Monday 31 August 2015

Golf Magazine: 36 Great Holes Starring Fred Couples (32X review)

Developer: Flashpoint Productions
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1994

Golf Magazine: 36 Great Holes Starring Fred Couples is the only golf game that was released on the Sega 32X. 

As you start you're treated to an introduction from Fred Couples himself and it features some impressive audio and decent looking video. There's 36 courses including Torrey Pines, Firestone Country Club and The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. A huge range of options are immediately available such as Stroke Play (complete holes in the lowest amount of shots), Tournament (against the CPU), Skins (competition where each hole is worth money), Shoot-Out (elimination game), Scramble (team game where the best shot is chosen) and Match Play (2P head-to-head). A metre is used to select the power and accuracy of your shot and you can also add Draw / Fade as well as adjust your golfer's stance. The game automatically lines up your shot with the flag and you can usually land on the fairway by moving the cursor to counter the wind. However, there isn't a good way to line-up your shot manually as the right-hand-side overhead map doesn't update or give any indication of where the ball will land. As a result you'll have to hit some shots blindly and hope for the best. Instead of being flat like many golf games of the time the greens are fairly realistic in that the contours can provide you with some acute bounces. There's also an excellent replay mode after every shot and you can even save them for future use. The putting is easy due to the excellent wireframe grid but there's no close-ups of the hole which is disappointing. Weirdly, there's hardly any crowd noises which leaves it lacking in atmosphere and it's annoying getting an Eagle and only being greeted with a muted clap!

Golf Magazine: 36 Great Holes Starring Fred Couples is a decent, easy-to-play golf game but it's also run-of-the-mill and doesn't do anything special. Fans of the sport will find a lot to love though and the vast range of options are likely to keep you playing for a while.

Random trivia: Over 30 different prototype roms have been found and dumped for this game! You can read about the differences here.

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