I don't know wether or not this is a conversion of the old SNK Golf game I vaguely remember in those Neo Geo select-a-game cabinets from a few years ago, but I can tell you what I do know. This is a cracking game!
SNK have crammed so much into one tiny cartridge, I don't know where to begin, there is just so much, it even puts some PlayStation golf games to shame.
Firstly there are THREE courses. Yes, THREE! Japan, USA and Germany. And they aren't 9 hole quickies either, they're full 18 hole courses. Incredible. What's even more incredible is that each hole is thought provoking and challenging. To play the courses, you are given the choice of 6 characters, all with different strength and weaknesses. Oh, and I shouldn't forget that there are 3 modes of play (Stroke, Handicap and Triple Crown) and an all-important two player link option.
Graphically the game is as good as it could possibly be. When taking shots, the little characters are animated well and the pictures that accompany special events, such as "Nice Shot!" are excellent also. The courses and their accompanying maps are clear and easy to understand. The sound in game is adequate, but the samey tunes may irritate, so you might want to play with the volume down. The battery backs up every stat you could possibly want and you can even save game between shots, essential for shorter trips. SNK have though of everything!
Gameplay wise, things are pretty standard. Select, or let the CPU, select a club, point the cross where you want the ball to go, and time your button presses with the rising gauges to get power for your shot. Putting is toe-curlingly exciting as well judged putts seem to almost take forever teetering on the edge of the hole before sinking satisfyingly.
It's all deceptively simple, and not until you are on your second or third round do you start to notice the subtlety of the controls and the differences in the characters. All three courses are challenging and require skill and patience to get even, let alone under par. The CPU opposition is stiff so don't expect to breeze through on your first attempt, cunning play will see success. On the downside, I found the wind gauge to be almost useless when judging drives. Seemingly identical wind speeds and directions can often have totally different effects on the ball, but it doesn't detract from the game too much.
All things said, this is a game that's going to take some time to beat, so it's great value for money, considering that it's almost half the price of it's home console cousins, this is outstanding value for money and a blistering game to boot. -Bradders