March 19, 2000

Tee Off - Review

Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating RRP
9/3/2000AcclaimBottom Up1-4G$89.95
VMU Game Difficulty Save Size Vibration 60Hz 50Hz Border
NoEasy12 BlocksYesNoMedium

Golf is one of those sports that is usually well represented on consoles, no doubt due to Japanese liking of the sport and the relatively high costs of membership to courses over there. Surprisingly, this is the first golf game to become available on the Dreamcast and looks set to be the only one for quite a while yet.

Playing Tee Off is like most other golf games. After selecting your golfer, type of ball and clubs it's onto the first tee. It is possible to select either a normal or cautious swing with the cautious swing travelling around a third the distance of a normal swing wit the same club. As with most other golf games a power bar comes up when taking the shot so you can stop the meter when it reaches the percentage power you wish to use. You also have to stop the meter on the way down for the shot accuracy. Nothing much out of the ordinary here.

Tee Off includes 5 very different golf courses to master in the game. These courses are located in Scotland, South Africa, Australia, Japan and America. Each has a different climatic feel to it with Scotland having lush green surrounds while the Australian course is set in barren brown landscapes. Unfortunately, the courses aren't based on any real ones in existence but are fairly well designed with ranging difficulties and expectations for each hole.

An added bonus the standard golf modes, which include Matchplay, Strokeplay, World Tour etc, is the inclusion of another game, called Gate Ball Mode. This is basically a futuristic game of croquet for upt to 4 players. Bottom Up have done a great job with this mini-game with just as much interest in this as the actual golf game.

Grapically, Tee Off is pretty good, while never managing to really grab your attention. The golfers have a super-deformed anime style to them, which isn't as bad as you would expect and while the courses are varied their detail levels leave something to be desired. Where are the crowds? Where are the spot graphical effects such as birds or rubbish on the ground? Surely Sega's chipset could cope with a bit more detail. Also evident is the distance at which the textures switch from high, to medium and to low detail. Tee Off does manage to retain a constant framerate and also provides a variety of camera angles to view the upcoming shot.

Unfortunately sound in Tee Off is the games weakest point. The music is cheesy at times and can become very repeatitive after a short while. The music sounds like Japanese pop and doesn't really suit a golf game too well. The sound effects in Tee Off are also few and far between with Links on the PC having better sound way back in the early 90's.

Tee Off is an enjoyable golf game which is let down slightly by an over easy control system and some average music. Fortunately the game is a lot of fun either on your own or with multiple players. With no sight of any other golf games headed to the Dreamcast for quite a while Tee Off is a solid game that will fill the void for golf fans.
Graphics Sound Gameplay Value Overall