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January 4, 2002
Disney Golf - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
17/12/2003EA GamesT&E Soft1-4GEasy
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Actual in-game graphics.
It's pretty obvious that Disney Golf is well and truly aimed at a younger market. The game has cute characters, bright colorful graphics, Disney-esque music and dumbed down gameplay. But does that make this game a worthwhile purchase? Does the license get in the way of the gameplay? Read on to find out.

Disney Golf includes eight playable characters including Goofy, Minnie, and Donald Duck. Unfortunately Mickey Mouse isn't a playable character as he is used to show you around the courses and offers advice while you are playing the game with up to 4-human players. T&E Soft have included 6 game modes, including a Near Pin contest, Stroke, Match, Skins and Combination as well as a Challenge mode. This challenge mode is a combination of the different game modes such as Skins matches and Stroke matches and is really the bulk of the single player game. As expected the Challenge mode unlocks new courses and players.

One of the more interesting additions to this game is the inclusion of over 60 different power-ups which can be purchased prior to each match. These can give your player more power, remove the effect that wind has on your ball, lines up your puts and similar. More interestingly you can also use power-ups to make another players shots harder. These are essentially "power downs" and can have effects such as removing the directional line, or making their shots more difficult. It's a great addition to the game which, when playing with two or more human players adds considerable fun to the game.

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Donald Duck prepares to swing.
There are, however, some major disappointments with this title, and it affects the overall package. The first problem is the ball physics which you will quickly discover aren't very realistic with the ball not reacting realistically with the ground surfaces and almost always stopping a few inches after starting to roll on the ground, no matter the surface. Another disappointment is the aiming. At times the computer will aim your shot directly into a bunker, or worse, into a water hazard. This makes checking the expected landing zone of the ball imperative. Another slight annoyance is the low difficulty level of the game. My very first game resulted in a score of 11 under par, and that also included a triple bogey on one hole due to the above aiming error.

The final niggle is the grid overlay on the greens. Although it was sorely missed in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 it's implementation in Disney Golf isn't very good at all. The grid appears before you aim, disappears while you are moving your aim and then re-appears before the shot, but sometimes it's hard to tell how far you have actually moved. This problem is compounded by the lack of objects in the backgrounds as reference points.

Sadly, the graphics in Disney Golf are very plain to say the least. The game is filled with many bright colours and the transformation of the 2D characters to 3D models is impressive. One of the most annoying aspects of this title is the short cut-scene after every shot showing the reaction of the characters. It would be passable if they weren't limited to a couple of animations with each character. Your would also expect that title using a Disney license would fill the game with not only characters, but also themes and locations from the movies, but that isn't the case with this game. Each of the courses on offer is rather generic with little to distinguish from one course to the next. It would have been wonderful to see the jungles from Tarzan, the savennah from The Lion King, the fantasy worlds from Alice in Wonderland or the mines from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

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Landscapes are very barren.
When it comes to sound only one thing can be said about this game - annoying. Sure I'm not a Mickey Mouse fan, but my fiancee is so I hear quite a bit of the little mouse. Unfortuantely in this game he becomes annoying within a couple of minutes as he offers you advice during play. It's enough to have you searching for the volume very quickly. Other sound effects and voices in the game are average, and pretty much as you would expect from a Disney golf title. The music is generally of pretty good quality but does become very repetitive way too quickly.

Even for Disney fans this game will struggle to hold much appeal. The characters look nice enough but the courses are very bland and lack detail and personality. The ball physics are very unrealistic while it surprises me that the game doesn't include gimmes to speed up the gameplay and save silly mistakes from younger game players. Overall, a very average title that doesn't come anywhere near the quality of EA Sports' recently released Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003. Get that instead.

GRAPHICSQuite nice character models, very poor menus and course design.
SOUNDSomebody stop the voices, they suck. The music is nice, but annoying.
GAMEPLAYDon't expect anything realistic, and the game is very easy to do well.
VALUENo challege, although kids may find more challenge, little replay value.
OVERALLWhy would you bother with this title when the stunning Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 is also available? That title has better graphics, better sound, better gameplay, better value and is... well... better overall. Even mad Disney fans (such as my fiancee and several children) we had playing this title thought it was rather average.

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