Simply put, another fine edition of the endearing golf franchise, perfect for whiling away
the time during long winter days when it seems as if the sun will never again warm the
frozen earth. If nothing else, it will help you to develop the patience that a scratch
golfer needs to perfect that sweet stroke.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface:
The game has a very basic interface: you can either use
your mouse or keyboard to control the game. You dictate the pace of the game; therefore,
there is no stress factor involved, or at least not at the same level as Quake 2, Half-Life,
Unreal, etc. But this just isnt
that type of game, so simplicity is the aim and Access Software has certainly achieved
To start the game, you select the features of your player
(ie: sex, shirt color, handicap, etc.), which tees you will play from (pro, amateur,
girlie man), and which course you will play on. Four courses are included in this box,
with a converter for older courses that Access shipped with the previous version. Then you
begin the round.
When you approach your first hole, the game shows you the
layout of the hole, auto-selects a club that the caddie believes you should
use, and sets you up at your tee. You can choose to alter your stance, the angle at which
the club head intersects the ball vertically, and whether you open/close your
club face at striking. Naturally, as your club goes from driver through to 9-iron, the
effect becomes less (just like in real life
wow). The power meter is the one user
interface feature that always stays up on screen, with the other features and menus hidden
at the bottom, appearing when your mouse strays there (just like the Auto Hide task bar in
As you approach the green, a contour grid for the green
appears. This gives you the lay of the land and allows you to adjust for the relief by
aiming your shot to compensate. This can take a lot as depending on the settings you chose
in the game setup, you can over/undercompensate and end up driving your score up quickly.
Of course, for those who cant stand to lose (such as me), you can enable mulligans
in the game and keep your score down artificially. For the first few times playing the
game, to keep frustration to a minimum, I suggest that this tactic be employed generously.
Exquisite graphics (albeit 2D only) enhance the experience.
A minimum 4 meg video card on a PCI bus is required to handle the graphic information.
Even then, the game will suggest that you set your resolution to 1024x768 16-bit color to
get the best performance. Trust me, this is perfect for this game.
DirectX6.0 is required to handle the graphics data, but
this is also shipped as part of the installation package, so fear not, faithful linkster.
The photo-realism in the game will help to alleviate the winter blahs, and the smooth
animations of the golfer you control will keep you interested in the game for the pure
essence of it. Playing is the entire focus, and nothing in the user interface will
distract you from enjoying the gameplay.
Again, the game being DirectX6.0 enabled, any
SoundBlaster-compatible card will more than adequately give you the aural sensations of
golfing by the sea. The audio files are very slick, with no hisses or pops in the .wavs at
all. Then again, this being the simple concept game it is, there is no problem with
resource stacking of sounds that other more physical games would experience.
Pentium 166, 32 MB RAM, 250 MB hard drive space, 4 MB PCI
video card, DirectX/Windows-compatible sound card, and a monitor capable of 16-bit color.
A large manual documenting all the features is included,
but the game is very intuitive in its presentation. The manual does give instructions on
the more subtle aspects involved (i.e.: stance, open club head, slice/hook, etc) and for
those who really wish to study the actual game of golf, it does make good reading.
This is an excellent game, worthy of its predecessors, and
indeed the best of the whole golf simulation genre.
Review Posted On 26 January 1999.