Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
Reviewed by Inkhands
I became interested in golf about a decade ago and since
then I've played quite a few games featuring the sport. This
game came into my possession about two or three years ago. I
played this game nonstop for a few weeks and I thought it
was a rather good game. It doesn't have much in the way of
features or options, but it does have a couple of nice
This game has three modes of play: tournament, match, and
practice. Match play is you against the or another
player on a single course, trying to outscore each other at
the end. Practice mode comes in very handy, because this
mode allows you to practice any hole on any course at any
time. You can set the wind and other variations as well.
This is helpful because let's say someone is having trouble
on hole 17 on one of the courses. This allows them to play
the hole over and over until they master it, without having
to go through the other 16 holes on the course first.
The featured mode of this game is the tournament play. You
have been invited to compete against fifteen other pro
players on three different courses. The three courses are in
Japan, Great Britain, and the United States. Each course has
it's own look and design. For example, Great Britain has a
lot of wooded area surrounding the holes, while Japan's
course is filled with a lot of water hazards. You play the
standard total of eighteen holes in each round.
At the end of the round you earn money based on how well you
did. You also advance in skills if you scored in the Top 8.
Your swings are more powerful, your hooks and slices are
more accurate, and your caddy will give much better advice.
You can get advice from your caddy at any time during the
game by hitting a button and then choosing the option. Your
caddy has four levels, from basic information, all the way
up to specific advice to help you with your game.
If you finished in first place at the end of one of these
courses, you will receive a new set of golf clubs. You start
out with a set of Black Carbon clubs. You can then win a set
of Glass Fiber and a set of Super Ceramic clubs. The
differences being the distance each of your clubs can hit.
For example, your 1 wood is the club you will most likely
use while teeing off. It's your most powerful club. The
Black Carbon 1W gets about 230 yards, whereas the Super
Ceramic's 1W goes up to 265 yards. All the other clubs see a
healthy increase as well, so it's really beneficial to win a
tournament to get the new clubs.
During the game you will be able to choose your club, check
the wind condition, check the ball's lie, position your
shot, vary your feet, and then swing your club. There is a
meter that lets you fill up for power. You hit it once and
then again. If you hit it on the line near the middle of the
meter on it's way back down you will have a straight shot.
Hitting it just above or below will cause the ball to either
hook or slice. The wind is a large factor also in where your
ball will go, so be sure to check the weather vane to be
aware if it's going to float off to the left or right, so
you can adjust the direction you are aiming toward. There is
a little arrow that lets you choose your ball's path, with
the wind and how you hit the ball causing variations on
where it actually goes. Being able to check the ball's lie
is also helpful in knowing if it is is deep in grass or
safely on the fairway.
Putting is nearly the same as the other shots. You will be
on the green. You can check your ball's lie and then
determine the path and strength of your shot. You will also
see little arrows on the green letting you know the slope of
the green to better your chances of sinking the putt.
Options during the game, other than getting advice from the
caddy, includes checking the scoreboard, and changing the
music. There is also a scoreboard after each hole that lets
you see your score for the game, each hole, and your overall
ranking against the other players. You input your name at
the beginning of the tournament and choose the clubs you
want to use. At the end of a course you will get a password
to save your progress with.
There is no difficulty setting, but golf is certainly a game
of strategy and skill. You have to be very aware of what you
are doing at all times. One wrong swing can cost you a
couple of strokes simply by going into a bunker, a water
hazard, or out of bounds. You can see yourself drop from a
stroke under par to a couple of strokes over rather quickly
if you aren't careful. If you do hit a water hazard or go
out of bounds you have the option of dropping the ball near
where the ball went or just replaying the shot. There are
three courses, as mentioned above, and that's a total of 54
very different holes to master. The challenge is a little
high in this game. However, the control is pretty good. You
really have a lot of control over your swing. You can choose
the path and the strength and the buttons do work very well.
This is a golf game, so you really can't expect too much
soundwise. The effects are pretty typical swinging and
hitting sounds. There is no voices in this game, but you
will hear the crowd cheer occasionally. The title music
isn't too bad and neither is the music that plays during the
game. Besides, you do have about four options on what song
to listen to as you are playing. Of course you also have the
option of turning both the music and the crowd's cheer off
by hitting the start button during the game. Nothing but
average sound in the game.
The graphics are also rather poor. The main screen you see
is divided into two frames. In the left frame is an overhead
shot of the full course. On the right is a much larger frame
of your golfer and the course from just behind him. In the
distance you can usually see a tree or two at most and the
green usually appears to be much closer than it really is.
Neither of these frames look very colorful, but they are
detailed enough so you can see what you are doing. The green
and fairway are both lighter green than the rough
surrounding it. The water is obviously blue, sand bunkers
are a little brown, and then there are the green trees
sometimes around the course. Nothing overly good, but good
enough to not detract from the game in any way.
The replay value on this is fairly subjective as with any
other game. It all depends on how willing you are to play
through all three courses again once you have finished in
the number one ranking. Until you do, you might find
yourself playing the practice mode to master each of the
courses. The match play might be the best in terms of reply
value in this game. You can choose any course and any set of
clubs in this mode while playing the , or someone
else if you have someone else to play. I played this game
for a while, but I stopped playing after a few weeks, so I
imagine that's about the limit of appeal this game has.
Still, a couple of weeks is better a few days like a few
games have. I'm still going to say the replay value is about
average or a little lower on this game. Overall, this game
really doesn't have anything special or outstanding about
it, but it's a solid golf game nonetheless.
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 5/10
Control - 8/10
Challenge - 8/10
Appeal - 7/10
Game Play - 7/10
Replay Value - 5/10
Overall - 7/10