VR Golf 97

a game by VR Sports
Platform: PSX
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 1 review
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Overview

The VR Sports team keeps them coming with VR Golf 97. VR Golf 97 sends you out on the links to see how you stack up against the other golfers in a ton of different gameplay modes. Try your luck in the amateur tour and, if you're feeling particular saucy, take on the pro tour. If that's not enough, play the Skins game. Tons of roaming camera angles combined with solid graphics make this a good title. But I find it still lacking in some areas. What areas? I'm glad you asked.

Gameplay

When I first stuck VR Golf 97 in my Playstation, I had high hopes. I really like the graphics and easy controls in the VR Sports titles and knew that both are crucial in golf titles. I didn't bother reading instructions on how or what to play. I wanted to test the ease of the controls right off the bat. I selected Strokeplay and was off. The first swing... perfect drive. Next, on the green. Finally, in the hole. I finished the first hole I have ever played of VR Golf with a one under par. Either I am damn good or the game was a bit easy. Turns out to be a little of both.

One conclusion that can be drawn from the story above is that the controls are very simple. If I can pick up a controller and knock down a Birdie on my first hole ever, that also tells me that the club swing is fairly simple. If you have ever played a golf game in your life, you will have no problem jumping into this one, as I did. But, be forewarned. The controls are simple enough if you play the conservative game. If you try for the Happy Gilmore drives and deviate from the centerline even slightly, you are in trouble. I have never played a golf game that is so unforgiving. If you're slightly off, it produces a terrible slice; if you're more than a hair off, let's just say you won't have to walk far to your next shot. This does keep things even. Stay conservative and you will do better.

I really don't follow golf much so the fact that you are going up against fictitious golfers really does not bother me as much as it will others. What did make me scratch my head a bit was the fact that most golfers hit a hole in one every five years or so and I managed to hit one in my third game, on a par 3 hole. I have played countless hours of other golf games without ever hitting a hole-in-one. In VR Golf, I have not done it since, so it may have been pure luck and coincidence. I may never hit another, but I still thought that was a bit weak.

On a more positive note, the game is fun to play. I found myself playing 18 holes, only to want to play another 18. The best way to describe it would be to call it an arcade-style game: the action is fast paced and the load times are not bad when your hole has loaded. This keeps things clipping along at a decent pace.

VR Golf is full of different modes that you can play alone or with up to 3 of your closest club swinging buddies. The modes available include a Practice mode that just lets you play against a particular hole. You can also play Strokeplay. This is good old count the number of strokes and try for the lowest score. Next, you can try your luck at the Skins game. This is game that places a monetary value to each hole. If you score the highest on the hole, you win the value of the hole. Or, try your luck at a Foursome. This is a pair of teams working together, trying for the lowest score or Fourball during each hole as an individual. Finally (whew!) is the AMA and pro tour. These are different types of tournaments designed to challenge even the best golfers around. The point is, VR Golf definitely gets a gold star for options.

One last tiny little complaint I have is the lack of courses. You only have two courses to play on. This gets a little boring after awhile. I know that in golf, every game is completely different, even on the same course. But I would still like to see some different scenery every so often.

Graphics

VR Golf has nice, polygonal graphics. They are not too blocky and the animations of the golfers is good. I really like the different camera angles that you will shift on the fly so you always have the best angle at your shot. I really like the straight-into-the-camera angle which switches to a behind view. Also, the trees and other scenery are quite realistic and give you the feeling that they were more than just an afterthought, haphazardly thrown in.

Bottom Line

VR Golf 97 is a decent game. I did get hooked on it initially, but after a short time, I got a bit tired of the same courses. The different modes of gameplay did keep me coming back. I was a little disappointed that I was able to hit a hole in one so early in my career. This took a bit of the "what if" edge away. All in all, this is a solid title that should give you some fun hours.

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