Golf on the Game Boy remains one of Nintendo’s most unusual, bare bones gaming experiences. However, it was missing the glaring blood red hue that it so badly needed.
Enter Golf on the Virtual Boy! Hurray! Now defunct Japanese developer T&E Soft was behind it. And it launched in 1995.
Fascinating stuff, eh? Yes, well after Golf Story recently we wanted a closer look at this slow-paced, sleepy game. Just with added communist overtones. Naturally.
Hit Balls on the Virtual Boy’s Golf Sim
Okay, we’ve covered quite a bit about golf recently. No, we don’t like or follow the sport at all. It’s just there are some interesting games out there.
Virtual Boy Golf is one of them, as it’s so weird looking.
Look at it. Look! As with our Waterworld VR review recently, we mentioned a major issue developers had with the available colour scheme.
You could have red, black, or a slightly white colour. That puts one in a considerable quandary. Do you want blood red grass, or communist red sky?
T&E Soft wisely (?) went with blood red greenery. Huzzah! As why not, eh?
Despite its utterly bizarre, immediately grating appearance… this is just a standard golf game. It’s the normal rules and everything.
The game is set on an 18-hole course and it’s your job to hit the ball and avoid hazards like water and sand traps.
The idea is to get the ball into the hole as quickly as possible. But you’re up against computer players, too, 47 of them in this instance!
The way whacking the ball works on Virtual Boy is like this:
- Players observe the wind speed and direction.
- Ahead of their turn, the player picks what they want to do. Including:
- Ball impact point.
You then get five viewing perspectives to figure out where the ball ends up. Kind of makes you yearn for the simplicity of Wii Golf, eh?
As always, the Virtual Boy’s various issues included forcing headaches on players after even short periods of play.
So with a game like golf, you can’t help but think it’d be better to just go outside and play it.
But if you were hellbent on sticking to the Virtual Boy game, then you did get one of the console’s better titles.
Nintendo Power magazine, and other publications, classed it as the most realistic sports game available… for the console.
However, other critics lambasted Golf’s bizarre 3D effects and the general limitations of the VB were more than apparent. Indeed. Look at it.
That was all back in 1995, of course, so by modern standards it’s all starting to look a bit garish.
We can’t be too scathing with all retro games, as naturally technology will advance and things just don’t age very well.
But the Virtual Boy was a poorly conceived idea and Nintendo abandoned it pretty quickly. It didn’t even sell a million units worldwide.
And you take a look at Golf and you can see why.
Imagine, of you will, jamming your face into the headset’s eye socket area and then attempting too play that, with that wishy-washy soundtrack.
Not much fun. But something of a glorious monstrosity for us to gaze at in wonder decades later.