|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: The Code Monkeys||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: The Game Factory||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Mar. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Tony Capri
The Olympic dream seems to be alive and well. With DS entries such as Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and New International Track & Field, players have the opportunity to win big in the virtual world of championship athletics. The Game Factory and Code Monkeys now team up to jump in the ring with World Championship Games: A Track & Field Event. It promises the most realistic athletics simulation available on handheld consoles, but does it truly win the Gold, or is this merely a pipe dream?
World Championship Games (WCG) gives you three single-player options, though each offers essentially the same experience. Quick Play gives you the option of selecting from any of the unlocked sports events for a quick fix on the go; Decathlon paces you through 10 events; Tournament seems to be pretty much the same thing as Decathlon, and were not at all sure why its been at added.
The menu system is fairly straightforward and easy to use. Regardless of which single-player option you choose, youll first be asked to select a difficulty setting Rookie, Pro, or Advanced. Youve got track events, jumping events, throwing, and targeting.
In track events, youve got the 100m Sprint, 400m Sprint, 110m Hurdles, and the 1500m. The way these are each played is by tapping footprints on the touch screen as they appear over a shadowed bar very much like a rhythm game. The controls work fine, and the 100m Sprint is mildly entertaining. Once you move up to the 400m Sprint, things feel a bit long and drawn out; the 1500m is simply not fun in any shape or form.
The hurdles event mixes things up a bit in terms of track events, but the design is simply too impractical to be fun. You move your athlete in the same way as the other track events, though youll have to hit a shoulder button to get them to jump over hurdles as they approach. The thing is, having to constantly watch the bottom screen in order to keep your running in rhythm doesnt work when you also need to watch the top screen so youll know when you need to jump.
Next up are the jumping events. Here, you have Long Jump, High Jump, and Pole Vault. This is where things begin to get a little more interesting, though again, the design just doesnt quite pan out. For the Long Jump, youll again tap on footprints in order to make your athlete run, and when you approach the jump area, youll then have to tap a shoulder button to initiate the first of two gauges; once the first gauge reaches its sweet spot, you have to press and hold the shoulder button again until a second gauge reaches its sweet spot. Unfortunately, the way in which the game explains the controls to you is completely useless, though once you figure out how the event actually works, it is somewhat fun and challenging.
The other two jumping events work similarly. However, youll move your character by simply sliding your stylus from side-to-side on the touch screen in order to build up speed. In both the High Jump and Pole Vault you can set the bar to whatever height you like, since winning the event is based solely on your combined height after three attempts. The High Jump uses three gauges, and though its challenging to pull off, its rewarding when youre successful. The Pole Vault, however, unnecessarily complicates things, and with control instructions that are utterly baffling, its merely an exercise in extreme frustration.