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Please Note *** This review is for the Mega Drive version of PGA Tour Golf as Dooyoo seem to enjoy placing Mega Drive games in the amiga games catergory. Thanks. ***
PGA Tour Golf is a golfing game which was released on the Sega Mega Drive. The game came as all Mega Drive games did in a box between Video and DVD size. The box contained an instruction manual and a 16 bit cartridge specifically for the Mega Drive.
When I received my Mega Drive for my 9th birthday, PGA Tour Golf was one of the games I received as a gift from my uncle who is really into golf, at a guess he was trying to get me into it too, it didn't work, although over the years I do seem to have had my fair share of golfing games even though I'm not actually a fan of the sport!
Compared to the golfing games which are available now this one isn't one of the best, but rewind the clocks back to the early 1990's and it is a completely different story...
PGA Tour golf was one of the first titles to be released by Electronic Arts under the PGA title.
When the game starts you can choose a player you wish to represent you and enter your name. You will then have a choice between Practice or PGA Tour. As it sounds, Practice is where you can play freely and practice your shots on the different courses.
There are four available courses to choose from and if you are playing the PGA Tour then you will be competing against the professional golfers who were playing at the time the game was originally released.
If you choose the PGA Tour then you will be taken to the PGA Tour tent. In the tent you can choose how many players you want. The game can be played by up to 4 human players sharing one or two controllers.
The multiplayer games and the single player are exactly the same as each other, the only difference between the two that I could find is that you have to wait for the other player to take their shot. The multiplayer is played in turns, so no split screens are involved.
Once you have finished playing with the options available in the tour tent you will begin your round of golf. The game will begin by showing you the leader board and your position out of around 70 other golfers. The other golfers on the leader board are professionals, however you wont actually ever see them play, you will just see their names on the leader board and the occasional message popping up to tell you if one of them did a good shot on their hole. After the leader board screen you will be taken to the game screen. In general the screen sticks to the same layout all the way through. In the corner of the screen you will see an arrow informing you of the wind speed and at the bottom of the screen is a power bar and the name of the club that your golfer is currently holding.
To take a shot you must first select a club which suits the distance you need to travel and also the terrain which you are hitting the ball from, to select a club it is a simple case of scrolling through them by pressing up or down until you come to the one you want. You then need to look at your wind speed and position your golfer accordingly to allow for the wind to blow your ball around, once these two things are done it is simply a case of being accurate with your button pressing and you are on your way to becoming a professional golfer!
To swing at the ball you need to press the B button to start the power bar at the bottom moving, you then need to press B again to stop the bar at the amount of power that you want and then B yet again when the bar comes back on itself to stop it as close to where it started as you can to avoid chipping your shot. I found this does actually take a while to get the hang of and can be very frustrating as the slightest little bit of inaccuracy can send you ball quite far off course when combined with a high wind speed. I have many memories of my grandad attempting to play this with me and him swearing at it and throwing the controller on the floor like a big kid!
At the end of each hole you will be shown the leader board to show exactly where you are, if you are anything like me then you will be trailing way behind on the last page in last place! I find the leader board screen to be rather annoying as I haven't found a way to skip past it and it is shown with some really annoying music playing.
The game comes on a cartridge that enables game progress to be saved, so if you are doing well in the tournament then you wont need to do it all again next time you play.
The controls of the game are really easy, it is the accuracy that is the hard part to pick up! It can be done though with a little or rather a lot of patience!
** Graphics and Sound **
The graphics in the game are good. They're typical of the 90's games, they're a bit jumpy in places, with the odd distortion, but in general they are good. The loading time between holes is pretty quick and is taken up by showing you the leader board so you don't really notice the loading. The sound is ok, the sound effects of the crowd when you play in the PGA Tour are good, as are the random tweeting birds and the sound of the club swinging and hitting the ball, but the music when the leader board is shown really irritates me and sounds terrible through the speakers of my TV.
** Price and Availability **
Like most Mega Drive games these days you may struggle to find this game in the high street shops unless you visit a specialist, your best bet will be eBay where you will probably pick up a copy for a couple of pounds plus postage.
** My Experience and Opinion **
Apart from the music in this game I do really enjoy playing it. I like the fact that I'm not swinging a Wii remote around the room like with a more recent golf game I have recently reviewed. The game isn't so hard that I loose interest through lack of progression and it isn't so easy that there is no challenge either. I got this game when I was 9 and although I had it and played it, I don't think I really got the hang of it for a couple of years so I'd say I'd recommend it to anyone over the age of 10 or 11. It is a good classic game to enjoy occasionally and will probably actually keep you hooked for a good few hours.
Thanks for reading :)