Like I said before, Hot Shots Golf opened the market wide for golf games. The mix of simple charm and accessible mechanics made it welcoming to new players while providing video golf pros a legitimate golf experience, a true best of both worlds scenario. Needless to say, other companies wanted to jump into the goofy golf market, allowing Nintendo to provide N64 owners with the awesome Mario Golf. EA also tried to jump on the bandwagon. They already had the cred for serious golf sims, but, as CyberTiger proves, they had a lot to learn about loosening up.
CyberTiger takes cartoonish versions of Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara (as well as some original characters) to three courses, two fantasy courses and one which is an amalgam of the best holes from the various TPC courses the PGA Tour frequents. All of the expected modes from the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series are present along with one special mode Battle Golf. In this mode, you and your opponent are positioned on platforms across from each other, and your goal is to drive exploding golf balls accurately to collapse your opponent's platform before he takes out yours. It is some chaotic fun.
In the comparatively vanilla modes, the game is typical of PGA Tour games of the time with two major exceptions. One is the analog swing which was first introduced here and later becomes the standard control method for the PGA Tour franchise. While it does make the gameplay easier to grasp and faster (I can finish 18 holes in 15 minutes), the N64 analog stick is too sensitive, leading to plenty of unintentional slices. The second are the power-ups. Good play earns special balls that can be used in lieu of the regular ball on any shot to do things like gain extra distance, skip across water hazards, and stop the ball from bouncing. However, I hardly ever had a reason to use them in single-player, though they can provide an edge in multiplayer.
The visuals are decent but nothing special. The draw distance is limited in typical N64 fashion, and the 2D graphics used for the special shots are so graphically disconnected from the rest of the game, they might as well have been stamped onto the screen. The one tune that plays through the whole game would drive you insane unless you turn it off.
However, the worst thing about CyberTiger is the physics. Say what you will about the goofiness of Hot Shots Golf, it still acted like a legitimate golf game should. The best example I can use was a case in which I accidentally sliced into a bunker. First, the ball bounced. While in the sand trap. I don't care how cartoony the game was supposed to be, when a golf ball hits a sand trap, it's supposed to stop dead. Likewise, I was able to shoot at full distance out of the bunker which is also impossible. Hell, even Ninja Golf got that right! I'd also seen mile-high bounces in the deep rough. There's suspension of disbelief, and there's insulting my intelligence. Take a guess which one this is.
CyberTiger is a game that tries to be both goofy and realistic and does neither that well. It is still playable, and it can be enjoyed much more than the proper Tiger Woods games on the N64. However, only get this one if you had played Mario Golf to death! Mario Golf is the best N64 golf game; CyberTiger is a VERY distant second on the Leaderboard.