Title PGA European Tour (Second Review) Publisher Electronic Arts / Ocean (1994) Game Type Sport Players 1-4 HD Installable Yes (but with "key disk" copy protection - jst sorts this out) Compatibility AGA: use jst - aminet/game/patch/pgagolfhd.lha Submission Dennis Smith Profiled Reviewer Review In many respects, PGA European Tour is very much like its predecessor, PGA Tour Golf; line yourself up then use the standard golf-game three-click method to start your shot, pick your power, hit the ball accurately. Go round the course in fewer shots than anyone else and you'll pick up lots of prize money. But naturally, there's more to it than just getting an extra five courses. The game requires AGA, for a start, which should promise some extra graphical niceties - and European Tour delivers these in spades - at least, compared to PGA Tour Golf it does. The game isn't especially visually impressive, actually - though it is a good-looking golf sim in general - it's just that PGA Tour Golf was basic to say the least. Gone are the monotone fairways, replaced by some textured graphics, better drawn golfer and backdrops; at last it looks like it means business. That's not to say it's all good: the same random-ish colour map is used to apply lighter and darker patches on the courses over and over again and it is distracting until you get used to it. The fact that it's symmetrical down a vertical axis really doesn't help. Still, it's only a minor niggle. The sound hasn't changed much - though the sound effects seem worse than they did in the original. The sound of the ball dropping into the water has turned from a disheartening 'plop' to a full-bodied splash as if you've just chucked your caddy into the lake along with the ball. The powdery thump when you land in sand has been replaced with a sound more akin to someone standing on a pack of crisps. What is the world of sound effects coming to? But it is difficult to find anything seriously wrong with it. It does share the slightly-too-easy problem of the original game, and unlike PGA Tour Golf, it now lacks a 'Quit' function, which is odd. But it is easy to find all sorts of things that are seriously right with it. The graphics aren't the only things that have been improved. The control method, for a start, is greatly enhanced. No longer do you have to remember the differing functions of left and right mouse buttons only to end up accidentally taking a shot when you're not looking. Now the function of the buttons depends on the position of the pointer - you can only take a shot when the pointer is over the golfer himself - and it changes shape to show you what it's up to. The improved controls also allow the inclusion of options to fade or draw the ball on playing the shot. This is like slicing or hooking the ball but in a controlled manner, and causes the ball to curve gently to one side or another in flight - ideal for playing down curving fairways or avoiding hazards. The graphics are just as quick to update as the original, in fact the greens layout grid is much quicker, thank goodness. The fly-by previews are still there, in fact too quick on my 68060. The overhead view, as well as being much better looking, is also more functional - you can now place a cross-hair anywhere on the overhead view and read off the distance you'll have to hit your ball to get there - an excellent aid for avoiding those hazards. The game does share its predecessor's fixed playing view, though - you can't turn to face in another direction - but 99.9% of the time you don't need to go backward to get out of a sticky predicament anyway. The icing on the cake, though, is the choice of new game types. PGA Tour Golf offered you the chance to bash the ball round 18 holes in practice mode - by yourself or competing with up to three other friends or computer opponents - or play in the PGA Tournament. Both of these are strokeplay games. In PGA European Tour, you now have the additional option of playing one-on-one matchplay golf in an eight-way knockout tournament (though only two human players can compete in that one). And finally there's the cute little "Canon Shoot Out" competition, in which four players step up to play three holes selected from a course. At the end of each hole, one player is eliminated, by a sudden-death tie-breaker shot if necessary (wherein each player plays one shot from the vicinity of the green, aiming to be closest to the hole). With five new courses, a better interface, better graphics and more things to do, this is definitely the superior game - though of course you'll need AGA to play it. My main gripes are that, like PGA Tour Golf, the difficulty level is set a little too low, and once again, there's only one save-game slot, but the game should bring you hours and hours of fun.