New International Track and Field has been specially developed for Nintendo DS and retains the ultra competitive multiplayer game play that made the original arcade game such a success, and also brings the Nintendo DS touch-screen and stylus into play. More than 20 athletic challenges await, spanning the 100m sprint, high jump, long jump, through to archery and skeet shooting, pole vaulting, javelin and rowing, amongst many others.
Certain events see the player scribbling as rapidly as possible using the stylus, before performing perfectly timed jumps or throws to attain World Records in each event. Other events require more precise control, further advancing the gameplay. Furthermore, each event has been designed to utilise the unique capabilities of the DS in new and exciting ways, whilst maintaining the core gameplay values of the original and providing a burst of adrenaline as you try to get gold!
Responsible for bringing the classic game up to date for its silver anniversary is renowned UK developer SUMO Digital, who were commissioned by Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH’s Product Planning division – marking the first time a Japanese Konami console property has been assigned to the European division. In keeping with the expectations of modern gamers, New International Track and Field allows people to customise their athlete for use in the game and the Nintendo DS microphone will also be used in an innovative and exciting way. By far the biggest addition to the single and multi-player challenges, however, is the introduction of a massive online feature that sets a new benchmark for the DS and takes the series online for the first time ever, allowing players from all over the world to compete against each other at anytime and anywhere.
New International Track and Field will be unveiled for the first time at this year’s Games Convention in Leipzig. “We are delighted to have been given the chance to take such a successful series and add a whole new direction to it,” commented Dave Cox, Division Head Product Planning at Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH. “We came up with a number of new ideas that retain the core elements of Track and Field that everyone remembers and loves, yet also designed a control system that would suit the DS and offer players the ability to pit themselves against one another no matter what their location. We are extremely confident we can do justice to the original with the new game and look forward to running it past people for the first time at Leipzig.”
In keeping with the extensive updates to New International Track and Field, visuals for the new title have also been revamped. The new game offers a totally unique, fun approach to the athletes that has never been seen before, and creates the perfect look for the touch screen generation. Renowned character design and comic team Udon Entertainment has created a host of beautifully-realised highly stylised athletes that bring New International Track and Field bang up to date with a fresh appealing look. “Bringing a game as beloved as Track and Field to the DS was a dream come true,” commented Erik Ko from Udon on its role within the New International Track and Field development process. “We have worked hard to create original characters that sit well within the game’s cartoon aesthetic, yet retain subtle links to those of the original.”
“With competition at the heart of New International Track and Field, we felt it was vital that players could compete online,” commented James North-Hearn, Chief Executive Officer at SUMO. “Whereas previously players could only compete against a second user, the International part of the game’s title means this game truly offers a global challenge to would be sports heroes everywhere.”