All six events from the first game, 1983's Track & Field, are included; but tellingly, only three events (swimming, pole vault and triple jump) are taken from the less accomplished sequel, Hyper Sports. International Track & Field uses the three-button control system of its predecessors (two RUN buttons and one ACTION button per player) and the eleven disciplines can be attempted in any order. The available events are:
- 100m Sprint
- Long Jump
- Shot Put
- 100m Free style
- 110m Hurdle
- High Jump
- Triple Jump
- Pole Vault
Controls and Techniques
Due to the 'button bashing' nature of the game speed was of the essence in order to achieve high score in the game. In November 1996 amateur gamer Stephen Carter developed the Otter Technique which enabled him to achieve high velocities in all events. The technique became a firm favourite with fans, with most now being able to get sub 6 second times regularly on the 100m event. The techniques only flaw was in the hammer event which required near perfect timing to release the hammer or a foul would be committed.
The Otter Technique
Due to the shape of the PlayStation controller, the Otter Technique developed in an ergonomic fashion as Carter started to play around with his positioning during the game. To perform the technique the player must hold the pad slightly diagonally with the left hand holding the controller just above the action buttons to the right of the cable. The left thumb would be placed over one of the run buttons, whilst the fingers formed a fulcrum or balance point below the pad. The right hand would loosely grip the right hand side handle, with the right thumb placed over the second run button. As the player begins the 'run' the left hand remains still, whilst the right hand moves up and down. As it does so, the balance point of the left fingers enables the pad to rock up and down at an electric pace, all the while allowing the run buttons to be pressed exactly one after the other repeatedly and at high speed.
- ↑ C, Alex (2008-08-21). PSN Store Update: 21/08/08. TheSixthAxis. Retrieved on 2010-01-06.
- ↑ Sinclair, Brendan (2009-11-25). PSN Store stuffed for Thanksgiving. Industry Gamers. Retrieved on 2010-01-06.
- ↑ Hyper Athlete. Killer List of Videogames. Retrieved on 2010-01-06.
- ↑ International Track & Field. IGN (1996-11-25). Retrieved on 2010-01-06.
- ↑ International Track & Field. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2010-01-06.