Tee Off Golf
|a game by||Bottom Up Interactive|
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown|
|User Rating:||4.0/10 - 1 vote|
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In Acclaim's Tee Off Golf, 12 anime-inspired characters and six wacky modes of play lay the foundation for an all-around lighthearted golf game. The sounds of chirping birds and cute music assault you at every turn. Well-hit shots shoot like laser beams across the sky, while players react like happy children. A serious golf sim this ain't. Could this be Hot Shots for the Dreamcast? Nope, but it's darn close. We don't wanna beat a dead horse but comparisons to Hot Shots are inevitable, not only for the obvious but for gameplay reasons as well. Rumor has it, some of the guys who worked on Hot Shots put their efforts into this game as well.
To be fair, Bottom Up (the game's developer) has done a good job emulating HS, but doesn't quite capture the same flavor or, for lack of a better term, fun-appeal of that great game. For example, shots are largely predictable once they leave the tee. They travel about the same distance indicated by the power meter and stay very straight (even if the meter was not nailed dead on). The wind is not all that potent and the greens are very fast. Back-spin doesn't work as great as we'd like either. Perhaps we're remembering Hot Shots too fondly but Tee Off doesn't feel quite as good at this point in its development. We'll see in a month or two.
Comparisons aside, Tee Off Golf is a no-nonsense arcade-style golf experience. Outside of the anime-style characters, and the awesome 128-Bit graphics, the format is pretty standard. Take your pick of World Tour, Free-Round, Match, Stroke and Point Play. As a bonus, a special Millennium Mode introduces wacky elements to a regular round of golf. Five difficulty levels and a unique four-player mode are available as well.
As for courses, there aren't many, but they span the globe-America, Africa, Australia, Japan and Scotland. For the most part, the fairways and greens are flat. Hills and valleys are scarce but are more prevalent in the harder courses. A 3D preview gives you a good view of the terrain before you select a course. Once on the greens a number of adjustable cameras point out the ins and outs of the hole. While we can't stop comparing Tee Off to Hot Shots, the game doesn't look too bad on its own. Once they give the players new names and tweak some of the ball physics it'll be fine.
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Despite the anime character designs, the familiar look and other loose similarities-Hof Shots Golf this ain't. I wouldn't even place it in the same category...and believe me, I've played enough HS and HS 2 lately to know. At best Tee Off is a slightly amusing if not downright forgettable golf game. Heading the list of lackluster features is a trio of illogical camera angles which do absolutely nothing for functionality. Most annoying are the pre-shot overview and after-shot ball cams. Oddly they're aimed in the wrong direction, which is toward the golfer rather than down the fairway. They don't rotate either so essentially you're stuck with two or three angles rather than an infinite amount should they float freely. For a game that strives to copy the best you'd think they could steal the view options as well? Another thing they should've pilfered from Hot Shots is the sound. The anemic Japanese hair-metal, coupled with the occasional quip from the golfers, had me clambering to turn down the volume--it's that bad. In the end. Tee Off just plain fails to generate any excitement. The courses are overly flat and void of interesting dynamics, the ball hits and runs in a predictable way and there's a general lack of control on all fronts. Sorry Dreamcasters, you'll have to wait a little longer for a great golf game.
Those looking to recreate the fun of Mario Golf or Hot Shots Golf will be disappointed by Tee Off. The game moves at a snail's pace, and the camera views are maddening. For example, you hit a shot and the camera immediately pans right up on the ball as it sails through the air. This eliminates your chance to see how much the wind curves it, if you really sliced or hooked it, etc. Even for a golf freak like me, this game doesn't cut it.
Ever play one of those ho-hum games that's just SO average in every aspect, it nearly puts you to sleep? Welcome to Tee Off. As a golf game, Tee Off does nothing to advance the genre. The graphics are crappy (sure, they're hi-res, but it's just hi-res blah), the gameplay is bland, the physics are weird, and the presentation is clumsy. For now, it may be the "best golf game on the DC," but it pales in comparison to games like Mario Golf or Hot Shots 2.
Strange how Tee Off Golf isn't as fun as Hot Shots on the PlayStation, when Tee Off is so darned similar to it. Sure, Tee Off's still fun and all, but it lacks the style Hot Shots has (thus making it the lesser of the two when it's all said and done). In addition, there are a lot of weird camera angles, and courses just aren't interesting enough. But if you're in dire need of a golf game, Tee Off Golf will suffice until something better comes along. Consider renting it first.