Golfyssey 26 — The 19th hole


This Golfyssey has taught me several things.  Among them, that reviewing video games is actually work.  So hats off to those folks who do this for a living.  Unless you’re one of those presstitutes being paid by the big gaming sites who automatically gives glowing reviews for every new shiny turd that EA shits out of its radioactive ass, in which case please quit your job and find honest work.

Another thing I’ve learned is what my favourite golf video games really are, now that I’ve played a bunch that I’ve never played before.  I found some real gems, but about twice as many stinkers as I worked my way console by console through the years.  I mentioned a nebulous “top ten” that I had in mind.  I could only find nine games that I consider to be really outstanding, and I’ll talk more about this list tomorrow, because it is surely of vital interest to humanity that everyone knows just which golf video games I consider to be most fun out of the ones I’ve tried.

The most important lesson is of course that I am unabashedly a nerd.  But I knew this already.  So this is just more in the way of confirmation.

Right now, I’m playing through one full round each in those nine outstanding games, and I’m having a blast.  So for this post, I’d like to just talk about the consoles that I didn’t talk about.

First-generation video game consoles (1972—1980)

  •     APF TV Fun
  •     Color TV Game
  •     Coleco Telstar
  •     Magnavox Odyssey
  •     Pong
  •     Video Pinball

Oh, come on!  These are far too low tech to play golf with.  I might as well use sticks and a rock!

Second-generation video game consoles (1976—1986)

  •     APF-MP1000
  •     Arcadia 2001
  •     Bally Astrocade
  •     ColecoVision
  •     Fairchild Channel F
  •     Interton VC 4000/1292 Advanced Programmable Video System
  •     RCA Studio II
  •     Vectrex
  •     Super Vision 8000
  •     VTech CreatiVision

Man, am I glad there were no golf games for the Arcadia 2001.  If ever there were a console that deserved derision, it was that one.  The Fairchild Channel F didn’t fare much better.  It sounds worse than the Atari 2600, if you can believe it.  The ColecoVision would have been nice to play a golf game for however, as it’s games can be pretty fun.  I’m surprised no one ever put out a golf game for the Vectrex either.  I’ve never even heard of those other consoles, so Wikipedia might be making them up.

Third-generation video game consoles (1983—1987)

  •     Action Max
  •     Amstrad GX4000
  •     Atari XE Games System
  •     Casio PV-1000
  •     Commodore 64 Games System

I think most of the ones I missed from this generation were based on home computers of the time.

Fourth-generation video game consoles (1987—1995)

  •     Philips CD-i
  •     Tandy Video Information System

I’ve never heard of the Tandy one, but the Philips CD-i is hall of shame material for sure.  Again, I direct you to the Angry Video Game Nerd to fully do the topic justice.  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.  Welcome to the corporate world!  Please leave your brains at the door!

Fifth-generation video game consoles (1993—2004)

  •     3DO Interactive Multiplayer
  •     Amiga CD32
  •     Atari Jaguar
  •     FM Towns Marty
  •     Neo Geo CD
  •     LaserActive
  •     NEC PC-FX
  •     Pippin
  •     Playdia
  •     PlayStation

Where to begin?  There are some infamous fuckups in this generation.  Number one in our hearts probably being Apple’s Pippin.  It sold for $599, was less powerful than its competition, and by the time it was killed off two years later, it had only sold 42,000 units.  This might be why Apple is conspicuously absent from the home console market today.

Then there’s the 3DO.  They launched this thing for $699!  You could buy two regular consoles for that kind of money!

And then there’s the Atari Jaguar.  The Jaguar is a special kind of crappy from a special place in Hell.  This was Atari’s dying breath, and it smells of desperation.  They claimed it was the world’s first 64-bit system, but only the graphics processors were 64-bit.  Everything else was garbage and the games library attests to this.  Seriously, check out some gameplay videos on YouTube, they all look fucking terrible.  And the controller they released for the system has got to be the worst one ever designed.

The rest of the consoles on that list are some I’ve never heard of and CD addons or CD versions of previous consoles or computers.  You will notice that the venerable PlayStation is on that list.  I do have a PlayStation, but I have no golf games for it.  I thought about getting some, but then I stopped.

Sixth-generation video game consoles (1998-2013)

  •     Dreamcast
  •     GameCube
  •     PlayStation 2
  •     Xbox

I don’t own a Dreamcast or a GameCube, but I do own a PlayStation 2 and an Xbox.  No golf games for either.  Would a snowboarding game count because it’s outdoors?  Never mind.  Since you asked, my PlayStation is inside my PS2 in the form of its backward compatibility with PS1 games.

Seventh-generation video game consoles (2005—present)

  •     PlayStation 3
  •     Wii
  •     Xbox 360
  •     Zeebo

Nope, nope, nope, and what the fuck is a Zeebo?  Some day I’m going to buy a Dreamcast.  Some day.

And there’s no sense talking about the current/next generation.  You may have also noticed that I have left out any mention of arcade golf games, except for the brief excursion into the Neo Geo’s stomping grounds.  Being dirt poor as a kid, I didn’t have extra quarters to put into video game machines, so I can count the amount of times I’ve actually used an arcade machine on one hand.  I never got into arcade emulation as a consequence.  There were just no arcade memories I had to relive.  I’m sure I’m missing a big chunk of the picture when it comes to golf video games, but that’s okay with me.

Now, back to playing the awesome games I weeded out from the bad ones!