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  • Bandai
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  • Sports - Golf
  • February 1989
  • 1/2
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  • $3.00
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3  |  Challenge Pebble Beach(NES), at least the frustration is realistic.
chick3_16 , 7/5/2003 11:59:25 PM
Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach. It's a long name, and you'll spend less time enjoying this game than you will spelling it out. Golf games generally come with some sort of advancement that sets it apart from the rest. The original Golf even had match play. This game was probably programmed based on the programmer's last round of golf. There are games that let you golf like Tiger Woods, and others that let you hit the ball as far as Adam Sandler as Happy Gilmore. This game lets you hit it as far as Adam Sandler would as Adam Sandler. Par 5s in 2? Not a chance. 9th hole (par 4) in 2? Ha!

Frustration #1.

In most golf games beyond...well..Golf, you could pan the aiming cursor around in a smooth motion. Not in this game. In this game, the cursor moves about 10-15 degrees at a time (except when putting, then it is as it should be), making aiming the perfect shot impossible. This means you'll be seeing the sand of Pebble Beach a lot. And the trees. And the rough. And the Pacific...

Frustration #2.

The third frustration is the club selection itself. Once your misaimed ball goes into the bunker, you can pick from a 7I to a SW. While it may not be wise to use a driver in the sand, most golf games give me the right. Even Lee Carvalo's Putting Challenge (not actual game) lets you drive it into the parking lot. If I want to drive from the sand, I should be able to. If you get the ball in a bad lie far away from the hole (read 150 yards or more), there's no hope of hitting the green.

The graphics are OK for this era of golf games, but nothing spectacular. It can be played with 1 or 2 players, and features a "Choose Your own Handicap" thingie where you can set your actual handicap. A feature I have yet to see on another golf game, it is truly proof that this game is a simulation of average golf. Driving is a bit difficult as you must hit the pin-like target area square or you shank the shot. The game does have a contour map that shows where the holes are uphill and where they are downhil, as well as the bunker depth for those not-so-rare times you hit them. A nice touch, but it looks ugly.

The game in itself is the only true simulation of amateur golf there is, and maybe it should be applauded. Then there's the sound. More tourturous than a Hulk Hogan movie (except Rocky III), the same theme plays over and over during your round. It'll get stuck in your head if you don't notice the sound the ball makes when it hits sand, or the fairway/green. I've never heard a golf ball make the kind of sounds you'll find in this game. Now it's like the game was programmed to be a simulation of amateur golf, programmed by amateurs. In short, this game is...quite amateur. I can't even get a good picture of this game to show you. It'll be in the dollar bin at a flea market, next to the recently reviewed copy of N'Sync: Get To The Show if you really must look. The idea for this game must have made a great joke around the programmer's table, just like the idea of David Arquette being WCW champion. We all know what happened to WCW when they forgot that the idea was only a joke. I have yet to see another Bandai golf game since.

So assuming you play the game on mute, I'd have to give this game a 3 out of 10. The choice of handicap, and the choice of a front tee or professional tee (featuring a 500 yard par 4) save this game from utter ruin, and set it apart slightly from the good golf games. For maximum enjoyment, order a Showtime rotisserie, slide the game into the non-stick basket that's included, set the game in the rest area, push it back, close the door, and then "Set it And Forget it!" Try NES Open Tournament Golf instead.

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