Decathlon 2012 – Running at three frames per 100 metres

“Sweet moves, Beef McGravy!”
“Thanks, coach! It was all thanks to your constant harassment and sharp-edged threats that I’m here today, competing for my country in the Olympics.”
“The what – the what did you say?! I’ll cut’cha with my axe! This is the Decathlon 2012, son! Go for bronze!”
Hey, that Olympics thing is happening again. I don’t know, I’m not exactly watching it. Channel Nine obtained the broadcasting rights here in Australia, and they apparently couldn’t comprehend that there’s more to the Olympics than just cock bulges and camel toes in swimwear. Other events that don’t take place in the pool simply do not exist. They are a lie.

So here’s Cinemax with Decathlon 2012 for DSiWare; released just in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games. They’re a sensible bunch, cashing-in on all the excitement and drama of sporting people doing sporty things. I should probably mention that this copy of the game was provided by Cinemax themselves, as I promised them I’d review it for Pietriots. And by ‘review’, I mean I’ll probably start talking about the game at some point.

This all originated from Nintendo Life’s coverage of the game, where one of their staff members tore it to shreds because he doesn’t like how these sort of things work in the video game world. Epyx’s Summer Games? A disgrace, seemingly. Someone at Cinemax commented, saying the review was unfair due to the sheer amount of venom in every paragraph. This sparked Nintendo Life’s fascinating fanbase – a legion of white knight sheep – to come defend the review. “I haven’t played this, but I agree! Where’s Earthbound!” Wuh-wu-wu-wuh, it’s Bangers & Maaaassh.

Well then, is Decathlon 2012 any good? Nah, not really. Oh. Is it… is it bad? Nope. The game does absolutely nothing special. Decathlon 2017 is just your average Olympic-style video game, floating around in the depressing realm of DSiWare.

There are ten track and field events that all involve furiously scratching the touch screen back and forth with the occasional well-timed tap or swipe. Not a pool in sight. The traditional method of tapping two buttons as fast as possible in an alternating fashion isn’t here, and that’s a shame. There’s no arthritis-inducing finger-related endurance involved by dragging the stylus in a straight line. As a result, the pure running events (all three of them) are a bit shit.

Thankfully everything else is slighly more interesting. There’s some sort of skill and practice required with figuring out how to throw a novelty flying disc or jump into a sandpit. Do that over and over until you beat the CPU and go have a nap. The biggest problem with Decathlon 2049 is there’s nothing much to keep you coming back; it’s an extremely bare bones release. Even something as simple as online rankings would have helped. Or a… proper award ceremony, maybe. With Velociraptors in chef hats handing out the medals.

My favourite part of Decathlon 1789 is the lack of sprite animation. Especially in shot put. If you pull off a really powerful throw, the athlete just casually flicks his arm, yet the shot put goes fucking flying off the screen so fast the game doesn’t even bother trying to keep track of where it went. So you’re just left staring at the lethargic little guy, still with his arm outstretched.

Most events also have a camera man squatting in the background, never moving. Never taking any photos. I am fairly certain he is dead.

Decathlon 2012 is a video game. True story. But I really can’t recommend it. Especially not at the 500 Point asking price. Another few bucks and you could pick up a second hand copy of much better DS alternatives, like Konami’s New International Track & Field, or the first Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.

Rockin’ title screen music though!

3 thoughts on “Decathlon 2012 – Running at three frames per 100 metres

  1. Mario vs. Sonic has a lot to live up to.

    “I should probably mention that this copy of the game was provided by Cinemax themselves,”

    whoa whoa whoa, they delivered a downloadable game straight to your OFFICE? This new journalism is HAI-TEK


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