As those modern philosophers Status Quo once said, "Down down deeper and down, down down deeper and down." MARCUS BERKMAN trips in the stairwell...
Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann
Even further back into the archives here - this Daley Thompson game dates from the days when Daley Thompson actually used to win things - 1985. Actually, for those days, this isn't half bad - a bit of a joystick juggler, to be sure (I always prefer playing those sorts of game on a rubber keyboard, but then I'm just an old perv) but not a bad one at that, For the two days of your eight event decathlon you've got to be unbelievably brilliant at everything, and then some. There's pistol shooting, cycling, spring-board diving (very tricky this), giant slalom, rowing, penalty kicking, ski-jumping and then, just when you're beginning to think about putting your feet up with a nice cup of Ovaltine, a tug o' war Gasp! More than half of these use the juggling technique, but there's enough variety to keep your spirits up, which is more than can be said of many Track And Field variants from this time. It has shown its age, but at the time it sold simply trillions of copies, and it's not entirely difficult to see why. A nifty and well-planned package.
Dougie: you'll be really knackered when you get to grips with D.T.'s Supertest, it;s a real test of skill and endurance not to mention the dadamge it does to your digits!
First off, comes the pistol shooting, where you'll need a quick eye and a fast hand to score enough points to qualify.
Next up is the Cycle Racing, where you compete against the clock. Actually, it's more of a test to see what gives in first, you, your fingers, or your poor ol' speccy!
When you've fully recovered from the cycling, you get the chance to go for a nice relaxing dip in the pool. Ha-ha, that'll be the day - you didn't think you'd get in there for nothing did you? No, you have to turn somersaults and dive into the water without the slightest ripple.
You'd better dig out your thermal underwear for the next even as it gets pretty chilly on the Giant Slalom. Although you get 2 chances you'll probably spend more time on your backside than you will winging your way down the slopes!
Say 2 sees you starting four new events. The rowing is another finger numbing exercise in stamina, and you'll have to beat the clock to qualify. You're also up against a computer opponent who's hard to beat.
Beat the Goalie, next. Well, you don't actually get to beat the goalie, you have to beat him at penalties. You can build up the power of your shot on the run up and at the last minute kick the ball at an angle to fool the goalie. (Tee-hee!)
Now you're for the high jump. Well, actually the Ski Jump, but they want you to jump high anyway! To get the best flight, build up your speed on the ramp, then just before the end, press the fire button to jump off into the clear blue yonder.
If you've any stamina left after all that, it's time yo put your bulging biceps to the test in the tug-of-war. Once again your fingers bear the brunt of the bashing as you struggle to pull your way to victory. It's all pretty exhilerating stuff. 9/10
When Daley Thompson was momentarily dethroned as the world's top decathlete he is rumoured to have said " I lost my world record and took it like a man - I only cried for 10 hours."
Whether or not Ocean's follow-up to the enormously successful Daley Thompson's Decathlon will bring tears to your eyes, it will wreak havoc on your joystick and/or keyboard. Yes, it's another joystick waggler.
The program features eight events only - and suffers strong competition from other sports simulations like US Gold's Summer and Winter Games, not to mention Activision's old Decathlon and the Tour de France. But it has just as much potential appeal as its predecessor.
Spread over two days and two sides of a cassette, the events include pistol shooting, cycling, springboard diving, rowing, tug o' war, taking football penalties and two skiing events: the ski-jump and the giant slalom.
No time for the blade on the feather lark with the rowing section. Start pumping away to build up your speed shown at the bottom left of the screen. The display shows an overhead view of two kayaks zipping down the river. World records, i.e. hi-scores, are shown at the top right of the screen to encourage the spirit of competitive joystick destruction.
You stagger from your kayak to the football field - the display shows an overhead view of your footballer as he runs up to slam the leather into the back of the reticule. Your player runs as you either use the alternate left/right keys or pound away at the joystick to build up power for the shot. You control the ball's direction by timing the kick - the angle (or elevation) is controlled by the amount of time that the fire button is depressed. You get five shots.
You won't find many footballers ski-jumping, you may reflect as the pistol signals the gate to open. However, many of them are used to being on the slippery slope or for the high jump. Again continuous left/right movement builds up your momentum, but you must hit the joystick fire button at the right moment as you come to the lip of the jump.
The tug o' war is impossible. You have a choice of 10 opponents, the weakest of which is totally invincible.
And so they came - the first trickle of 128 games. Sinclair cleverly made sure that the software was there, ready for the new machine. But most of the first releases have been expanded versions of existing titles, and we all know, don't we, that bigger doesn't necessarily mean better? After all, it's what you do with it that counts. So here it is - the highly personal, Rachael J Smith guide to those first ten releases.
Try as you might you won't be able to avoid this one - it comes bundled with the machine which indicates that Sinclair has enormous faith in their keyboard, considering 128's joystick compatible problems. Yes, this is the one to punish the membrane, representative of the first era of sport simulations. There's lotsa frantic finger action as you row, cycle, ski and jump. Still frustratingly addictive, if hard on the wrist. The new version at least avoids multi-loads and contains a natty Chariots Of Fire theme.
So there they are, ten offerings for the 128. All benefit from having their amplified sound blasted out through the TV, and where the new sound chip has been used to full effect it's like suddenly being able to hear after years of deafness. But while there are things here to appeal to the person who's never owned a Spectrum before, I can't see much point in duplicating a game unless you were a big fan of the original. And that means that we're not yet in a position to say whether the 128 itself is worth buying. We'll have to wait until games that make full use of that extra memory - that do things that can't be achieved in 48K - appear before we all decide to trade in our old machines.
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