North America: 2000
VGA Box (Original Release must be tricked)
Unknown to me until RDC’s release (thanks guys btw), Tee Off is an English localized port by Acclaim Entertainment of a Japanese release on a golf game known as “Golf Shiyouyo” by developer Bottom Up. The gameplay provided here is low on sim but establishes fun and easy to grasp game mechanics that can appeal to players of all ages as well as fans and non fans of the sport alike. Game modes available for play revolve around a “World Tour” mode which is the games single player quest mode to attempt at becoming the world’s greatest golfer, a “Free Round” encompassing both “Point Tourney” and “Stroke” rules of play. Rounding out available game modes are “Match play” and “G-ball”, the latter being a pretty addicting croquet style game. The game provides 11 golf personalities to choose from, each with their own attributes providing a diverse cast to the sport. Less then half are available from the get go while the rest of the cast must be unlocked.
Since golf tournaments are held in all corners of the globe, each region lays claim to the “Best Golfer” title. However, there has never been a unification of golf organizations with the goal of discovering a Master Golfer… until now.
And the plot thickens!
Considering the games production originally hails from Nihon-koku, the game presentation is very light hearted and charismatic. From the games mushy but catchy intro sequence right down to the cast of characters themselves interpreted in a cutesy anime chibi like design. The games visuals may or may not cater to players depending on their taste. All in all though, while the games visuals aren't that impressive, it’s more than adequate and nicely done for what they are.
The game's audio would be near perfect but unfortunately misses its mark as a result of the English localization. The game's music is excellent, with some very catchy tunes heard regardless of what country you golf in. I found the music very uplifting and beneficial to the stale sport of golf. The minuses in this category come from the English dub which is SO stale and lifeless as well as sounding way too loud (be prepared to lower the “voice volume” on the game option mode to avoid teeth grinding).
Tee Off was a welcoming surprise, especially to this old Dreamcast junkie who is always under the impression that just about all the best games on the library have already been experienced. If you crave some Dreamcast 4 player fun in a sport outside of some Virtua Tennis, give Tee Off a shot. It may just be right up your alley.