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Old 06-06-2006, 10:11 PM   #1112
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,144
Zany Golf
6/10
Sega Genesis


Zany Golf, one of the first few games from
EA to come in a paper box. It will also only
work on a launch day Genesis. Unless...


It's miniature golf combined with pool (the game, not the swimming type) combined with things that couldn't be done in the real world. Debuting on the Apple IIGS computer in 1988 and then ported to other crap machines like the Amiga, AtariST and DOS compatible PCs, Zany Golf was the mega-hit sensation of the 80's. Rather than program optimized code for the Sega Genesis version, they simply took the code from the Amiga version, made a few changes here and there and called it a day. Yup, it's a port of a port. I blame Trip Hawkins. He was always about low quality. As a result the Genesis version runs worse than an NES game would.


For whatever reason, a hamburger blocks the hole here.
It has everything except cheese. Oh wait, I see cheese.


Graphics: 3/10
Using a wimpy palette that only allows 16 colors onscreen it does indeed look like an NES game in many ways (with more resolution, of course). It also looks very dithered and grainy. It definitely looks like a game that was programmed outside of Japan in that era (re: poor quality). There isn't much animation, but what it has is done acceptably well. At least the game doesn't run in the Genesis' low resolution mode. What is kind of annoying is that the actual play area only takes up about 2/3 of the screen, making you scroll around just to see where the ball needs to go next. The rest is covered by a useless black border.


The first hole is pretty easy to get a hole-in-one on.
It's even easier to get a hole-in-two.


Sound: 3/10
Some of the musical tunes in here are nice, but it is obvious that they are sloppily implemented. It definitely sounds like a game made outside of Japan, with no use whatsoever of the PSG or PCM sound channels. The original AppleIIGS version took advantage of that machine's 15-voice music synthesizer, which supposedly no other port of the game did. I'd like to hear that version as it probably sounds kind of nice. But the Genesis version is fairly weak.


Before each hole you are kind of told what to do.
Sometimes it is a bit wrong, though. For example,
pressing 'A' repeatedly on the pinball level does
not shake the entire board like it says.


Gameplay: 6/10
At least the game is fun and somewhat addicting. Bouncing the ball off edges to get the prime angle is always fun to try and figure out. You play it like you play pool, shooting the ball from behind. This can be a bit weird at first, but you'll get used to it. There was a hole on the computer version that was removed since the Genesis didn't have a mouse at the time, and a new hole (Knockout Nightmare) was added in its place. It is the 8th hole. It sucks ASS! It is near impossible I say. You knock the ball in the hole, and it pops back out... every single time! WTF? I can't figure it out. Unfortunately you might want to overclock your Genesis because the game runs extremely slow and bogs down to about 1 frame every two seconds in the worst case. It's bad. Very choppy. I can't believe EA let this out for release like this, especially with so very little going on in the game and such a low color mode. This speaks volumes about EA's incompetent programmers. But somehow the game still remains slightly addictive. If you play it on an emulator, it runs at perfect speed for the entire game.


Speaking of the pinball level, here it is!
The slowness can actually be an advantage here.


Wrap Up:
Zany Golf is a good game to have in your collection, but at only 9 holes it may be over too quickly. Well, that is if you can get past hole #8 where one stroke can bounce around for over 15 minutes.
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