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Place the CD into your 3DO and be carried away across the Pacific ocean to the Waialae Country Club in Hawaii. Watch the beautiful ocean, blue skies, palm trees, and take an aerial view of the island all in video quality images. After setting the atmosphere while playing Hawaiian style music, the main menu is presented to you. Here you can set up your game options and start playing golf.
The first thing you should do is register yourself in the Member Data section where you can enter up to four different names for players. Once you play a game, your handicap will be calculated and used in the future. There are six games to choose from which are Waialae Open, Tournament, Stroke, Skins, Match, and Practice. The Open consists of playing against the other computer opponents (80 in total) and a total of four complete games. Each game is played with two other computer opponents and can last up to two hours or more depending on how well you play. The better you are, the faster the game goes. Tournament Play is the last game of the Open except you can choose your opponents. Stroke is a game where your handicap is taken into consideration giving you a better chance to win and the same goes for the Match Play where you count the number of holes you win. Skins is quite interesting because each hole represents a sum of money to be won. You can set the amounts for each hole between 2,000, 4,000, 20,000, and 40,000 dollars.
Once you have chosen a game, your character and your caddie, the first hole will be presented to you in full video quality images. You'll view the fairway, green, sand traps, ditches, trees, and get a bird's eye view of the whole thing. A voice description of the hole is given with excellent sound quality telling you the number of yards, hazards to watch out for, and what the pros have difficulty with. It's then time to tee off!
In the upper left corner you'll see the player's name, number of strokes, yards to the pin, wind's speed and direction. On the right is the par for the current hole. The grass is green and textured with two different colors to give a grassy look. Taller grass has a darker green compared to the fairway. The fairway is surrounded by spectators, trees, and flowers. In the distance you can see buildings, homes, roads, hillsides, and above you is a beautiful blue sky. In the bottom right corner is a close up of your ball that shows it either on the tee, in tall or short grass, or in the sand of a trap.
To tee off, you position your tee, select the direction to shoot, choose a club, and position your stance. Now you are ready to drive the ball by selecting the desired force for your swing and hitting the ball. The player's character, fully digitized, will do a complete golf swing and hit the ball. When the ball lands to its final resting position you will be informed on the number of yards it has traveled which depends on the direction of the wind, your stance, and how well you hit the ball. If you end up in the trees you may have a difficult time trying to get the ball out. Once you get on the green, comments are made about good shots such as "Good recovery", "Sweet drive", "Beautiful shot! Way to go!", and "Nice Par! Good concentration. That was a great shot." In the bottom left corner you'll see a digitized video sequence of your caddie providing you with the compliments on your shot. For putting, you'll be able to view the slope to see how you should make your putt.
During some of the games the weather may change with the sky getting darker and a few rain drops falling to the ground. This happened to me twice during my games lasting only for the current hole I was playing and didn't seem to affect game play.
The game has many different sound effects. You'll hear the crowd cheering when a great shot has been made, and birds singing in the background. Silence is respected while the players are taking their turns. Music is played between each hole during the course description. A "Tea Break" is taken in the middle of the game at the end of the ninth hole. More video scenes of the golf course are shown and interlude type music is played until you hit a button to continue the game.
There are many options in the game that can be turned on or off. They are course guide, show path, hide ball, reverse view, map, and easy shot. You can also choose the execute button and the cancel button which default as A and B respectively. During game play you can hit the C button to pull up a menu that contains advice, view the green area, options, replay the last shot, and help that will explain all the required moves in detail. The help section is quite useful if you are having difficulty with your game.
I have two points which I didn't like about this game. First, if the ball lands in the water on the left, your player ends up standing on the water to hit the ball which isn't very realistic. Second, when playing in the trees (which only happens if you aren't any good), the trees that are closest to you are made of big pixels. Other than that, the rest of the game is very well produced.
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Panasonic Deutschland GmbH,