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Golf

Itís black, itís red, itís under 0! No, Iím not talking about Amsterdamís seedy downtown area; Iím talking about Nintendoís Virtual Boy! If youíve got one of these puppies sitting next to your computer screen, and you alternate playing it with looking at... whatever you happen to be looking at on the Internet... you are a true Nintendo jockey!

Pseudo portable, but not really, Nintendoís VB was possibly just ahead of its time. Assuming "time" means a more varied selection than red and black, and eyeball pus thatís squeezed out of your head from trying to visually process the information. Thatís why this beaut pauses every 15 minutes of gameplay so your corneas can readjust to the real world. Play vs. reality aside, they say retro is chic so VB away with one of the best golf games released before Hot Shots. Virtual Boyís appropriately titled Golf.


visuals

Well, thereís not too much to go on here. Golf consists of the same color pallet that every other VB game comes with: fire alarm red and wormhole black. However, when youíre playing the Virtual Boy, you donít expect anything more to begin with. What you do expect is smooth, multi-layered 2D imagery spaced out over a wondrous Z dimensional plane to create an awkward 3D area. Since Golf actually plays out across that area instead of balancing layers over the X/Y axis and using the Z for depth, it loses a lot of the extra graphical kick that the VB is supposed to give its games.

The main golfer (there is only one) and the background mountains and trees are all well done, but the actual greens... err reds themselves aren't too pretty to look at.

Itís definitely not the best looking VB game out there, that would go to Wario Land or Jack Bros. But itís not the worst. Besides itís red and black Golf. Visuals arenít a playerís main concern.


audio

The VB speaks! At least at the title screen. Granted, it's minor prattle with the developerís name, but it is cool to hear. After that, Golf really isnít all that ear-intensive. The only sound that consistently sticks is the ďawwwĒ you get form the crowd when you miss a putt. Since I suck at Golf, it shall forever be bounding between my ears as a testimonial to my eternal suck-ness.

The other audio pieces are all based on what one would hear while playing a real game of golf. The thwack of the club hitting the ball, the plop of getting the ball in the hole, etc. Iím assuming that if you make under par, cheers will start up; granted, Iíve never been able to do this.

Other than that itís a fairly quiet game. I think the only missing sound effect is the cursing involved with finishing at 15 over par, but the gamer should take care of that.


gameplay

Hereís where Golf shines, and where it earns its score. Thereís only one course to choose from, but itís a full 18 holes, and since the game auto-pauses after 15 minutes anyway, thatís little of a problem. The options for actually hitting the ball are immense! Choose the club, direction of the shot, your foot stance, power of your swing, and where on the ball you want the club to connect. Even though I suck at the game, I never get tired of fiddling with my shot before I actually let the club fly. It makes the game worth playing. Even if Iím increasing my chances for cataracts by doing so.


multiplayer

N/A


overall

Something draws me to Golf. I really donít know what it is since, quite frankly, I usually would be skipping a cartridge like a rock across the nearest body of water after 30 minutes of hearing nothing but "awww" on hole 3. Yet the game remains a constant in my system and Iíll even play it every now and then between sessions of Galactic Pinball. If you own a Virtual Boy and chance to find Golf up for grabs, go for it. Itíll be the best youíve ever spent. And if someone beats you to it...

"Awww..."


final score

6.5/10