Review by KeyBlade999

Reviewed: 06/13/12

Repetitive and monotonous gameplay is the main problem here.

~ Review in Short ~
Gameplay: Simplistic and montonous. You get to choose your exact power, angle, etc., so it is not challenging whatsoever. It is golf, though.
Story: There is not any storyline.
Graphics: Fairly nice birds-eye view of the holes. That's what you'll primarily see.
Sound and Music: Some weird techno music in the background. You rarely hear anything you'd normally hear in golf (hitting the ball, etc.).
Play Time: One tournament will take about two or three hours.
Replayability: Low, as the holes are in a specific order.
Recommendation: Only hardcore golfers should even think about getting this.

~ Review in Long ~

Ultra Golf is another one of your typical handheld sports games that you often will see on any console. Some of these games are unusually exceptional, despite even effectively rehashing the old stuff. And, of course, the rest are not as good. Many games like that tend to fall in bargain bins at discount stores.

Ultra Golf, given its age alone, probably is in there, too. Is it as "Ultra" as it claims?

GAME HISTORY:
By my knowledge, Ultra Golf is not any form of series, like many sports games. It was developed by the company Ultra in 1992.

Well, you know now why it is called Ultra Golf.

GAMEPLAY: 5/10.
Playing the Game:
We'll begin by covering how each hole will proceed.

First, you'll be able to look at the terrain nearby and various stats about the hole. Next, you'll be able to confirm the trajectory of your shot. After that, you select the club you'll want to use and the position of your feet. You'll then be able to stop a dot moving around a circle to determine your shot's power. Afterwards, you'll watch the golfer swing. You'll press the A Button as the club comes down to determine how the ball is hit, and whether topspin or backspin are applied.

Then the ball will go flying (hopefully). You'll repeat as you head to the green, which is the area surrounding the hole. When there, you'll have to putt the ball into the hole. It is the same as hitting the ball from a larger distance, but you only use a power gauge and set your trajectory; there's nothing with footing or anything. The hole ends when the ball gets into the hole.

Scoring on a Hole:
Of course, a sport is nothing without scoring, right? Each hole you play on has a set "par" based on the initial distance to the hole. This "par" is how many strokes it should take the average golfer to get the ball into the hole.

If you take more strokes than the par, that is bad and you'll progressively get scores of +1, +2, +3, and so on. That, again, is bad. You'll want to have as low a score as possible. If you make it into the hole on your par stroke, you'll have no change in score. If you take the hole in less strokes than the par, you'll progressively get scores of -1, -2, -3, and so on. That is a good thing, and the goal of the game.

Tournament Play:
So, how does the tournament work? After all, we've covered one hole's play. Could a tournament be much better?

Nope. First, you have to qualify for the tournament. That alone is eighteen holes of golf. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology known as the GameBoy, you'll probably spend about forty-five to sixty minutes doing that. If you don't get under the course par (72), you won't be in the tournament. So that could be a lot of time wasted.

And the tournament? It's a do-your-best kind of deal where you go through a different eighteen holes. The difficulty is not exceptional in either direction; the main problem is with the intense repetition.

Are There Other Modes?:
Yes, but that doesn't make the game all too much better.

First and foremost, there is a practice mode in which you play golf on a single hole. After all, that's what practicing entails, no?

There are also two multiplayer modes; neither require a GameBoy Link Cable, an extra console, or extra game cartridge! That's probably the high point of this game. Anyways, the two game modes are Match Play and Stroke Play. In the former, you'll see, between two players, who can get a better score on more holes. Stroke Play is different in that you'll both play nine or eighteen holes and a winner is chosen based upon who has the better score at the end of those holes.

GRAPHICS: 8/10.
One of the higher points of the game, the graphics don't seem to fall down to the single-color multi-shade thing so common amongst GameBoy games. Quite often, the main thing to look at will be the hole's terrain itself. It's in a birds-eye view and doesn't change from that, sadly. You can clearly determine what is water, bunker, fairway, and off-course. The maps are nicely drawn, and the golfer clearly animated.

In short, there's not a whole lot to look at, but what's there is pretty nice.

SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC: 2/10.
The main background music you'll hear is not of a fitting mood whatsoever. Would you think some type of weird techno track you'd more likely hear in a Mario platformer would fit? I, personally, do not think so. Don't get me wrong, though - some music is better than none. It's just that the choice wasn't the best.

And sound effects? Very few, they number. You'll mostly get the beeps and bloops of selecting an option and you'll sometimes hear when the golfer swings -- which is more like him hitting dirt than a ball -- and an unrealistic whistling when the ball is flying. Not exactly good.

PLAY TIME: 4/10.
There are two problems I'll, again, address in this category. First and foremost, the intense the repetition of playing hole after hole is mind-numbing. You probably won't like this game through much more than one tournament.

And the tournament is the main focus of the game, which, if you qualify for the real thing, will take two to three hours. Multiplayer is actually moreso addressed in the previous paragraph - once you get past the boredom of the gameplay, it is actually quite decent.

REPLAYABILITY: 1.5/10.
And we get to biggest problem I have with this game.

After I played one tournament in full, I really just wanted to get rid of this game. After all, the monotony of playing just overcame any desire to play again. And I like playing golf! But you can't enjoy something with so little challenge, so little non-linearity, and so much repetitiveness like this game has in store for the one who buys it. Multiplayer provides a slight boost to this for, after all, a human provides challenge that this game cannot. But, still, multiplayer falls to the other two problems mentioned previously.

THE END. Overall score: 4.1/10.
And so, you have my opinion on this game. In concept, it was a nice idea. Once made, it got spoiled by too much repetitiveness, non-linearity, and just a complete and utter lack of challenge. I had no problem qualifying for the tournament my first time, and got first place in it with complete ease.

In short, I highly recommend that no one but the biggest hardcore golfer-gamers even think of buying this. And I'm fairly doubtful on that statement.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Product Release: Ultra Golf (US, 03/31/92)

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