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Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf

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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 modes. 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

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