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Microsoft Golf 2001 (PC)

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"If you are a casual or rookie computer game player Golf 2001 was made for you! Integrated step-by-step lessons render printed User's Guides obsolete. The Golf 2001 caddie will even suggest a specific lesson as you play to help you improve your scores! Golf 2001 puts you on seven unique courses so you can experience different course layouts."

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      19.06.2001 20:45
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      One of these days someone will design a golf game which combines realistic gameplay, superb graphics, high configurability, excellent sound/commentary, and clear tutorials. If there's one already out there, please let me know, because Microsoft Golf 2001 isn't it. It's not without its bad points - the graphics are utterly stunning, photographic in quality and making you feel like dropping everything & jetting off to Hawaii. The players move in incredibly realistic fashion, and the ball flight and trajectory is perfectly captured. The seven available courses offer sufficient challenges to beginners and experienced players alike, based as they are on different types of terrain and location. Competition options are pretty flexible, club selection is easy and informative, and the introductory tutorial is pretty straightforward. So why am I complaining? Firstly, the actual gameplay is somewhat inconsistent. Driving is ridiculously easy with huge margin for error - even a blind man with very shaky hands should land a high percentage of his shots on the fairway. However, get near the green and it's a different story. Putting is tricky but that's as it should be; chipping, meanwhile, is made nigh-on impossible by the whims of the application, with shots of equal power sometimes flying yards over the other side of the green, whilst flopping miserably for a couple of feet at other times. Secondly, the sound is, for an otherwise pretty sophisticated game, appalling. There's some nice bird tweets and the occasional shout of "It's on the fairway" or "Missed it", and...that's it. Compared with the superb sound & commentary on Actua Golf it's little short of pathetic. So, as golf sims go, this isn't one of the best. What you gain in graphical beauty and configurability you lose in consistent gameplay. Or perhaps that's the beauty of the game - it's as frustrating and inconsiste
      nt as the real thing. I'm not totally slagging it off and there are some who probably love it - indeed, I still spend rather more time on it than is healthy - but if you look harder you'll probably find something better.

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