Konami is Remaking Track & Field for Some Reason and I Got to Play It

Published: June 17, 2018 2:00 PM /

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hyper sports r title

On the first day of E3, my true love brought to me ... a new game from Konami.

For reasons that I'm not entirely sure of, Konami decided to bring out a near remake of NES classic Track & Field. Specifically, it's called Hyper Sports R, and it's seeking to bring back that old button mashing goodness. So does it do so?

Konami started things off by sitting us down and showing a quick presentation.  Much to my surprise, Hyper Sports R will feature a full campaign mode complete with quests, side quests, character arcs, rivalries, and more. You can earn money to spend on cosmetics and recruit coaches to teach you new skills. While they didn't have any of this to show at the presentation, it's actually cool how much sounds like is going to be in the actual game.

hyper sports r run
Look at these nerds doing sports

Konami also used this chance to talk about the sports in the game. There wasn't a full list available, but we got a good idea of some of the sports. We'll get to play high jumps, beach volleyball, hammer throws, several swimming events, and more. These are closer to minigames than sports simulations. You mash buttons, go for precision pressing, and waggle the JoyCons like a madman. It fits well with the game's style, which makes everything cartooney and over done.

So how does it play? Well during my demo I could play three sports: Javelin Throw, Long Jump, and 100m Dash. Javelin Throw and Long Jump both play about the same. You mash buttons to run a short distance, alternating between two different buttons, before you have to aim your throw or jump. You want to hit a different button as close as you can to a line without passing over it. Manage that, and you'll be able to aim. Here a cursor moves around on its own. You'll need to time a second press for when the cursor is in a sweet spot, which will then let you either jump or throw as far as you can. It's simple, but considering they're just minigames that works fine.

hyper sports r throw
Throw that stick, nerd

While these were fun and worked, the 100m Dash was a mess. Here you had to waggle your arms up and down, flailing about to run faster. Simply, it never worked. I never actually felt like how hard I flailed would affect how fast I ran at all. I came in last place several times, and there was just no way I could get the motion controls to work correctly. Thankfully the mode also just offered classic button mashing, so that worked fine and I was back to winning gold. It's a bit of a shame that these aren't working yet, but maybe before release they'll do better.

I didn't get to play it, but my demo of Hyper Sports R also came with a video that showed off Beach Volleyball. It looked like a simple enough game, with two teams of two passing the ball to each other and spiking it over the net. I was told that you had to do more than just walk to the spot the ball was going to land, and that there were different moves you could use to hit the ball around. I'm hopeful to get my hands on it soon so I can see more.

I left surprised by Hyper Sports R. Sure it's easy to dismiss it as a weird remake of a game I'm not sure that many people care much about. However, I can see it going over well as a silly multiplayer experience. The promise of a full campaign has me surprised and intrigued to see what will be next and how the full game will pan out.

Hyper Sports R will be releasing exclusively on Nintendo Switch at a currently undetermined date.

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