PLAYERS: 1-2 alternating
DEVELOPER: Konami (ported by Sega)
RELEASE DATE: 1985 (JP)
Hyper Sports might be a part of Konami’s semi-hallowed Track & Field series, but thanks to the game’s unforgiving mechanics, I couldn’t tell.
There are four events – diving, long horse, trampoline, and horizontal bar – and I completed exactly none of them, due to the game’s rigorous qualification standards. Diving is the first event, and it’s also where my progress stopped. You jump three times on the diving board with the hopes of getting greater air with each successive jump. Then, as you’re falling, somersault as much as you can by pressing Button II repeatedly before straightening out for the landing with Button I. To move on to the next round, I had to get a qualification score of 7.60. As Alucard as my witness, I could not get more than a 7.40 from the five anal-retentive judges. Pray tell, judges, what was it about my quadruple somersault and perfect no-splash landing that made it deserve a 6? My athlete’s promising Hyper Sports career came to an end before it could begin, thanks to his inability to impress five judges who’ve never dipped their toes into a pool.
Hyper Sports is an arcade port, but this isn’t surprising since 95 percent of the SG-1000 library stems from Sega arcade games. What is surprising are the differences between arcade and port. None of the arcade events, save for the long horse, made the transition to the SG-1000. Diving, trampoline, and horizontal bar are brand new events made for the port. Why this is remains a mystery. Sega, not Konami, are responsible for the SG-1000 port – but could the latter really be considered a port when all Sega used was Konami’s template, not the actual arcade events? Does it really friggin’ matter? Probably not. I’m just trying to make sense of a game where you can’t progress, regardless of how well you do. I’m sure we’ve all been there.