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Jack Nicklaus Online Golf (PC) Review
By: Andrew C. 7/25/98
Just another golf game?
Presentation/Graphics : 95
Graphically Jack Nicklaus Online golf is spot on. A great deal of the game is photo-realistic: the trees, sky and players are all done in this fashion, and it really sets an atmosphere of realism. The other parts of the game, grass and water, are done by computers, and blend in with the rest of the environment nicely. Players' swings are actually videos of real people taking cuts, and it works quite well in conjunction with the rest. Your player will even shake his head when he misses an easy putt! When the balls in the air, it remains visible and sharp, and rolls nicely on the ground. Everything looks great, and works well together. I wouldn't have thought they could do such a nice package with an online game, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Presentation/Audio : 90
Although I couldn't get the audio to work on Windows NT, it worked great on 95.
The audio seems to be all samples, so each sound rings true. The caddy even offers words of advice every once in a while. The ambient noises are neat too, and they make you feel like you're right out there on the course.
Interface/Options : 90
Entering through the web browser, you will be greeted with 5 options: Clubhouse, Statistics, Locker room, Course Loading, and Tournament. I wanted to get right into it, so I went straight for the clubhouse.
When I entered the clubhouse, I was able to set up a game, including all the conditions, number of players, where it was, etc. You really get almost every configurable option for a round right here. Once my game was set, it was time to pick up the clubs and start duffing.
The in-game menus are appropriate: you can change club, view, shot style and more. In multi-player, feel free to heckle one of your group, although courtesy dictates you make sure to wait until he's finished his swing.
Gameplay : 95
Hey, it's golf, right, how diverse can it get? Well, the answer is, not too much. Jack Nicklaus has the standard controls found in many golf games. Click to start the upswing, click at the peak, and click at the bottom. The aiming feature is nice though: it shows the arc as it shrinks and expands while you place where you hope your shot will end up. Because I'm no Texas golfer, I set my wind conditions pretty fair, and because of the instant familiarity with the controls, my first round wasn't too bad.
One thing I had a problem with was the ball placement on the green. I found it wasn't too helpful, and one time it actually wouldn't move for me, and was forced to miss badly. The game doesn't cheat or anything, so you should feel satisfied that the game you shot was yours when you finish the round.
Difficulty : 80
As I mentioned earlier, in the first couple games you should keep it simple. Tone down the wind and play on a nice course, and you should do all right. What you will have to watch out for are your opponents in multi-player, which is the real fun of golf anyway, isn't it?
Overall : 90
Jack Nicklaus Online golf is a lot of fun. It lets you hit the links with a couple of friends, without having too much overhead on your computer. While it is fun to play by yourself, I believe that golf games truly shine while competing against some real life counterparts. Basically, if you are any kind of golf fan, you should get this game. But if you just want to try out a neat golf game, you can't go wrong with Jack Nicklaus Online Tour: a great, overall well-rounded package.
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