NES Open Tournament Golf Review


It’s time to look at a classic NES golf game. Golf is one of those games that is hard to make all that fun even in modern titles. The only one where I could say I really felt pumped up was the Mario Golf game for Gamecube and even then it got stomped by the other Mario sports. Needless to say I wasn’t a huge fan of this one either. I do see that some decent effort was put in here but it still wouldn’t be able to keep me in there once I’m done with a tournament.

When you boot the game up you’re given a screen with Mario and Peach getting ready to be crushed by Luigi and Daisy. I assume it’s Daisy at least but admittedly she looks quite different here. After that you see the various game modes. To this title’s credit, there are actually a few different modes when a lot of these games would just have one back in the day. You can jump into a tournament, free play, or a single player run through of all the holes. Naturally I went for that one, I wasn’t about to have to watch the computers throw me around when I was just starting right?

The controls are not too crazy once you get the hang of it. You move the stick in the direction you want to hit the ball too. Once you do that then you tap the a button twice when you’ve got it in the right part of the moving bar. From there you just try to angle your hits and select the appropriate power so that you get the ball to the flag in as few hits as possible. This is one of the few games where you actually want to have the lowest score possible. The higher score you have the worse you played the game. You definitely don’t want to see a +9 as that is about as bad as you can be.

The graphics here are pretty fun. Not surprisingly since Nintendo was really the ones behind this game it looks a lot better than most of the other NES titles. When they throw Mario in it seems like Nintendo really tries to give the game an extra shine to it. The soundtrack is also very peaceful. You feel like you’re ready for action and to have a good time. That’s the ultimate goal of the games right?

There’s a reasonable amount of replay value here since there are a lot of different stages. You will probably need to also replay the stages quite a bit to really get good and to hit your rhythm. It’s not something that will happen overnight after all. I averaged around a +6 for each hole so I got a ways to go. Ideally you want to be around a -1 or -2 for them to really secure the win. The toughest part about golf for me has always been all the different variables. You have to account for the wind and you have a ton of different clubs to hit the ball with and they all have their own range. What this means is basically no matter what you’re going to have to do a lot of memorizing to know what you want to do. Mario Golf handled this well with giving you a preview of how the shot would go while this one plays it a little more on the level. You just need to know the yards left to go and plan accordingly.

This is definitely a tough game so you can expect a good challenge. Of course with the rewind feature you have backup to an extent but either way this is not a game that you can expect to beat very easily. It’ll take some time and you’ll have to see if the game is fun enough to spend that time. At the very least I am glad that Daisy got into the picture a lot earlier than I would have expected. I’m not sure if you can play as her, but I certainly hope so.

Overall, NES Open Tournament is definitely a game you don’t want to miss if you reeeeeeally like Golf. Otherwise I’d say you should just bypass this one. There are a ton of other quality NES games to enjoy on the service so there’s no need to stick with one for very long if it doesn’t hit it out of the park for you. I don’t think there’s a whole lot more they could have done with the concept here so I’ll give them props for the attempt. That being said, Golf just needs something to give the games a little more pop in their steps.

Overall 4/10

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 Review


It’s time to look at a golf game that I’ve owned for a very long time. Golf is easily my least favorite sport at least from all of the mainstream ones. It’s just never really peaked my interest whether it be playing the game, watching on TV, or playing it through video game form. Still, it was only around a dollar so what’s the harm in giving it a whirl right? I’ll give the game this, it’s a fairly peaceful title. I could see this being enjoyed in the same way as something like Journey where you just admire the surroundings. Ultimately I wouldn’t be playing it for very long though.

So there are a few modes here like usual. You can jump into the practice, tournaments, or a quick game. Well, it’s not all that quick, but it’s a standard match. In Golf a standard match takes 18 holes and you tally up the score at the end. You want to have as low a score as possible since the higher it is, the more turns it took you to clear each hole. You start off a long way away from the golf ball and the idea is to get it in the hole in as few turns as possible. It’s a simple objective, but it does take a whole lot of skill to get to that point. You’ve got multiple clubs which each have a different use to them. You’ll have to get used to how much power each swing should have behind it or you’ll constantly be hitting to the wrong spots.

You can alter the trajectory once you have launched the ball and even apply a back spin once it lands. At that point you have so many things to worry about that you will need a lot of practice to get it right. Then depending on where you are with the ball you have obstacles that will cause you to recalculate eveyrthing once more. If you’re stuck in a ditch for example then the ball won’t really want to travel very far so you’ll have to overcompensate by hitting it extra hard. Sometimes it’s worth just doing a small pop up to get it out and then going for the real strike.

After each hit you get nice little cinematics where your player will shake his head or celebrate a bit depending on what you just did. No worries, these little scenes are entirely optional, but I think it’s a pretty nice effect. It makes the game feel a little more cinematic for sure. It’s the kind of thing that’ll be fun if you’re playing multiplayer since everyone can banter and chuckle it up for a while between plays. The 18 holes took me around 30-40 minutes to play so ultimately it felt a little longer than most of the other sports. It really depends on how quickly you can get the ball in the holes though.

As expected the graphics are really good. This is especially important for a sport game like Golf because the greenery should look amazing. I enjoyed just taking in the sights between plays. Even when losing you don’t feel all that bad in Golf. This is because the game is just so peaceful and it works out quite well. I haven’t played a game this peaceful in quite a while. Meanwhile I can’t recall a soundtrack. Just enjoy the sounds of nature instead and become one with the game.

There’s a lot of replay value here of course since you can keep playing golf games at your leisure. There isn’t any kind of story mode here so there doesn’t ever have to be an ending to the game. Just keep going ahead full speed and you’ll be quite fine. As always you will just have to decide if you want to keep playing this game because while the price is great, you could get a newer golf title for almost the same value. It’s just something that you may want to consider is all I’m saying.

So in my normal match I had a score of around 36-39. I know that’s a pretty bad score, but surprisingly the game didn’t show me the score of anyone else so it’s hard to say just how bad it was. Who knows, maybe I still would have made top 5 or something. I think it would be nice to have computers playing against me there. Most games have them in every mode, but here it looks like I would have needed to enter tournament mode or season mode. Perhaps I’ll try a match for that in the next Golf game I play, but if not I’ll still do my best to sink all my shots. Then I can feel more confident in my golfing abilities.

Overall, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 isn’t really for me. I’d have some fun messing around here as I enjoy the view, but I wouldn’t really be playing the game the way it was intended. Perhaps as I play I would gain a lot of skills and gradually get to the point where I would be playing Golf again. More likely though I would just be along for the ride. It would be incredibly difficult for any golf game to really suck me in to be honest. It would have to start messing with the rules and naturally I don’t think that would be a really good thing for actual Golf fans.

Overall 5/10

The Greatest Game Ever Played


It’s time to look at a film based on a true story. This one is about The Greatest Game Ever Played, at least in Golf. If we’re talking ever, then it’s probably one of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys Championship games. I can see why this game is well known though as it was one of the first times an amateur was able to take on a professional in a game that went into overtime. It was definitely a very impressive showing. The film is also pretty good about not adding in too much drama and stuff once the Golf starts. It does seem to add in a bit of padding to the first half though which is the part that doesn’t work too well.

Basically Francis has always wanted to be a golfer. Unfortunately his father doesn’t like this option as it’s extremely risky and Francis may not make any money. He would then have a later start on life and that could ruin everything. Francis is okay with putting it all on the line though and after losing his first few golf games he gets ready for the US Open. It’s time to win the biggest tournament of his life, but is Francis really ready for such a feat? He will have to defeat the reigning champ from Europe as well as his counterpart from the U.S., and every other Golf player worth their salt. It won’t be easy, but Francis knows that ultimately you just have to play your own game of Golf and the rest will just sink in.

The golf visuals are pretty nice. The film does its best to make the actual golf look really exciting with how fast the balls move and everyone’s reactions the whole time. There are a bunch of cutaways and dramatic camera angles to sink it in. Some top players are able to erase the surroundings as if they held the Infinity Gauntlet and this lets them really focus. The ball makes uncanny turns to dodge obstacles and even picks up speed when it should have stopped. It may not be the most realistic game of golf out there, but it certainly makes the game more appealing.

The film didn’t always make Francis look great though. He did give his father his word that if he lost he wouldn’t pursue the game anymore and ultimately breaks that promise. He shouldn’t have agreed to such a thing in the first place even if he was under duress at the time. He was a kid at the time so I suppose I can’t be too hard on him. He does get distracted and knocked off of his game rather easily though. His partner has to constantly remind him to tune everyone out, but Francis still loses many shots as a direct result of this.

As I mentioned earlier, the first half of the film before the tournament doesn’t hold up quite as well. They try to give the older Europe champion a bit of a backstory. It’s never properly delved into, but you can get the gist of it from the images. It just feels a little forced into the story since it ultimately isn’t too relevant. Francis’ drama at the beginning also isn’t quite as interesting as the actual golf. I don’t know how much of this all happened in the real life accounts, but I suppose if it was all there then of course they would have to add it in.

I can’t say much about the ending since it’s all based on true events, but either way I thought it was handled pretty well. All in all there really wasn’t anything bad to say about the movie. At most you might not be thrilled to see just how bad and snobbish the people of England look the whole time. No one from the nobility looks even slightly good and they all just don’t seem to like the people from Jersey. It makes it very easy to root for the Americans. The American top player is a really loud guy who has a chip on his shoulder so he constantly yells at everybody. You still want to root for him over the others since at least he’s fighting for everyone. The others just want the rich to win so they can rub it in everyone’s face.

Overall, The Greatest Game Ever Played is definitely a classy film. The golf games are also the best that I’ve seen as I haven’t watched any other Golf movie at the moment. The writing is pretty solid and even the romance was handled rather well as it doesn’t eat up a ton of screen time or accelerate past realism. The characters just talked a bit and then left to their separate ways never to see each other again. It was a happy ending for all of the characters and aside from the rich nobility who were humiliated, the top players were just happy to have had a good game. At the end of the day that’s what you want. If you’re interested in this story then I definitely recommend checking it out. It’ll help you appreciate why we all take Golf so seriously.