Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NES Golf Tour Part 1:Introduction

NES Golf Tour Rules and Regulations

Over the course of the next several months, I will be taking a Closer Look at all of the Golf games for the NES.  Golf really got a chance to shine on this system and the games developed for it laid the foundation for all non-PC golf games to follow.  The NES didn't have quite the power to compete with the incredibly in depth golf simulators that one could find on the PC, but these games are pretty fun for the most part all on their own.  For each game I will analyze how it stacks up in certain crucial categories as well as how much fun it is in general to play.  These categories are listed below with a brief explanation of each.  I have played endless rounds of golf for each one of these games and I will list for you my best 5 rounds for each game so you can see how you stack up.  I must warn you, I am a golf game lunatic.  I have ridiculously low scores on some of these games. I can play golf video games until the sun goes down and then even past that.  I will not say that I am the best, I clearly suck at many of these as well, as you will see, but I think I've been around the block enough times to give a fair analysis.  I would love to hear your feedback on the various stops along this tour as well as see some of your scores and hear your horror stories and tales of glory!

Here are the basic criteria against which each game will be judged:

Course Design:  How well is the course(s) designed?  Is the design realistic or does it abuse the video game privilege? Is the course design fair?  Does it feel like a golf course or a video game?

Green Design:  How well designed are the greens?  Does hole placement vary from round to round?  Are breaks designed with realism?

Shot Set-Up Interface:  How easy is it to set up your shot?  Does the game give distances to pin?  Is it easy to line up a shot?  Can you adjust your position?  Can you view the entire course?

Swing Interface:  How easy is to swing your club?  Are the controls intuitive?  How easy is it to hit an accurate shot?  How easy is it to hook or slice?

Putting Interface:  How easy is the putting?  Are the controls intuitive?  How easy is to hit an accurate putt?

Auto Caddy:  Is there one?  How accurate is it?  Is it helpful?

Spin Control:  How much control do you have over the spin of the ball?  How important is spin to the game play?

Wind Influence:  How much does the wind/weather factor into your game?

Break Influence: How much does the break on the greens influence your putt?

Chip in Possible?

Hole-in-One Possible?

Learning Curve?  How many rounds will it take to get into the flow of the game?  How easy is it to pick up and start playing the game successfully?  Rated on a scale of 1-10, 1 being "Pick-up-and-Play", 10 being "you must live this game for a few days before you get the hang of it."

Whistles and Bells:  What are the special touches in this game?  Are there animations?  Are there save files?  Does the game track your progress?  Are there lots of courses to choose from?  Are the graphics outstanding?

After analyzing each game against these criteria, I will give a short summary of my evaluation of the game and tell you exactly how much fun it is to play.  I'll also give it a ranking on a 10 scale with 1 being the really terrible and 10 being a must have golf game.

If you love golf games as much as I do, this should be a lot of fun!  If you are new to NES golf games, I hope this Tour will be a great primer and help you find the game that is right for you!  So if you are ready, go get your green jacket and let's meet back here for NES Golf Tour Part 2: Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf.

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