Pinball NES Review

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After what seems an eternity, time has permitted to sit down with NES controller in hand and play some NES – alas real life can get in the way of playing games and reviewing them which is no excuse, however at times this is reality. But enough on that, on with the review. With limited time what is the best game to pick up from the NES library? One of the benefits of the early NES games is that most were arcade ports of existing games or in fact arcade-based games with no discerning plot or story to try and work through, it was a simple case of getting a high score, having a certain amount of lives and aim for the high score. One game in particular that could fit the bill is Pinball, released as a black box title. So will it reach a high score or sink down the proverbial hole with no regret?

Who doesn't love big pink balloon-type text?

Who doesn’t love big pink balloon-type text?

Pinball is, as obvious as it sounds, a pinball game released on the NES in 1985 based on a Game & Watch title of the same name released in 1983. The idea is to aim for a high score. Um….yes that’s it – no rescuing princesses who may be in other castles, no eating fungi and special flowers to obtain special abilities, just good ol’ pinball. Bounce the ball of bumpers, walls and other objects to increase your score in the hope that the ball doesn’t go dead centre down the hole or to the side out of the reach of a flipper to prevent the ball from going down the side into oblivion.

Top screen aquatic fun

Top screen aquatic fun

Upon booting the game, like a lot of the black box NES games you get the choice of 4 modes – you can choose from Game Mode A or Game Mode B, and of which this can be one player or if you got a buddy next to you and you’re aiming for the high score then two players. The difference between mode A and B is that B seems faster and also it doesn’t remember progress made in the round when you’ve hit certain items so you have to start again and is more of a challenge. You do get a jaunty piece of opening music when booting up the game and then that’s it, no further music just sound effects. What’s disappointing however is that there is only one table to play on which is split over two screens – a top and bottom screen. The top screen has penguins and seals which don’t do anything however on the left hand side if you collect all the Pac-man pellets the seals start bouncing a ball on their nose which is okay but nothing spectacular. If the ball falls down the middle in between the two flippers, it goes to a lower screen which has numbers 1-7 on the left hand side to hit, three eggs which you hit to hatch (rather cruel one thinks…) of which if you hit them again, hitting all three you get plus that appear on the side of the table so that the ball can fall down the side, hit this plug to make sure the ball goes back in play rather than go in to oblivion. There are five playing cards as well which never got the chance in all the playthrough to turn over but will get more points no doubt. Finally, if the ball goes into the top right hand corner of the bottom screen, you get to a bonus game featuring everyone’s favourite heroine, Pauline! You bounce the ball off the paddle over numbers which change colour (of which was unable to make every number appear in the same colour) but if you destroy the platform she is on, then catch her for even more points – if you don’t then you lose, which is always nice.

Bottom screen 7-numbered casino fun!

Bottom screen 7-numbered casino fun!

In terms of controls, it is a bit bizarre in that the A/B button controls one paddle, and the D-button control the other paddle. It would have been assumed that say the A button controls the right paddle and the the B button controls the left paddle but no, why have that when you can use the d-pad too! The graphics are very average, very-pastel and nothing out of the ordinary which although isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t evoke excitement in gamer’s eyes, the graphics are simple and do the job effectively and to be fair the penguins do look “totes adorbs” as the youth of today would say. The music well as mentioned earlier there is the jaunty opening music and then nothing. No game over music, no interludes in the gameplay, just basic sound effects. This reviewer is no game programmer and appreciate there may not have been enough room for much however surely more music even if looped would be better than nothing? Take out your headphones and listen to whatever passes as music these days because you won’t find much inspiration here.

Close to all numbers orange but no cigar

Close to all numbers orange but no cigar

Pinball is a very standard game, with no music to listen to, very standard sound effects, standard graphics and a simple control system which could have been made easier with the buttons being remapped. Although the bonus game with Pauline and Game mode B is a welcome challenge and runs at a faster speed, there is limited appeal to this game due to only having one table to play (even though it’s split on two screens) and no music to keep you entertained whilst you press the buttons in the hope the ball doesn’t randomly fall down the hole. Yes it is very easy to write this game off being 30 years old however there are other black box games which hold well now and are much more enjoyable if you had free time to wile away on – Pinball isn’t one of them. This is one for collectors only and with other pinball games available on the console, my recommendation would be to play a real pinball table – it is more of a treat to the eyes and ears than this.

Rating – 2 out of 5

Volleyball NES Review

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Volleyball, as the name may suggest, is a Volleyball game released in Europe in November 1986. You control a team of 6 characters, not all individually but in clusters closest to the ball, in order to return the ball over the net. Get to 15 points and you win the match, winning the respect of your opponents – well in your mind that’s how it feels. In the game you can control one of 8 countries – USA, China, Cuba, Japan, Brazil, South Korea (where was North Korea when they thought of good Volleyball nations?),  Tunisia and those all time retro sports game favourites the USSR. On screen there are no statistics showing the difference between each country, not that it makes any difference anyway so it all depends on who your favourite country is. Pick between one or two players, and whether you want the match to be with men or women (again, no difference is play style but aesthetics) and away you go.

 

Title screen

Title screen

 

The game is played on a sand-coloured court surrounded by a sea of blue, with two officials and the referee in the background, though the referee in Volleyball disappointedly isn’t Mario which makes you wonder if Mario is more of a tennis fan then Volleyball – years later Mario Tennis was released on the Nintendo 64 so maybe these black box sports games were a sign of things to come?… Anywho back to Volleyball, you start off with your player seemingly humping the ball, you press the A button to serve the ball and then the match begins.  The ball seems to fly back and forth across the screen at a fast pace and you need to have quick reflexes to just get under the ball. Not only do you need to get under the ball but you need to press the A or B button so that the ball stays in the air, to knock it over the net on the third attempt. This is when you start to realize the problems with Volleyball.

 

The subtle nuances between the male and female players - the curves...oh the curves

The subtle nuances between the male and female players – the curves…oh the curves

 

Forget that the ball travels faster than a DeLorian attempting time travel, you only have a small dark shadow flying across the court where you have to try and guide your player and press any button to keep the ball in the air. The shadow is too small to guide your player in a timely manner, and when you get under the ball you have no control as to where the ball will go – if you are directly in the shadow you may have a chance of the ball going in a good location for the next player however the chances of that are slim. Whenever you win a point you get to serve, however the chances of you serving are even slimmer and you will have to get used to the fact the opponent serves and you spending the rest of the match trying to return the ball. Occasionally the ball may land in the opponent’s side however you have to win two points consecutively before it registers that you have won a point, so you’ll have to do repeat all the good work done in winning the first point again before it registers on the score board. It’s been said before and it has been said again, what is lacking in the gameplay is control – control in games cannot be stressed enough. Without control, it doesn’t matter how good the graphics are, or even having a choice of 128 different countries to play as, if you cannot control the return of the ball, everything else is negligible, and this is the biggest criticism of Volleyball. Although you may have good reflexes in order to move yourself under the shadow of the ball, and can press the button to hit the ball, where the ball goes is anybody’s guess, and that cannot be excused.

 

For what it’s worth, the d-pad controls the character closest to the ball when it is in the air in your own half, though the first 3 players closest to the net all move together if it is closest to them. The A button seems to return the ball whilst the B Button makes your character jump so that you can spike the ball, though good luck in trying to spike the ball! The graphics are bold and simplistic, which is standard for the black box games on the NES at the time. What is good is that you can differentiate between the male and female teams, with the female team having longer hair and, well more curves – maybe it’s through innocent eyes this is noticed however it’s good the graphics reflect this however the background crowd seem to move their heads back and forth even though no action is happening and like other black box games, the crowd have the same haircut and look like they could form a Beatles tribute band. The music is upbeat and is relentless throughout the match, whilst the sound effects are basic and do their job.

 

The crowd look excited as always

The crowd look excited as always

 

Volleyball is a game that on paper sounds good and is a good fit for the NES library, however in reality suffers from one major flaw – control. The ball speeds past the players at a high pace and you have a short amount of time to react and press the button in the hope that the ball may go to another player on your team. Due to this lack of control it ruins the game and ends up the computer continually serving and you hoping to get a sniff of a hope of returning the ball. There is no difficulty setting with the game however with no tournament mode, it’s a series of individual matches that like Soccer on the NES, doesn’t mean much. What is good is the subtle differences between the male and the female players and you can choose your country (though why isn’t the United Kingdom in this game is anyone’s guess) however this is the only redeeming feature of the game. If you have a second player, good luck having a meaningful match – you would have a more meaningful match if you were both blindfolded and a third person generated the electricity to power the console on a exercise bike with the friction at it’s most intense. Copies of the game are rare, rarer than Golf or Soccer on the NES so it’s one for collectors only, so if you want to get into Volleyball and are too lazy to go to your local sports club, pick up Super Spike V’Ball instead. I’m off to sulk that you can’t choose the UK as a country to be in the game, though being the USSR is always tempting…

 

Rating – 1 out of 5

Tennis NES Review

tennisboxart

As the Righteous Brothers once sang, “Time can do so much”. Between the last review of The Simpsons (which can be found here) and now, a lot has happened so apologies for the lack of reviews, however there will be more regular reviews, as well time was needed to wash the horrors away from The Simpsons. But in that time between the last review and now, Nintendo have launched a curious title entitled NES Remix. Put simply, a number of NES games have been updated slightly in order to complete certain challenges for achievements, well more stamps than anything else. One of the games where challenges have to be completed is Tennis, which was launched on the NES console as a black box launch title in Europe in 1986. So how does the original game stack up, is it grandslam-worthy or does it contain more double faults than you could shake an amateur boys match against?

Tennis is a game that can’t go wrong in describing exactly what it is – it was Nintendo’s first foray into the world of Tennis and as mentioned was launched as a black box title in 1986 in Europe. If you don’t know what Tennis is or how to play it, then chances are you may stop reading this so click at the top to see other reviews on the site. When you pop the cartridge into your console, you’re treated to the same jaunty music on the introduction screen that befell other sports games that was released on the black box labels. You then get to choose between playing a Singles game or Doubles game, the level of difficulty and then you go straight to the game – no character no selection, no entering your name, no choosing what type of surface you want to play on – straight to the action. You really can’t fault games that don’t mess around with options and selections – two presses of the start button and away you go.

Wimbledon it is not - but it's as close as people got in 1986 to it

Wimbledon it is not – but it’s as close as people got in 1986 to it

So you’re dressed in duck egg blue and black shorts whilst your opponent is in a green that matches the court and can camouflage well whilst (supposedly) Mario is sitting on his high chair umpiring proceedings. Back with the launch titles, Mario sure did have a lot of jobs – a demolitions expert, a tennis umpire, a platforming superstar. When did he get time to get on with his job of going under peoples’ sinks and repairing leaky pipes or reaching around a U-bend unclogging the toilet? Well nevertheless he sits there keeping score and shouting “Out” every now and then. The rest of the graphics are simple yet bold – the standard green grass of the court and the contrasting brown around the edge of the court. Ok, there is no definition in the crowd but even now 27 years later the detail in the crowd has not improved that much!

The controls are simple – the d-pad moves your character around somehow at the speed of light with twinkletoes on his feet where us mere mortals have feet. The A button does a typical forehand/backhand shot whilst the B button does a lob. The one flaw in the control system is that you cannot aim the ball properly when making your shot – if you try pushing the d pad in the direction and pressing the A or B button to make your shot, your character flies away from the ball swinging wildly and missing the ball, conceding a point. In that respect, when you hit the ball, all you can do is just hit the ball and hope it stays on court. The music, well aside from the jaunty piece at the start of the game, there is a distinct lack of this in the game. However, it always feels wrong to have music in sports games so there is no great loss in this, and certainly you wouldn’t need your Minidisc player full of college rock whilst pretending your Boris Becker.

No faults with this game!

No faults with this game!

So all in all, black box Tennis marked a change in sports games – it was a vast improvement to the Atari 2600 tennis games but still had a lot of flaws that could have been ironed out in development, but instead other Tennis games (such as Jimmy Connors Tennis) improved upon these flaws. The controls are simplistic yet you don’t feel like you have control of the shots you are doing – only if you could lob the ball or do a normal forehand shot. In sports games, control is key – whether it’s Football or Tennis, anything that needs precision in order to score a point or a goal. Graphics wise, it does the job well for a launch title, and any game that has a two player option is a bonus in my opinion. There wasn’t a huge number of titles that were either two players or even two players on the screen at the same time, so for you and your friend to play either co-operatively or against each other is certainly a bonus. It is an average game that won’t captivate or illuminate, but won’t disappoint – it will do exactly what it says. Copies of the game are common place, in your local game shop or on your favourite websites that may or not have auction elements to it. For sports enthusiasts, it certainly is worth checking out, to see how far tennis games have come since then until now with the likes of Top Spin and celebrity endorsements. I’m off to get out of these tennis whites and hang up my racket ready for a game that has more fire power, more oomph, more…. adventure, on islands, so maybe I should keep these shorts on then…

Rating – 3 out of 5

10-Yard Fight NES Review

10yf

As you may recall from the Ski Or Die review, growing up in a suburban town there’s only so much sports you’re exposed to, the regular culprits being Football (Soccer for the readers across the pond), Rugby and at times the quintessentially middle-class Golf and Rugby. So imagine the surprise and excitement when suddenly as if being blindsided, American Football was introduced to our screens. Reminiscent of rugby, but with a lot more crash bang wallop and rules that were much more complex to fathom with play being stopped every few seconds, as per all good sports there was a glut of video games to tie in with this – the most common games being John Madden. But way back before then, Nintendo unleashed their own American Football game onto the NES to unsuspecting British gamers in the form of 10-Yard Fight, so how does this game fare up now – is it more of a crash, a bang or just want to wallop with gusto and might?

10-Yard Fight is an American Football game which was the first semi-realistic game to be made especially after the Atari era of gaming. It started life as an arcade in 1983, but was ported over to the NES in 1985 and was released as a black box game in December of 1985. The game is viewed form above, a sort of eye-in-the-sky viewpoint that oversees the action rather than a horizontal viewpoint such as other black box sporting games such as Excitebike and Soccer. Although the rules of American Football are long and require further reading that what this review can muster (as always Wikipedia would be a good start) the general idea of the game is to run with the oval-shaped ball from one side of the pitch to the other, scoring a touchdown to amass points, whilst all the while being thwarted by the opposition who will do anything to stop you scoring a touchdown. So yes, it is similar to rugby and although what has been described is distilled to its simplest form, the purist’s will vouch it’s two completely different played sports. Hmm….

The readings of Sun Tzu's Art of War came in handy for the blue team's attack

The readings of Sun Tzu’s Art of War came in handy for the blue team’s attack

So turning on the cartridge as with the other black box games your straight at the menu, no messing around however with a distinct lack of sound, nothing jovial to welcome you to the game. You can choose between 1 or 2 players, so you can slug it out alone or grab a buddy and pretend you’re having your own Superbowl. If you choose 1 player, you then choose your difficulty of the CPU, starting with High School Team working up in difficulty to the most hardest being Super Bowl Team. Should you win your match the next game you play is at the next difficulty, unless your hardcore enough to start on playing on the hardest difficulty – then your just epic. However you don’t select a team like in later American Football games such as the Miami Dolphins or the Pittsburgh Steelers, when you pick your difficulty you then go straight into the game. The opposition kicks off and away we go.

The bright colours excite like a firefly dancing in a wooded forest...

The bright colours excite like a firefly dancing in a wooded forest…

The graphics of the game do their job without getting into the difficulties of trying to create crowds and make it overly complicated. It looks like a typical American Football field pitch with the green grass and the markings in the ground at every 10 yard intervals. What is also a nice tough is that on the right hand side of the screen you have a mini map which shows not only relevant markings and the touchdown points in red and green (depending on which colour side you are) but also where on the map you are and where the action is. It sound’s silly to include that as a feature but the number of games that have an intelligible map which hinders the player is quite refreshing, especially based on the fact this game was released early in the console’s library. The controls are very simplistic with the d-pad moving your guy and the A/B buttons being used to either throw the ball to one of your teammates should you be attacking, or if defending you control which set of guys you want to move to help defend the opposition from getting past you. It’s touches like this that was enhanced upon for future games but it is nice it was introduced in 10-yard fight which makes you think tactically about what the opposition may be planning up their sleeves. In terms of music there really isn’t any aside from when the game kicks off and at intervals, it’s solid enough but won;t win any Grammy’s for it, however it does it’s job. The sound effects do sound something from an Atari as in when the balls fly through the air and when your tackled, it reminds you of white noise from a TV that doesn’t have the channel tuned in properly so you might want the radio on when your playing.

It was a rescue mission that Willy Wonka dressed parachutist couldn't turn down

It was a rescue mission that the Willy Wonka dressed parachutist couldn’t turn down

So all in all, 10-Yard fight sets the scene well for future American Football games, it sets a precedent for future American Football games to build upon, with the features such as picking different strategies and tactics by playing the different buttons on the controller. There are times when playing that do start to get jarring, for instance when your on the offence and the guy runs across the line of guys before play starts which takes an absolute eternity for him to run past – you can press button to play early but then it tactically is not as astute as it could be. All this time, it drains the time, with every footstep taking a second off the 30 minute accelerated timer that your given per half. It isn’t easy to score touchdowns either even on the easiest setting as when you tackle or when the opposition tackles it is not always guaranteed they will tackle properly and so your man skips right past. It’s pedantic and nit-picking yes however if it was a perfect game it wouldn’t have these faults but then wouldn’t be the grounding to improve on for future releases. Copies are not too expensive, so if you want to see how American football all began on consoles then this is a good start as any and worthy of being in your collection. But maybe your patriotic enough to prefer a good game of Rugby instead – me, I’m off to California see what Games are out there…

Rating – 3 out of 5

Popeye NES Review

There are certain games than when you grew up, in those arcades of yore when they didn’t cost a fortune to play and kids would crowd round the latest game amazed at how far Little Jimmy got on one credit, it was hard to imagine these games being transferred and ported from the arcades to the home console because they were that good on the arcade. I always remember for some reason not only X-Men at the arcades, but as well Popeye with its distinctive theme song from the cartoons we know so well. It seems Nintendo had the idea of porting this to the NES as a black-box game under the “Arcade” series, so how away from the bright lights and loud noises of the arcades, how did the game fare up, will it make you big and strong, or sickly green like the spinach that gets eaten?

Popeye is the quintessential text-book definition of an “arcade” game, ported over to the Nintendo Entertainment System (if that wasn’t made clear by the “arcade classics series” on the box and the graphic of a gamer hunched over an arcade cabinet). As per most of the early arcade games, played either on the console or in it’s original format at the cabinet, there is no end screen and not a point where the game is completed, your playing to attain the highest score possible so to keep playing until you run out of lives. Popeye is no different, and plays like Urban Champion in which you have to keep going further and further, the enemies becoming more difficult and the player needing the reflexes of a dog consuming too many Mars Bars.

Maybe after, you three can make sweet music together *wink wink*

Popping in the game and turning the console on, your treated to an 8-bit rendition of the theme tune and you know what? It certainly is not a bad effort at it, it’ll have you singing along before any button is presses and you won’t want it to end. You get the option of playing game mode A, or game mode B, and that is both for 1 or 2 players. The difference between game mode A and B is that Game Mode B starts with a creepy old witch throwing skulls at you making your game more difficult. The 2 player option unfortunately is not the option to play co-operatively, but taking it in turns to completing the levels – bearing in mind this game was released in 1982 then it certainly is no loss to not being able to play side-by-side with your buddy. The idea of the level is to collect whatever Olive Oyl throws your way, in the first level this is hearts but later levels it can be musical notes or letters that spell the word “HELP”. Sounds easy enough right? Well, trying to stop you collecting and saving is good ol’ Bluto ready to punch you hard into the ocean. In terms of weapons, all you have is your fist ready to punch him out, however you cannot do this unless you’ve eaten (drumroll please…no guesses needed) a can of spinach – that’s right nul points to you if you thought it was a mushroom or rupees. Well collect 24 hearts and you make your way to Level 2, where the scenery changes and musical notes are the items to collect, and so wash, rinse and repeat.

From level 2 onwards, minor characters from the cartoon do make an appearance, to the top left of the screen sits Swee’ Pea upon some hover board going up and down holding a balloon, directly below him a see saw. Hit the see saw right to hit Swee’ Pea (nothing sinister about uppercutting a hovering raft a baby is on, is there?) and claim extra bonus points. It’s a nice touch that Bluto can hit that same see-saw and try to hit Swee’Pea but nothing happens when he does. Level 3 is set upon a ship, and when you collect the letters it builds a ladder for you to rescue Olive, but at this stage you get a vulture dive bombing at you, this time you can whack it right in the face (no need to call the RSPCA then) to get points and stop it attacking you costing a life.  So there is some variety in the levels colours and design however after level 3, although it states it is level 4, in terms of graphics and enemies it reverts back to Level 1 but the levels get tougher so you really need your wits about you to get further. As mentioned, although the top score gets saved, as soon as you turn the console off you lose your top score so get ready with your camera.

It could be worse – those hearts could be round Bluto…

The control’s are simple but responsive, which is what you need when being chased by Bluto. The d-pad moves Popeye left and right through the level, up and down to traverse the ladders, the A button is the punch and the B button does…well nothing. But the controls are simple enough for what needs to be accomplished in the level. There is no jumping in the game (either by pressing up or whatever button usually is jump in games) and there’s no ducking either, its a question of using your fantastically honed reflexes, and the ability to walk past the walls to the other side of the screen, with an arrow saying “thru” to helpfully point out where to go.. It’s good that your not penned into the 2 sides of the level in the effort to evade Bluto. The music, well what can you say? When you turn the game on, and before the level starts your treated to that famous music – it certainly does add some oomph into the game, and its not like Superman 64 that uses stock music and possess none of the characteristics of the movie.

Bluto never looked so attractive

Arcade ports certainly fared well when they were ported to the Nintendo early in the NES catalogue, and although nothing can recreate the feeling of pumping coins into a smoke-filled loud arcade machine, Nintendo done a good job porting this to the console to recreate the gameplay you’d expect at the arcade. The controls are responsive and like most things in life, its easy to get the basics right however will take a lifetime to master. It’s doubtful you’d get to the point where you beat the world record of over 3 million, but there’s nothing to stop you practicing – pretending to pump coins in to top that score! The game is definitely one to have in the collection, however copies in the wild are uncommon but it is worth the price – its not often uncommon games are worth the money but in this instance it really is worth it. Even for non-Popeye fans the gameplay alone makes it a classic for the console, and the challenge of old witches throwing skulls at you makes you more determined to plant a kiss with your fist right in his kisser, so grab a can of spinach, holler your best A-GA-GA-GA-GA-GA-GA-GA and get ready for some retro arcade action! I’m off to recover from the copious amounts of spinach I ate whilst writing this episode, I have some big blokes to go and hit…

Rating – 5 out of 5

Golf NES Review

What better way of enjoying your Sunday then changing into your yellow trousers and pink pullover, grabbing your 3 Wood and heading onto the fairways for 18 holes? But if you don’t have that, the next best thing would be to play a simulation of it – right? Well… Nintendo clearly thought so, so in 1986 in the UK they released their take on the famous game, with the black box design, to the British masses. Does it live up to the real game? Does it make you want to be the next Bubba Watson?

Well popping this sucker into your console provides you with a basic menu – 1 Player Stroke play (no sniggering) or if you got your buddy over and up for something more relaxing than Contra, 2 player Stroke Play. But one thing I will say, whatever takes your fancy, it goes straight into the game – no character selection, no colour coordinaton clothing, straight up gameplay.

The game itself is very simple, if you don’t know the rules I suggest Wikipedia to start with – the idea of getting the ball in to the hole in the fewest hits, or “strokes”. On screen shows to the top left information on how far the hole is and your score. To the bottom left a rather portly-looking Mario, in his finest blue trousers and white polo top, that gives off the impression he’s more a builder on his day off trying to hob-nob on the green. Well they do say exectuive decisions are made on the golf course! To the right is the course map. The controls is the standard for most retro golf games – press A to start the power bar, A again to set the power, and a final A to stop the bar, trying to hit the white line as accurate as possible. So far so good.  Its a nice touch when you aim the ball using left or right d-pad, to adjust this and this is graphically reflected in the bottom left hand side of the screen where Portly-Mario is.

But alas there is where the good times end. Unfortunately, as much as this game has the usual golfing fare of bunkers and wooded trees, what the game lacks is accuracy. You may know how far the ball is to the hole, however what you don’t know is how powerful your golf club, and this ultimately ruins the gameplay. For example, it shows its 120 yards to the hole, but with 13 clubs and a putter to choose from, how do you know which club to use? Without a power rating for each club, your guessing in the dark, and this a major hindrance espeicially to those who don’t know golf properly, like myself. Added to this, if you don’t know the strength of the club, you don’t know how hard to hit the ball on the power bar. This leads to you hitting the ball too hard, over the flag and hole, or too softly, causing you to use up more shots. You’d have an easier and more accurate time peeing into a tornado and dodging the spray.

Tiger Woods eat your heart out

In terms of sounds, well, there is none. No groovy music, just you, your concentration, and the whoo sound made when you make your shot. And if there’s a more annoying sound than when you hit the ball out of the area, into the black parts, then please let me know because you’ll hear it time and time again, the *urgh urgh urgh* sound. It’ll be ingrained into your psyche, even after the console is shut off you’ll randomly hear the Out of Bounds (OB sound) in your day-to day life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not adverse to golf games on home consoles, take Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64, or PGA Tour Golf on the Mega Drive as great examples of golfing games done well. I understand as well this would have been the first golf game on a console, so would never be perfect, however, slight alterations could have made this a better game than it was. As a result, until alternatives like NES Open was released, this was all prospective Tiger Woods could use. The lack of a power guide for each club ruins an otherwise standard golf game. If you like challenges, then by all means pick up a copy, on eBay they do go a dime a dzoen, but my advice? Search for PGA Tour Golf instead – you’ll thank me in the long run. I’m now off to change out of my yellow strides and slip into something more comfortable, like a coma…

Rating – 1 out of 5