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My Golf Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 57%
My Golf
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
The Atari 2600 had one of the longest lifespans in video game history. Releasing in 1977, the 2600 wasn't officially discontinued until 1992, around the same time that the 7800 got canned. Even though Nintendo and Sega were ruling the game market with an iron fist by that point, new games for the 2600 continued to trickle into stores, especially outside the U.S. In cases like that, other countries got the better deal. Just as European Sega Master System owners got to enjoy Golfamania, Aussies who hadn't given up on the VCS got to enjoy My Golf. It was the last official second-gen golf game (not counting homebrews), and it blows away the original 2600 Golf in every way.

The list of ways My Golf improves upon the earlier game is almost a mile long. Unlike the nine basic holes the original game provided, My Golf provides a full eighteen hole course. Sure, there are no bends or doglegs, rivers are just straight lines of varying widths, and the screen borders serve as the out-of-bounds area. However, everything present on a course is accounted for. Unlike the prior game which only provided one club, My Golf provides a full golf bag; switching clubs is as easy as flicking the joystick. Unlike the first game which involved holding the fire button and releasing to shoot, My Golf employs the tried-and-true three-click swing mechanics. In fact, the three-click mechanics in My Golf are smoother than in many later golf games. HES even added random wind conditions.

My Golf (Atari 2600)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Not everything is rosy with this one, though. First, like with Chip Shot on the Intellivision, drives always seem to be weaker than they should be. A 1W drive at full power with perfect accuracy should not require a second completely identical shot just to get within spitting distance of the green on a Par 4. Hitting the green in regulation is extremely difficult because of this; I only did it about 30% of the time. Second, the aiming reticule is not as precise as it needed to be which is especially problematic on the green. There were putts that were maddening due to the reticule being off by a pixel. Finally, the screen doesn't scroll. Since each hole can get up to four screens long, aiming can get very irritating. The "View" feature which lets you look down the course can only do so much.

Chip Shot may have been the best second-gen golf game in terms of features, but My Golf is the best in terms of gameplay. Unfortunately, its release in 1990 is a clear case of "too little, too late". People weaned on the NES and later would have no interest in it. All the same, I did enjoy this one more than I expected to. Fans of the 2600 may want to give it a shot. The Atari's last chance at the green jacket was a decent effort.
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