Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf
SNK developed this classic striker in 1988, and that would be about the same time I discovered it.
My brother was in college during that time, and he and his college buddies were addicted to it. In fact, I don’t remember them ever playing another game.
The Masters got me thinking about this game, although ironically, Lee never won that tournament, his only Major fail. But, I put a lot of time into it back in the day, and like real golf, you find you never really master it.
LTFG is a 4-player game, with only 4 characters playable (conveinent). There’s Pretty Amy, the accurate-conscious lady in the pink skirt; Miracle Chosuke and Super Mex (Lee’s happily-embraced racist nickname), who have a good mix of accuracy and power; and my favorite, Big Jumbo, who has the pop in the club, but has a 3-click meter that runs faster, making it more difficult to hit the perfect shot.
The game is pretty simple, just 2 courses (US and Japan), 18 holes each. Nothing too intracite like today’s games; no leveling up, buying new clubs and outfits, no cash prizes. Just grab your bag and start swinging. There’s definitely something too the retro-styled golf where you can just pick up and play.
Typical Nintendo sounds ae in full effect here; an opening musical-title piece, the high-and-low tones when the ball is rising and falling, the positive reinforcement tune when you birdie, and the negitive “thud” when the ball hits the “super rough” (words that still pain me to this day).
Graphically, typical 8-bit sprites for the players, but there are multiple camera angles…a nice add for this era. There was the overhead shot of the hole, so you could play in your head how you would manuever around the bunkers and trees, as well as deciding if you could the wind to hit the far fairway (if only you could hit the perfect shot, Big Jumbo!). The common camera behind the shot would switch to in front when the ball was in descent, a very nice touch for 1988 NES.
There are also enough little touches to give this game a high replay score; the wind being a factor, and the changing slopes of the greens (arrows pointing the way home).
There may be better golf games out there for the NES, but I haven’t played one. So for now, this gets my highest recommendation for the console. With only a few flaws (4 golfers, 2 courses), you and your buddies will probably find yourself addicted…and according to guys I know, probably never buy another game.