Well, the Olympics got underway this weekend, and I have to say I personally couldn’t really care less about any of it. Inevitably though, with the BBC shoving aside the majority of their programming to show it, I found myself watching Sue Barker introducing the women’s weightlifting final on Saturday morning.

Though the spectacle of extremely slightly-built Asian women lifting massive weights above their heads with consummate ease was mildly diverting, my own (extremely nerdy) thoughts were centred on exactly what button combinations and techniques were required to succeed in the weightlifting event on International Track and Field 2 on the Playstation.

Despite the dubious appeal of athletics as a spectator sport, when it comes to games I have to admit to a love of the joystick waggling/button bashing genre. What started it all was Daley Thompson’s Decathlon on the Amstrad CPC, a game loosely based on Konami’s arcade classic International Track and Field which saw you guide the Great Britain’s favourite moustachioed decathlete through a variety of running, jumping and throwing events.


Of course, success in virtually every event was mostly contingent on your ability to waggle a joystick from left to right at a frenetic pace (punctuated by the occasional press of the fire button). With an old Atari joystick in my hand, I was unstoppable, even managing to negate tricky timing issues in the hurdles event by simply ploughing through each and every one of the bastard things – although an almost superhuman amount of physical effort was required to achieve the necessary waggling speed (who needs Wii Fit?).

Obviously DTD isn’t eligible for inclusion on FFG, but a quick perusal of Abandonia revealed one or two familiar titles on which I’ve also wasted a few too many hours. Expect a review of something more recent and PC based sometime soon.