Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach


Genre: Sports

Publisher: Bandai

Total time played: 20 minutes

Short review: One of the first playable gold simulator video games of all time.

Interesting links related to Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach

When I got my first NES it came with the Super Mario Bros. – Duck Hunt – World Class Track Meet combo.  Me and my brother played all 3 of those games for countless hours.  One weekend a few weeks after Christmas we went to stay with our Grandfather who lived in the next city over and we brought our NES with us.  Our Grandfather took us to Kids Place, which was attached to the gym he went to.  It had a basketball court, a ball pit, a huge jungle gym and pretty much anything a kid under 10 could ever want to play with.  While we played he went to Wal-mart and bought Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach.

He bought this game because he was a huge golfer and had always wanted to play Pebble Beach and also because he wanted to see what this Nintendo that me and my brother wouldn’t shut up about could do.  When we got back to his house he played for about 5 minutes and decided it wasn’t for him.  He told us we could keep the game.  So, because it was the only game besides Mario/Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet that we had we played it a lot.

We played because we had nothing better to play, not because we liked it.  I am sure at some point I was good enough to shoot near par but never any better.  After not playing video game golf since Tiger Woods on the Xbox 360 close to 10 years ago (where I spent more time making the character look like me than playing the game) and not playing real golf since I shot a 90 on 9 holes in Hilton Head on vacation in 2006 (with a 10 stroke limit per hole).

matt the golfer


Me designing a character on Tiger Woods 2006



Me hitting ball after ball into the water in Hilton Head 2006

Playing through Bandai Golf today a lot of memories came back.  I had to relearn that PW meant pitching wedge and SW is sand wedge.  I remembered that the wood clubs drive the bar farther than the irons and that no matter what direction the wind was blowing or where the ball landed on the green I was not going to impress anyone with my NES golf skills.

This is not a very deep game.  You don’t design a character, you don’t get to choose a course and there is no computer to play against.  Once you turn the game on you select 1 or 2 human players and then play the same 18 holes of golf.

Even though most people would probably say that Bandai Golf didn’t do a great job of simulating real golf I have to disagree.  I shot 113 in the game today and that is probably about what I would shoot if I played on a real golf course.  So, to me, this is a perfect game to accurately translate my real life golf skills into a video game. On top of being accurate I didn’t waste an entire afternoon getting sunburnt on a real golf course, I just wasted 20 minutes laying on the floor of my living room.

I have very nostalgic feels for this game but the memories are much fonder than the actual experience.



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