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True Golf Classics: Wicked 18 Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 57%
True Golf Classics: Wicked 18
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
Anyone who has paid attention to golf games for any length of time knows the name T&E Soft. Now known as D Wonderland, T&E Soft had been developing golf games since the Famicom era (when they weren't making the horrendous Hydlide games). They did both realistic and fantasy golf games and weren't afraid to experiment, as shown by their work on True Swing Golf on the DS and Golf on the Virtual Boy. Suffice to say, they know what they're doing. That doesn't mean the results wouldn't piss me off on occasion. Consider Wicked 18.

Wicked 18 was released under their True Golf Classics banner although it really shouldn't have been. The other True Golf Classics were recreations of real courses like Pebble Beach and Waialae Country Club. Wicked 18, however, was designed to be an otherworldly fantasy course as one can tell by the floating rock sculptures. The fact that the course is composed of the blocky 16-bit polygons that StarFox made famous also adds to the alien nature. The atmosphere is almost hypnotic.

True Golf Classics: Wicked 18 (Super NES)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I say "almost hypnotic" because, once your ball had gone off a cliff and out-of-bounds for the fifth time on the first few holes, the hypnosis would break long enough to scream and throw the controller. The Japanese title is Devil's Course for a reason: it was designed to be one of the most maddening courses ever conceived. The first few holes almost made me quit out of sheer frustration. The second hole involves going up a sheer mountain! The tenth has bottomless pits all over the place! The bunkers are five feet deep! The weird thing is that apparently the developers ran out of steam at some point because, while the Front 9 would make you tear your hair out, the Back 9 are much more straight-forward. Maybe they were trying to show a little mercy. The course is interesting, taking advantage of the video game medium, but it's also so difficult I almost stopped caring.

What made Wicked 18 even more frustrating was that the mechanics were fantastic, some of the best I'd seen in 16-bit golf games. The onscreen map and compass make directing shots a breeze (even though the two second loads for camera changes do start to add up). The unique use of the three-click mechanics including a visual representation of the impact point is well-done. The caddie recommendations are often good (even if phrases repeat a bit too often). The options are standard but work (as long as you avoid the virtually impossible tournament mode). Progress can even be saved at any time which was a new thing for the time.

Wicked 18 was one of the most frustrating experiences I had with the Defunct Games Golf Club. I can't fault them for intentionally making the course extremely difficult, and at least they provided fantastic tools for getting through it unlike other outright unfair games. If you think the standard courses other games provide are too easy, Wicked 18 will work for you. As for me, I'll pass on a return to this course; I'd like to keep my hair at least a little while longer.
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