SNK, now SNK Playmore, were well versed in many genres of gaming prior to their launching of their own console. The SNK Neo Geo was originally an arcade unit that allowed arcade owners to simply swap out cartridges, much like home consoles, and maybe just maybe swap out the marquee graphics (most just used the generic SNK graphics and only swapped cartridges). This was a boon for arcade owners as they no longer had to purchase all new hardware, or often complicated to install JAMMA boards, when purchasing new games. The only real downside to the Neo Geo was that arcade owners were stuck buying games from one source- SNK. This was not really all that big of a problem as SNK made sure to offer many different titles across many genres. Fighting, sports, brawler style fighting, racing, one on one fighting and more fighting games were all represented. Golf was one of the genres that only one or two releases (there is a Frisbee game too).
Top Player’s Golf, being the lead off greens game for the new console, carries its responsibilities quite well. The graphics are quite detailed and with the expansive amount of memory available, the sound effects, music and digitized voices are quite abundant. Since the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis (and to a lesser extent the Turbo Grafx-16) were battling in the homes of the world, the Neo Geo was pointed squarely at the arcade. Even the home unit featured games that cost more than the competing consoles themselves. Top Player’s Golf was no exception, weighing in at a hefty 60+ megs in 1990 was amazing (Sega and Nintendo didn’t get anywhere near this size till at least 3 or 4 years later).
Top Player’s Golf features sweeping shots of the course, animated golfers taking their swings and zooming effects that were better than just about any that the Super Nintendo pulled off. That is to be expected though, considering the power under the hood of the Neo Geo, and that bone crushing price tag it better be better. There are many comments and praises coming from your caddy all in digitized voice- a rarity for the time, and something SNK took full advantage of in their games. Top Player’s Golf is not unique in its over use of music and sound effects that gamers simply couldn’t find on the, cheaper, competing consoles.
Top Player’s Golf also holds the unique position of not being ported to a home console. For a period of time there, most SNK games were seeing home ports, though that was mostly the one on one fighting games.
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