Um… thanks Capcom?
Oh I see, this is the real cover! Look, it’s Balrog!
Get ready to pummel the tips of your fingers!
PLAYERS: 1-8 alternating
RELEASE DATE: August 1992
Gold Medal Challenge was released to coincide with the ’92 Olympics, and oh, what perfect timing! I wonder if this game was marketed with the actual Olympics, as I hadn’t heard of it until today. Well, whatever the case, Capcom comes through for the NES yet again with a series of well-crafted mini-games.
Choose to play as a variety of different countries and begin either training for the different events or jump right into the world tournament. This game is, at its core, a humble track-and-field game – push ‘A’ and ‘B’ really fast to win! – but it’s the little touches that make it memorable. If it’s not the goofy caricatures from each country, it’s that, despite how horrible you’re performing in the tournament, the games simply must go on. In other words, they won’t kick you out if you suck at certain events (this made me feel better during the swimming events). All of the events, whether they be the Long Jump, the 100 Meter Dash, Swimming, etc, have you pressing the ‘A’ and ‘B’ button with insanely fast precision and speed. Some include the ‘Up’ button, like the Long Jump. Despite the seeming simplicity, though, it would behoove you to peruse a FAQ; otherwise, you might not know what to press and when (though you will always need to press it fast). Perhaps the only point of contention that I have with this game is how precise you have to be with your button presses. Save yourself the wear and tear on your hands: buy a turbo controller. Sure, it’s cheating, but we retro gamers aren’t getting any younger and our hands are precious commodities! Despite my slightly overcooked beef, Capcom’s Gold Medal Challenge is charming, fun, and perfect for multiplayer. An underrated gem.
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