Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
SUPER GOLF • SIGMA • £24 • IMPORT
Maintaining his full-tilt, maximum overdrive work on SegaPro leaves “Seve” Butt little time to play one of his favourite weekend activities, golf.
Many a day earlier this year you would have seen “Butter” on his local course polishing up his putting or slogging the ball in the general direction of the flag. Now this popular sport that attracts the largest prize money and the most tasteless clothes is out for the Game Gear.
You may select a variety of characters to play with, your caddy and whether you want to practise, play against a friend or battle the ruthless computer. Each hole is scrolled over from flag to tee-off mat before you can begin; this helps you to familiarise yourself with the hazards and safe zones. Then it’s time for would-be Palmers and Faldos to show off their expertise and yellow plus fours.
All too often games based on golf are crammed with so much detail and authenticity that the actual game becomes unplayable. Happily, this is not the case with Super Golf. But there are no less options than normal to simplify play, in fact some extra innovative features do away with the boredom and make the game real fun to play.
For instance, you can select your own caddy. Each has a different personality and gives useful advice. In addition, all the graphics are presented in cartoon style, with every player having a real character. Then there’s the tunes which play during a game. These are very lively, yet are still tolerable after many hours play. There are also many little congratulatory tunes such as when you get a Birdy or an Eagle which add sparkle to the game.
The many natural obstacles that litter the rough area of the course all have substance, so that a tree may ricochet your carefully aimed ball in the opposite direction. The varying degrees of rough all affect your ball’s movement and power so that even in a game that is essentially action, realism is still important.
Realism is something that may not be immediately apparent with Super Golf. For a start the view is from above, not the conventional first-person perspective as seen in games like World Class Leader Board Golf. Secondly, the graphics are not exactly digitised. They are drawn in the inimitable Japanese style, with large eyes and vivid features. This doesn’t detract from the realism, though, as all this is made by the varied courses, with trees and bunkers, and things like the slope of the ground and the direction of the wind. All of these are essential elements, and their accurate implementation - as seen here -can make or break a golfing game.
The only disadvantage with Super Golf is that it only contains a single 18 hole course. This may not be enough for dedicated enthusiasts, although the graphical and sonic memory trade offs are certainly worth sacrificing. Above all, Super Golf makes a relatively tedious game fun and enjoyable.
Getting the maximum power on the scale takes practise. Once achieved, the screen flashes to indicate overdrive. This is sometimes the only way to clear a lake or bunker. So use the training mode to perfect it.
You have 25 golf balls to allocate between the attributes for each player. This is a very useful feature as it allows players poor at a certain area to boost their character's skills to compensate.
Stuck in the bunker? Got sand between your toes? Don't worry because a little chip will take you directly onto the green. Even the wind is light.
Before you take any shots, be sure to ch the state of the wind. Here it shows that there is a five mph wind running from left to right. This shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Look at the distance you wish to hit the ball and then judge which club you should use. The six iron chosen here will take you around 150 yards if used at full strength.
The word "golf' comes from the Middle Dutch word "colf', meaning club.