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try to convince me that Super Pro Decathlon is a nice game


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I have it since a quite long time but I've never been able to get into it.

 

I don't find many reviews in the web either: not on videogamecritic.com, nor even on intvfunhouse , and thanks to IntellivisionDude who sacrificed himself and showed us the gameplay ("brutality on the hands... BRUTALITY...", lol).

 

It seems to me also that it's one of the games often forgotten in the players/collectors/programmers lists.

 

I would like someone to try to convince me that Super Pro Decathlon is a nice game.

 

 

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I absolutely agree that it's not mentioned enough when we talk about games to both play and collect. I actually enjoy playing it and would put it in my top 20, although I will admit it is hard on the hands and on the controller. I also think it's underrated from a collector standpoint. While it's not impossible to find by any means, getting a really nice copy can be a challenge.

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I've only dabbled in the game, so I'm not the best person to sell you on the game's merits. That said, I remember a funny story about a Mattel programmer walking in on a bunch of teens testing the software. His description of teens vigorously jerking something on their laps while intently starting at a monitor....hilarious. Maybe I'll try to find a link later.

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I've only dabbled in the game, so I'm not the best person to sell you on the game's merits. That said, I remember a funny story about a Mattel programmer walking in on a bunch of teens testing the software. His description of teens vigorously jerking something on their laps while intently starting at a monitor....hilarious. Maybe I'll try to find a link later.

http://www.intellivisionlives.com/bluesky/games/credits/activision.shtml

FUN FACT: David Rolfe (Beamrider) shares this anecdote:

 

"At Cheshire Engineering we made a deal in late 1982 to produce games for Activision. We attended C.E.S. in January of 1983 (Las Vegas) as guests of Activision. Their most current release was Dave Crane's 'Decathlon,' and this was heavily promoted - in fact, I still have a flashy promotional jacket.

 

"You may recall that the Decathlon game involved guiding the screen figure through a series of athletic events. You advanced him by wiggling the Atari 2600 joystick back and forth as rapidly as possible. This was an unusual thing to do with a joystick, and users found the most effective way to achieve maximum motion was to sit on a chair and hold the base of the joystick firmly between their thighs, and then to hold the joystick itself with their hands for the purpose of wiggling it.

 

"I remember walking into the Activision hospitality suite and seeing a roomful of people trying the game. At first glance, the view was rather disturbing: A cluster of guys, seated, staring intently at a TV monitor, hands firmly grasping a protrusion at the crotch area, wiggling furiously. I recall saying to the Cheshire person I walked in with, in mock shock, 'What the hell's going on in here, anyway?' He shot back, 'Nothing much...just a bunch of geeks playing, ah, Dick-athlon.'"

 

--------------------------------

Decathalon is one of the last games that came out during the Intellivision's life. I would think few people played it at that time. I remember a similar game on the C64 that I played and "Track and Field" in the arcade, they were fun.

Edited by mr_me
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At one point I did sit down to play this a bunch to gather review notes, but must have lost them. The attempt to replicate the Track and Field control input mechanic makes this game BRUTAL on the controllers. I think there were some events I never did get around to getting the hang of. Graphically it's pretty good, just like most of the INTV Corp. offerings.

 

The challenging (is that the language of an apologist or what?) control scheme makes this one a tough one to really enjoy. :( Maybe you just have to "get it" and until then, it's frustrating.

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Besides that video i made, i really haven't played it since back in the day. I remember when i got it, it took me forever to figure out the controls and perfect them. Back then i tried to make the best of the games i got since they didn't come often. I always blamed this game for ruining my controllers. Even though it really could of been the wear and tear of all the games i had played But it was while playing this one that i started having issues with the controllers and this was brutal on them. Stupid miodel 2 controllers with the easy to break side buttons. :mad:

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Okay, need to finally chime in as I really like Super Pro Decathlon. The Intellvision's disc allows for some fairly easy finger tapping on either side to gather speed, etc. and seems totally natural to use that way. And couldn't be easier for the events that require you to make a circle with the disc. Not really *that* hard on your controller so long as you're not a brute force, fat-fingered clumsy old fool about it. :lol:

 

Plenty of events that capture the spirit of Decathlon/Track and Field and most are quick fun little exercises that are even better when competing against your friends. Especially like the Shot-Put, Javelin, Pole Vault, High Jump and Discus events.

 

I remember one of my best friends (who sadly passed away last year) and I going to Toys 'R Us one day in the early 90's and seeing this game on closeout... think it was either $5 or $10. Went back to his place to play it (hadn't touched the Intellivision in quite some time until then) and had a blast playing. As an aside, we were in our early 20's by then and his mother kind of scolded him for "wasting" money continuing to invest in such an old video game system. Thought we were nuts that we still enjoyed playing Intellivision or something. If only she knew how some of us spend our money today! :rolling:

 

Really is an excellent party game and like most sports games, never gets old. Equally great for when you just want to pick something up and play for a few minutes too. Top game for me for sure. :love:

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Okay, need to finally chime in as I really like Super Pro Decathlon. The Intellvision's disc allows for some fairly easy finger tapping on either side to gather speed, etc. and seems totally natural to use that way. And couldn't be easier for the events that require you to make a circle with the disc. Not really *that* hard on your controller so long as you're not a brute force, fat-fingered clumsy old fool about it. :lol:

 

Plenty of events that capture the spirit of Decathlon/Track and Field and most are quick fun little exercises that are even better when competing against your friends. Especially like the Shot-Put, Javelin, Pole Vault, High Jump and Discus events.

 

I remember one of my best friends (who sadly passed away last year) and I going to Toys 'R Us one day in the early 90's and seeing this game on closeout... think it was either $5 or $10. Went back to his place to play it (hadn't touched the Intellivision in quite some time until then) and had a blast playing. As an aside, we were in our early 20's by then and his mother kind of scolded him for "wasting" money continuing to invest in such an old video game system. Thought we were nuts that we still enjoyed playing Intellivision or something. If only she knew how some of us spend our money today! :rolling:

 

Really is an excellent party game and like most sports games, never gets old. Equally great for when you just want to pick something up and play for a few minutes too. Top game for me for sure. :love:

Thanks for sharing your opinion on this game.. One of the last games I don't have of the original 125. Looking forward to acquiring and playing this game some time in the near future.

Cheers

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I gotta plug this in and play it! Sounds like fun, thanks.

 

Fun fact, I had 15 of them in mint boxed condition that I purchased from Telegames Uk in 1997.

 

Of course I wish I had them back now! :(

I wish you had them as well, one may of made it my way. lol

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I didn't play this game when it came out (didn't even know about it in the 1980s), but I've tried it now. I can only play in emulation and I just can't get it to run very fast, barely qualifying for amateur 100m if I am lucky. The Instructions say you can spin the disc, and you would think that at 16 clicks per revolution it would be better but its not. I also tried the computer keyboard buttons, but got slightly better results with the disc. Spinning the disc would be most comfortable but waving your finger across the disc isn't bad. Sometimes I wonder if emulation has any input limitations (ie. inputs per second). But I tried "Track and Field" in emulation and it seems to be as I remembered it. Some head to head racing for the 100m/400m would have been nice, or even computer runners. Overall I find the running frustrating but not uncomfortable.

 

With high jump and pole vault, the instructions suggest pumping the side button for jumping power. I think that's a bad choice for controls; these events could have been done better. With javelin, there's no control of the throwing angle like I remember in other games. With long jump you can cheat by holding the button from the beginning rather than waiting for the green line. I'm thinking the 400m event could have had a more strategic type control (energy management) like Intellivision horse racing. Obviously I don't want to do the work. I think I'm too old for this kind of game

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thanks to all of you for sharing your impressions about Super Pro Decathlon.
Another proof on how nice this community is.
I will give that game one more chance (with no guarantees of results)

 

 

That's also how I got converted to the Night Stalker fan club: I stated the reasons why I never cared for it, and was bombarded with lots of feedback on the things I missed, and why I should give it a chance. I did, and now I love it. :)

 

Do you think it'll work for Horse Racing? I don't think that game has any redeeming qualities. :P

 

-dZ.

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