St. Andrews Old Course


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4


EA Sports somehow receives credit for re-inventing golf video games with their analog swing system. It's been the key piece to the Tiger Woods franchise since 2000. EA is far from innovative. This import title, St. Andrews Old Course, was the first. It's obviously a new mechanic, and the game fails pretty miserably because of it, but it's the only N64 golf title to try something so different.

standrews1n64.jpg (11799 bytes)The biggest problem here, aside from the control issues, is the single course. Granted, it's one of the best in the world, but not even the great St. Andrews can give a game depth in a menu screen. The course is represented faithfully, even with the brutal wind speeds usually howling across the fairways.

It looks great too. This is an impressive showcase for the N64, especially for an early release like this. The golfers themselves look rough, and it's obvious that's only to render the course accurately. There seems to be little (if anything) missing from any of the holes. Grandstands and buildings are accounted for.

Unfortunately, everything drops down a notch because of the swing mechanics. It's a matter of pulling back to determine strength, and pushing forward to complete the motion. It's touchy though, and hard to accurately determine power. Other times it barely seems to register anything and the ball barely makes it off the tee.

This is especially aggravating when putting. In fact, this is where the game dies out. There are two putter choices, one with a max strength of 100 feet, the other 50 feet. Trying to land an otherwise guaranteed gimmie at five feet is practically impossible. The game doesn't offer the necessary power variations because of the controls.

This will lead to far more three-putts than should be allowed. Scores will be high, and if you take on the whole course, you'll probably play worse here than you would in real life. That doesn't make for a fun experience, and the point of this being a video game is lost. Stick with Mario Golf on the N64.


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Last updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:54 AM