Golf is a game that infuriates me. But when the time comes, you can find me on the course on Thanksgiving morning, before the course workers or even sun has woken up yet. The early mist, the forty-degree weather, and a game that I can't possibly be good at. Why do I even try? Now the addiction reaches a new level thanks to Konami bringing ESPN FINAL ROUND GOLF 2002 to the Game Boy Advance.
FINAL ROUND GOLF may be one of the easiest golf games I've ever played. Once you get used to the layout and controls, you'll quickly learn the ropes and little details like how the ball bounces. The game features a good selection of golfers and several 18-hole courses to choose from. As you win tournaments (which are condensed to 18 holes) you advance to bigger tournaments and eventually the championship.
The game is laid out well, and it makes me feel like I could beat Tiger Woods. It's a little satisfying to actually hit a hole-in-one; FINAL ROUND GOLF probably earned an extra half a letter grade when I managed that. Of course, the difficulty level of the game pulled that grade and more. The game is incredibly easy to play (to the point of quick repetitiveness). It's almost impossible to mess up a shot. The putting game is also very simple and non-realistic.
There are multiplayer modes for the real golf fanatic. You and three of your best friends can hit the links together. While I don't find this as enjoyable as 4-player Mario Kart, it's fun nonetheless.
The game features mediocre graphics. The animation is bad, and the Mode 7 graphics are decent. The best part is the map view of the course; it's clean and colorful. But for he most part, the graphics are sub-par for seasoned veteran Konami.
The sound isn't too bad. Konami delivers all the cool golf sound effects and some Japanese-style background music. It's above average, but not really mind-blowing.
ESPN FINAL ROUND GOLF 2002 will satisfy any casual gamers' craving for golf, but hardcore players will have to wait longer to get a good golf experience on the Game Boy Advance.
Platform: Game Boy Advance
ESBR Rating: E
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
Fun Factor: B
Reviewer's Wild Card: C-