Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Hyper Sports'

Rating:5 User: Vampyre

(My review from PSJ's Speccy Years (1985) book and dedicated to the memory of Joffa)

The Spectrum over its lifetime played host to many fine arcade conversions, and Hypersports is arguably the best of the lot.

Released in 1985 its only real competitor was the excellent Daley Thompson's Decathlon (released by Ocean the previous year to much critical acclaim (and sales)). Hypersports made many improvements.

Firstly, the graphics, colour and animation were vastly superior. Sound was also up to the authors usual high standard, but the biggest difference was the variety and quality of each event. Hypersports was truly a testament to the programming skills of Jonathan Smith - it must have been no mean feat converting very distinct events from a vastly superior piece of hardware.

In fact, the only complaint that can be levelled is that the pole vault event of the arcade machine is missing. According to the author this was entirely due to the memory constraints of the Spectrum (which is understandable). Anyone who has got to this event on the arcade machine would explain that this is a very difficult event so its omission is moot. Contrarily, some of the events on the Spectrum were overly easy (skeet-shooting) which had little challenge no matter how many times you clocked the events. The triple jump could prove troublesome if mistimed, and getting the wind direction of the archery wrong could make life very difficult.

Coming back to Hypersports twenty three years on very little has changed. The graphics and sound may look a little rough around the edges but they serve their purpose admirably. Events like the pommel-horse are still well-animated, although the less said about the "crowd roar" at the end of a successful skeet-shooting run the better! Hypersports has stood the test of time remarkably well and is still very playable, it's certainly up there with the likes of Bombjack and Commando.

I must mention before finishing the world record for Swimming. Over twenty years I've attempted to beat it, first on a real Spectrum, later on emulators and have not managed it once. I eventually managed to ask the author, Jonathan Smith, on the World of Spectrum forums if it was possible. I'm sad to say, Jonathan didn't know. When coding the game he entered some times but due to time restrictions didn't test whether it could be beaten! (It has now been proved that it's possible, although it requires a slowed-down emulator).

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