Imagine continue their comeback with what could be called the real follow-up to Daley Thompson's Decathlon. Hyper Sports is the official Spectrum version of Konami's arcade game which followed in the footsteps of the highly original Hyper Olympics (or Track and Field as the Taitel/Konami version was called).
To Track and Field fanatics this scenario will seem very similar, but don't worry! Hyper Sports isn't just a test of brute strength like its predecessor, but involves timing and skill too. Each event has a qualifying time, distance or target, and to go onto the next event you have to qualify in the preceding one - failure to do so results in the termination of your game. There are six of the original events; swimming, skeet shooting, horse vaulting, archery, triple jump and weight lifting.
When you start a game you are given the familiar letter 'star' and you use this to enter your initials. Once you've identified yourself, you move onto the events, which commence with swimming. Smash the keyboard (or your joystick) to bits to get speed and when given the prompt, press the jump button to let your man breathe. If you don't he'll slow down, and if you press breathe at the wrong time your man will cough and splutter and REALLY slow down.
The swimming is reasonably simple and so is the next event, the skeet (or clay pigeon) shooting. Your man stands at the bottom of the screen with a shotgun while two boxes move up and down the screen, acting as sights. Shoot as many of the skeets that fly over by pressing either the left or right key as one passes through the corresponding sight. If you time your shot correctly then you hit the skeet. You have three separate attempts to qualify, and when you're successful your man turns, winks and gives you a big grin!
Next, into the gym and onto (or over) the wooden horse. Your man automatically runs up to the horse but you must time his jump onto the springboard correctly, using the jump button, for him to vault. Too soon and you won't get much of a jump; too late and he will trip up. Time the jump correctly and he will be launched through the air, to land hands first on the horse. When his body is horizontal press fire again and hit the speed buttons as fast as you can to make him somersault. Time the somersault so he lands on his feet otherwise he'll cartwheel along the floor or bounce on his head, both of which lose points.
After this comes the archery - one of the most difficult of the events. Pressing fire determines wind speed and then a target is winched down the screen which you have to hit. To do this allow for wind speed and let go of the arrow by pressing the jump button. Make sure your angle is as near to five degrees as possible and if you have timed right you will get a bullseye (worth 400 points).
Onto the triple jump now and it's all hands on the speed buttons. Zoom up to the line and press the jump button, trying to get as near to 45 degrees as possible. Repeat twice for the step and the jump and then wait for the measuring. After three jumps you can progress to the final and the most strenuous round, the weight lifting.
This is a pound-your-Spectrum-keyboard-through-the-floor screen. First select the weight you want to tackle then it's off on a merry pound that'll bring tears to your eyes and quite possibly a nasty mess oozing from your Spectrum. Once you start the weightlifting you have to pound away until your man lifts the weight to his chest. When he has done this press jump to 'snatch' the weights and pummel away at the key board to keep them above his head. Once that is over you can go to hospital to get an organ transplant and come back to start the series of events again, only this time it's a lot harder with all the qualifying times upped.
Control keys: definable
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: brilliant, with nice landscapes
Graphics: smooth, detailed, well animated with nice scrolling
Sound: excellent applause, tunes and effects
Skill levels: as you progress qualifying targets get smaller
Screens: 6 events
'A superb arcade clone with Imagine getting as close to the original as possible within the limits of the Spectrum. All the events represented here are very close to the original, as fans of the game will find out when they try out their arcade tactics. The graphics are excellent with few attribute problems and the colours are well used with nice use of normal and bright. The man is excellently animated as he swims, jumps, and shoots his way through the events. Sound is excellent too, with all the familiar noises of the arcade game which are superbly reproduced. The game itself is very addictive and as strength draining as Daley's, but this time your reflexes and timing are tested too, giving welcome breaks between bouts of keyboard destruction. A brilliant follow-up to World Series Baseball and one which shows that Imagine are well on their way back to the top.'
'It's nice to see the name Imagine associated with good games again. Hyper Olympic, the arcade hit, has now been Spectrumised. This version follows the original really closely, even down to the bird which flies across the screen when you get a maximum on the skeet shooting. Also like the real thing, the game is no piece of cake either. It's really frustrating having to go back to the start if the odd arrow is a couple of points of a degree out. Never mind, great game, just like the original.'
'Being a lover of sports simulations, I was very pleased to hear that this great game was to be converted to the Spectrum, but I had doubts about what the quality would be like. I'm pleased to announce that this conversion is excellent. The graphics, of course, aren't as good as those seen in the arcade game, but with that said they are still pretty good. Hyper Sports is instantly playable due to its simple game style and it is quite addictive, as was DTD. There might not be as many events, but it is definitely a more slick and polished program. If you want a true-to-the-arcade-game copy, then this is the one to get. Another winner from Imagine!'
|Use of Computer||89%|
|Value For Money||86%|
Almost the original 'waggle your joystick until it chokes and dies' game, Hyper Sports was a brill sports simulation for it's time. Originally released in 1985 by Imagine, it includes six wholesome events to get stuck into. Each one is controlled using just the left, right and fire keys.
Swimming comes first, and the budding athlete must perform a racing dive into the pool and move the left and right arms with the corresponding key. This is great fun, tapping away and going jolly fast, when suddenly the swimmer begins to choke and you find out that FIRE makes him breathe!
Skeet Shooting is next on the menu (what did the poor Skeet do then?). The controls for this are weird at first. You must use left to move the sights up (!) and right to move along then fire at the target. Fast reactions are needed to pass this event.
The Long Horse is welcome relief from the Skeet Shooting. All you have to do is lump on the springboard and somersault over the long horse. Timing is essential because otherwise you will do yourself some terrible damage! Archery, Triple Jump and one for the macho men (and women), Weight-Lifting, are also in the line up. The question is, will you have the energy to take them all on?
The graphics were outstanding in 1985, but you can hardly expect them to keep up with some of today's. Colourless sprites of the players leap and bound around the screen with the more colourful backgrounds scrolling by. They're still pretty good though.
Hyper Sports is a classic Spectrum game. If you didn't get it first time round, this is a chance you cannot miss. Definitely one for the collection.
More sporting laffs from Ocean's cheapie label, and another game that doesn't look quite as fab as it did four years ago, when it originally came out. At least there's a bit of variety, though there's no running or throwing, just swimming, skeet shooting (oi! you've just shot me skeet!), long horse, archery, triple jump and weightlifting. But surprise, surpirse - all of these involve the dread joystick waggling at some point, and indeed swimming and weightlifting offer nothing else. These days sports sims actually call for a little skill - brute strength is no longer enough. But if you're an enormous lunk with no manual dexterity to speak of, Hyper Sports is worth a punt.
Rick: Now, I always thought that Hypersports was skiving off cross country with the lovely Sharon to share a No. 6 but this classy sporting simulation takes you through swimming, skeet shooting, (C'mon. get your skeets on. Ed), vaulting, archery, triple jump and weigh lifting. Not even Daley Thompson combines that little lot so you can class yourself quite a little hexathlete (calm down, I said hex!) if you make it to the end. You'll be just about ready for Seoul by then.
You start off with the swimming that's guaranteed to work you up into a quick frenzy - all that joystick wagglin' and fire button breathin'. Sort of underwater DT's, if you see what I mean. But while the swimming's all brawn the skeet's all reflex - the nice computer aims the gun for you so you only have to shoot. Only in the later sections do the old hand/eye co-ordinates require any grey matter. The vaulting and the triple jump are the hardest to master at the outset, but here the graphics are especially eye-catching. Watch out as well, for the wink of success when you qualify in the shooting and the rude noise when the vaulter comes a cropper. My only gripe is that it's a bit of a bore having to go back to the beginning if you fail to qualify at any of the rounds.
This is about the only way I'll do a triple jump in my bedroom! 4/5 HIT
Ross: What a sports simulation. The events have mostly done away with the key bashin', joystick thrashin' of previous games of this ilk. and I don't like to boast but I bet there's not many of you on your third time round already. Huh? 4/5 HIT
Roger: All this exercise is doing me in... I told the Ed, the old wrists'll pack in again but he won't listen. I dunno he'll want me to start reviewing out of bed soon. 4/5 HIT
GET INTO training, sports fans, for a compilation of sporting simulations from Imagine '84.
Hypersports is licensed from the Japanese amusement arcade game of the same name, and should not be confused with Daley Thompson's Supertest, about to be released by sister company Ocean. On the other hand, it does the same sort of thing, and will test your biceps to the utmost as you pump the joystick in agony.
Swim two lengths of the pool, remembering to breathe. The graphics on this event are the poorest of the six.
There are three other swimmers, and the end of the pool moves towards the swimmers, rather than the swimmers moving at different speeds.
The game gets its feet on firmer ground with the clay pigeon shooting. The twin sights move up automatically, and you must time your shots to hit the clay pigeons, or skeets.
The vault has the athlete trying to somersault as far as he can from a gymnasium horse, and an archery contest involves shooting at a moving target, taking wind and elevation into account.
The triple jump will be familiar to Decathlon players as a more complex version of the long jump, but the real killer is the weightlifting. An hilariously musclebound, moustached klutz creaks and groans in his efforts to raise the dumb-bell, and you must choose the weight at which you want to compete. This is the event which really taxes your joystick wrist, and risks terminal damage to the keyboard.
The graphics are more varied and generally better than Daley Thompson's Decathlon, with much more humour. You play through the sequence until you fail to qualify three times, and each new round raises the qualifying level. There are tables for the three best results at each event, and the game certainly presents a challenging experience.
Hypersports is almost assured of success in the shops, but whether it is better than Daley Thompson's Decathlon is another matter. The programming is certainly of similar excellence, except for the swimming event, but the sports themselves do not form a coherent sequence, in the way that the 10 decathlon sports do.
It is certainly superior to the current crop of sports simulations, and it will be interesting to sec how it stacks up against Daley Thompson's Supertest, shortly to come.
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston, Cursor
Now only available on compilations, e.g. Konami's Arcade Collection
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £17.95dk
C64, £9.99cs, £17.95dk
Spectrum, £9.99cs, £17.95dk
One of the all-time best waggling games. It's a real test of endurance and timing as you try to waggle your way through the swimming event to the skeet (clay pigeon) shooting (take a breather from the waggling) and then the gymnastics event. Next comes archery and the triple jump before you get into a murderously strenuous bout of weightlifting. Great fun that'll really test how fit your joystick arm is.
MACHINE: Spectrum, CBM 64, Amstrad
PRICE: Spectrum (£7.95), Amstrad & CBM 64 (£8.95)
This time last year you couldn't go into a arcade without hearing the rattle of furious fingers on buttons as everyone attempted to beat world records for athletic events on Hyper Sports - Konami's brilliantly timed Olympic simulation.
Now, at last, you can get versions of the game on home computers - many of which are bound to be wrecked as gamesters everywhere go for the BURN!
The resurrected Imagine company bring you this game based on the arcade classic. Sports featured are swimming, clay pigeon shooting, vaulting, archery, the triple jump and weightlifting.
All require good hand to eye co-ordination and fast reactions to succeed. We looked at the Spectrum version for the purposes of this review - and the graphics and animation are above standard for all the events.
Swimming requires you time your breathing just right, and the novel clay-pigeon sequence makes demands on your joystick/keyboard skills to blast the clay targets out of the sky. In the vaulting sequence you have to control your athlete as he leaps over a vaulting-horse. Get it wrong and you end up in a heap on the floor!
Archery requires you shoot a moving target - extremely tricky - while the triple-jump returns more traditional sports-simulation, joystick-wriggling techniques. Weightlifting provides a test of strength, stamina and timing - and is an original addition to the game.
Criticisms of the game include the fact that you can't jump from event to event at will - you have to qualify in each one to progress through the game. There isn't a practice mode either - useful in any home micro sports game.
I also found the Spectrum version difficult to play using a joystick - keyboard controls were much better. And the program allows you to redefine them.
STOP PRESS: We've just seen the C64 version - and it's a peach! Terrific sound, brilliant graphics - but still easier to play using the keyboard. Just listen to the Chariots of Fire theme tune and you'll be hooked.
MACHINE: CBM 64, Spectrum, Amstrad
PRICE: CBM 64 and Amstrad (£8.95), Spectrum (£7.95)
Hypersports, Konami's great simulation, is just as big a hit on the home micro as it was in the arcades.
Six frantically exhausting events are featured - swimming, skeet shooting, long horse, archery, the triple jump and weightlifting, Each one requires good co-ordination and fast reflexes.
The Commodore version features terrific sound, and music - Chariots of Fire - plus brilliant graphics.
Judy's verdict: These graphics are almost as good as the arcades.
Blisters on the hands of a Sinclair Programs reviewer? It can only mean one thing. Hypersports from Imagine is up and running.
Six stages. Swimming involves straightforward pounding your joystick from side to side, with the odd flick of the fire button when the screen tells you to breathe. Simple enough, the other three swimmers present no challenge and it is not hard to score a world record.
On to the skeet shooting, better(?) known as clay-pigeon shooting. Initially confusing, the computer aims the sights for you, and you have to choose which sights to use, and then fire. Once the instructions click into place it is easy to hit anything the program chooses to fling at you.
The long horse requires consistent performance as it is marked on angle, speed, distance and landing. Once you solve it your character jumps up and down with glee.
Archery is the least realistic of the games. Targets move across the right hand side of the screen. Scoring a bullseye means releasing your arrow at exactly the right moment, and keeping your finger on the fire button until your arrow is travelling at precisely the right angle.
Triple jump and weight lifting? Hence the reviewer's blisters. It is only possible to progress in Hypersports once you have reached the qualifying score for the each level. Though a world record holder in the first four events the fourth is still a puzzle.
Not as punishing on the joystick as Decathlon, Hypersparts is produced by Imagine 85, 6 Central Street, Manchester.
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