Jack Nicklaus 6: Golden Bear Challenge
|a game by||Hypnos Entertainment, Inc.|
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Prepare to enter the scary world of M&S sweaters, silk socks and chameleonic trousers, with Jack Nicklaus's sixth outing on the PC. Despite the fact that there's an ever-increasing abundance of them, golf games are difficult to get excited about. On the other hand, good golf games can be incredibly relaxing and moreish. And Jack Nicklaus 6 definitely falls into that category.
In terms of graphics it's a big improvement on its predecessor - the players no longer look as if they're in the middle of a bowel movement when they swing, and the animation is incredibly smooth. But what really matters is that it's so easy to play and get into that you can start playing competitive games from the off. Luckily, while you do occasionally send your ball into bunkers, trees and lakes, you feel completely in control of your clubs. As with most golf games these days, you can choose between a three or two-click swing, and the infamous 'mouse swing'.
On the down side, the commentary is dull and repetitive, although you do get some useful tips from the Golden Bear himself. No other real players have been included, but you can create your own in an almost RPG character-building fashion. This means that you can change the speed of the swing controller in exchange for higher or lower skills in other areas. You can also build your own courses when you get bored with the six provided; the course designer includes loads of options and details that can be tweaked, but it's actually quite easy to use. Overall, Jack Nicklaus 6 is a viable alternative to Tiger Woods, even if it doesn't quite match EA's faultless presentation.