ST Format


Tournament Golf
By Elite
Atari ST

 
Published in ST Format #20

Tournament Golf

Golf is all about whacking a small white ball around a field and trying to get it into eighteen small holes. Some people do this for fun and others do it for money - a top golfer can earn many thousands of pounds in world tournaments. In Tournament Golf you're one of these golfers and you are definitely playing for big money.

There are a number of icons to play with - six when on the fairway, but only four on the green. You soon realise they are there just for the sake of it. You don't need to see huge pictures of golf balls to tell you the ball's in the rough. There's no reason why all the options and info can't be presented on the main screen instead. Icons are supposed to make playing a game easier - these are just a hindrance.

Most of the time you simply want to change your club and take a shot. Your choice of club depends on the distance to the hole and the kind of terrain the ball is on. A one wood is usually the best choice for teeing off, unless it's a very short course. From there on you can select the most suitable club with the help of a chart included in the manual.

Tournament Golf

To take a shot you use a system familiar in games of this type. You tap the Fire button and a power bar rapidly rises to gauge the strength of the shot. Press Fire again when it reaches the level you want - the closer the bar is to the top, the more power you put behind the ball. You must then choose the height of the ball. Another bar rapidly descends and pressing Fire at the right time determines the angle of the shot.

Repeat this process 18 times and you've played a whole round of golf. One or two players can take part on a selection of British, American and Japanese courses. In the tournament you play against fifteen computer-controller opponents over twelve rounds, but if you're to win anything substantial, you better practise hard.

Effects

The golfer's movements are fluid as he swings his club to hit the ball. The three-dimensional screens are drawn up quickly and the courses look realistic. Graphics in general are large and well detailed, and certainly above par - er, below par. Oh, you know, better than average.

Verdict

Despite the fine graphics and very good gameplay, Tournament Golf offers nothing new when compared to golf sims that have been around for ages. If you don't have a game of this kind already and getting one is on the top of your shopping list, then this is certainly worth consideration.

Otherwise, stick to what you've got. This is good, but there's not enough improvement over other games of the genre to make it a must buy.

Adam Waring

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