Hal's Hole in One Golf

a game by HAL Laboratory

Platform: SNESSNES

Genre: Sports

See also: Golf Games

Many of you overseas sports buffs have been pining away for more info on Jumbo Osaki's Hole-in-One Golf for the Super Famicom. Well, fellow duffers, it's here, it's awesome, and it's from Hal for the SNES. Mr. Osaki, however, didn't make the trip across the Big Pond.

Tournament of HAL

Before we dig into gameplay, let's talk graphics. They're positively gorgeous! Rarely does a 16-bit sports game look so sweet, especially a links title. Hal spares no expense to bring us micro-detailed fly-by pix of the course, including a layout of peaks and valleys with amazingly realistic shading. You can even choose individual sections of the map, cut them away and scale in for a close-up! Especially breath-taking are the dramatic zooms during putts.

Up to four players can tee it up for a tournament in Stroke Play (normal golf scoring) or Match Play (win individual holes). Practice and exhibition modes are also available. Unfortunately, only one 18-hole course is provided. Finally, you can challenge the Hal pro, and if you beat him you'll earn a set of sterling-silver woods and a password.

ProTip: Enter “METAL PLAY” as your name to use Hal's extra-long clubs.

Although Hal's game looks like a winner, it doesn't always play like one. The swing interface is somewhat erratic and frustrating during mid-range strokes.

Putts are also cumbersome in certain situations. Finally, you can't determine distances to any spot on the course except the flag.

To putt just push A twice instead of three times.

A Chip Shot

If you're looking for a solid links game for your SNES, Hole-in-One is a safe bet. However, because of the difficult swing mechanics, it qualifies as a pro challenger but not a sudden-death grand champion

Other games by
HAL Laboratory

Hal's Hole in One Golf Downloads

SNES Hal's Hole in One Golf download
  • Manufacturer: DigiTek
  • Versions: Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST

For the rich folks, there is the country club, the 19th hole and the grand game of golf. For the rest of us, there is the less grand, but no less enjoyable, pastime of miniature golf.

Unlike the authors of previous miniature-golf simulations, Charles Carter appreciates the differences between the two contests. His Hole-in-One Miniature Golf is the first computer game that plays like the real thing.

From artwork to play-mechanics, Hole-in-One shouts authenticity. Its four courses give one to four duffers an amazing variety of holes to test their skills. Experienced miniature golfers will certainly find many familiar holes on the Classic course, but Expert has a few that could not exist except in the electronic environment of the computer. Hills, valleys and barriers are bad enough, but teleporters are even tougher. DigiTek promises additional disks with more courses to further extend the play-life of the original program.

Hole-in-One has one of the best on-line tutorials ever included on a complete game. It carefully walks the player through every facet of the game, devoting one or more screens to each element. The player tests his knowledge of each major rule before advancing to the next one. Anyone who plays the tutorial once should have no trouble with this program.

The graphic presentation is slightly schizophrenic. The Classic, Expert and Intermediate versions show the course in overhead perspective. Color bands that shade from light to dark indicate pits, while dark to light shading represents hills. Water is the expected blue, and sand is an appropriate yellow.

On the other hand, the Menagerie course utilizes a two-thirds view with a pseudo-3-D effect. Carter and artist Scott Cribbs work wonders with the illusion of depth. Menagerie's holes are the most visually stunning ever seen in a computer miniature-golf program. From the upside-down hole to the pinball machine, each shot on this wild and crazy course is an adventure.

The status line, located at the top of the screen, displays the number of the hole, its par, the number of the participant whose turn is underway and a tally of the shots taken on the hole so far. Player turns are also prompted with messages which appear in this space.

There is nothing complicated about the user interface of Hole-in-One, and this is entirely in keeping with the spirit of miniature golf. Unlike conventional golf, a beautiful swing or perfect grip are scarcely factors. After the player clicks the left button to spot the ball on the start bar, a phantom ball appears on the screen. This sphere is under the control of the player's mouse. The line between the real ball and the imaginary one is used to aim the ball and set the power of the shot. The longer the line, the more force behind the swing.

Some holes have terrain so rugged that one view isn't enough to show all the rises and dips in the turf. A pull-down menu appears at the top of the screen for any hole in which terrain is a major factor. It lets the player order up to four views of the hole. Each selected extra view appears in its own window. When all four are selected, they frame the actual hole on all sides. Most of the holes, however, can be played without reference to these special windows.

The Project menu presents a short list of handy utilities. The player can see a replay of the last shot or temporarily reverse the flow of time to try a bungled swing again. This Re-Try option is especially welcome when the player is in danger of exceeding the maximum stroke limit on the hole. Another menu choice, Score, gives access to a full-screen scorecard with a complete record of every hole played in the current game.

Hole-in-One Miniature Golf is definitely the best game on this popular pastime ever published for the home computer. Though the use of two different perspectives is slightly disorienting at first, the inventive holes and remarkable ease-of-play are sure to win over everyone who has ever arced a pastel-colored golf ball into a Clown's mouth.

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: Hal
  • Machine: Super NES

Metal Woods - Start the game and go to the screen where you enter your name. Put in METAL PLAY as your name (leave a space in between the words) and exit the screen by going to "OK". Confirm your choice by clicking "OK" again. You should see metal clubs in the lower left hand corner of your screen and you can now use these to hit the ball a greater distance!

reggie posted a review

Hole In One Golf from HAL is the premier golf game for the Super NES. The game has a variety of features that make it one of the best golf simulations available. There is a huge selection of clubs and a full 18 holes to challenge the discriminating golf fan. Along with a great game of golf, Hole In One also takes advantage of the power of the Super NES hardware. Before you play a game you get a special overhead tour of the course ala Graphics Mode 7. In some of the more intense shots you'll even get a close up of the hole. All in all the graphics, music and game play make Hole In One a standard by which all other golf games will be judged.

reggie posted a review

Try for par in one of the most graphically realistic golf simulations ever made. Where fairways were once flat and level, they now have visibly distinct mounds and depressions. Sand traps have lips and the greens now have grain and multidimensional rolling slopes

reggie posted a review
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