PGA European Tour (Second Review)

Title           PGA European Tour (Second Review)
Publisher       Electronic Arts / Ocean (1994)
Game Type       Sport
Players         1-4
HD Installable  Yes (but with "key disk" copy protection - jst sorts this out)
Compatibility   AGA: use jst - aminet/game/patch/pgagolfhd.lha
Submission      Dennis Smith Profiled Reviewer

In many respects, PGA European Tour is very much like its predecessor, PGA
Tour Golf; line yourself up then use the standard golf-game three-click
method to start your shot, pick your power, hit the ball accurately. Go
round the course in fewer shots than anyone else and you'll pick up lots of
prize money.

But naturally, there's more to it than just getting an extra five courses.
The game requires AGA, for a start, which should promise some extra
graphical niceties - and European Tour delivers these in spades - at least,
compared to PGA Tour Golf it does. The game isn't especially visually
impressive, actually - though it is a good-looking golf sim in general -
it's just that PGA Tour Golf was basic to say the least. Gone are the
monotone fairways, replaced by some textured graphics, better drawn
golfer and backdrops; at last it looks like it means business. That's not
to say it's all good: the same random-ish colour map is used to apply
lighter and darker patches on the courses over and over again and it is
distracting until you get used to it. The fact that it's symmetrical down a
vertical axis really doesn't help. Still, it's only a minor niggle.

The sound hasn't changed much - though the sound effects seem worse than
they did in the original. The sound of the ball dropping into the water has
turned from a disheartening 'plop' to a full-bodied splash as if you've
just chucked your caddy into the lake along with the ball. The powdery
thump when you land in sand has been replaced with a sound more akin to
someone standing on a pack of crisps. What is the world of sound effects
coming to?

But it is difficult to find anything seriously wrong with it. It does share
the slightly-too-easy problem of the original game, and unlike PGA Tour
Golf, it now lacks a 'Quit' function, which is odd. But it is easy to find
all sorts of things that are seriously right with it. The graphics aren't
the only things that have been improved. The control method, for a start, is
greatly enhanced. No longer do you have to remember the differing functions
of left and right mouse buttons only to end up accidentally taking a shot
when you're not looking. Now the function of the buttons depends on the
position of the pointer - you can only take a shot when the pointer is over
the golfer himself - and it changes shape to show you what it's up to. The
improved controls also allow the inclusion of options to fade or draw the
ball on playing the shot. This is like slicing or hooking the ball but in a
controlled manner, and causes the ball to curve gently to one side or
another in flight - ideal for playing down curving fairways or avoiding

The graphics are just as quick to update as the original, in fact the
greens layout grid is much quicker, thank goodness. The fly-by previews are
still there, in fact too quick on my 68060. The overhead view, as well as
being much better looking, is also more functional - you can now place a
cross-hair anywhere on the overhead view and read off the distance you'll
have to hit your ball to get there - an excellent aid for avoiding those
hazards. The game does share its predecessor's fixed playing view, though -
you can't turn to face in another direction - but 99.9% of the time you
don't need to go backward to get out of a sticky predicament anyway.

The icing on the cake, though, is the choice of new game types. PGA Tour
Golf offered you the chance to bash the ball round 18 holes in practice
mode - by yourself or competing with up to three other friends or computer
opponents - or play in the PGA Tournament. Both of these are strokeplay
games. In PGA European Tour, you now have the additional option of playing
one-on-one matchplay golf in an eight-way knockout tournament (though only
two human players can compete in that one). And finally there's the cute
little "Canon Shoot Out" competition, in which four players step up to play
three holes selected from a course. At the end of each hole, one player is
eliminated, by a sudden-death tie-breaker shot if necessary (wherein each
player plays one shot from the vicinity of the green, aiming to be closest
to the hole).

With five new courses, a better interface, better graphics and more things to
do, this is definitely the superior game - though of course you'll need AGA
to play it. My main gripes are that, like PGA Tour Golf, the difficulty level
is set a little too low, and once again, there's only one save-game slot, but
the game should bring you hours and hours of fun.

Category list.

Alphabetical list.