Review: ACA NeoGeo: Neo Turf Masters
Posted 26 Apr 2017 at 21:09 by Sam C Gittins
Welcome to an Arcade Archives review, N-Europe’s verdict on the updated Neo Geo titles being released on the Nintendo Switch eShop on a regular basis. Written by Sam C Gittins
It can be hard deciding which titles to cover when you're not bound by any chronological order, thus with these excellent ACA NeoGeo releases it can seem daunting when you're spoilt for choice but I feel the best way is to showcase these games alternately depending on their genre; therefore this time it's the turn of what is currently the only sports simulation on the Switch, Neo Turf Masters.
So without further ado, on with the review!
System: Neo Geo
Golf... the age old game of clubbing up, teeing off and giving a small white ball a damn good thrashing! In all seriousness though, while there has been many a game based around the sport, few have come to match the high levels of presentation and detail which Neo Turf Masters accomplishes so well at a seemingly effortless pace.
Options are relatively streamlined as you have available to you a single or two player mode; single has stroke play where two-player has stroke play or match play. There is a choice of six different playable characters, four different courses to play on and four different clubs to play with, thats about it for selectable options but even though it may have limitations, the game has polished what “little” it has to the nth degree.
Fore! Well that part was easy...
Basically the way that it plays feels really solid, it uses the tried and tested putting mechanics from other golf games and adds that little “something” extra that just makes it feel overall more precise than the vast majority of games out there that simulate the sport.
The learning curve is decent and it won't be long before your putting your way through the various courses available while actually enjoying it; so many games like this before have got bogged down by extra unnecessary detail while this just eschews that which makes for a greater, well-rounded offering.
Now we're on the green about to go for the putt of a lifetime.
For me personally, it's the small details which make this digital take on the sport so appealing, all of the different courses have a distinct feeling, the visual representation is always on point so that you know when you've gone off course or hit a hazard which happened a lot when I was playing so I found this useful. All of the audio cues add to the authenticity, though it never takes itself too seriously, you can tell if you're not doing too well or if you have made a good shot which makes everything easier to get along with; that satisfying sound when you make that putt is sublime too.
Essentially this is the perfect game to play in short bursts either in single player or two-player, this fits in well with the simple nature of the Switch, plus as an added bonus you don't really need precision accuracy afforded by a proper D-pad due to the nature of Golf games, though some may still like to use the Pro Controller for comfort.
Aw what? All that effort for a Bogey! Good job I have 98 credits...
I'm also impressed with the number of options which are available in these ACA NeoGeo releases as this and other titles really have never looked better, you can even get that proper retro feel by adding in screen filters if you like, personally I just like the crisp look the game provides from the start, only needing minimal margin adjustment but it's nice to have these extra options and the additional modes so you can keep coming back to better your high-scores over time.
Overall it's hard not to recommend if your after a Golf game, yes you could get a different one if you so desire but theres really not reason not to get this; it's easy to pick up, looks lovely, sounds satisfying and above all it's fun to play in either single or two player modes. So if this is the kind of game you happen to be after then you truly can't go far wrong with this, far from being a bogey it's on par with the best.
N-Europe Final Verdict
A well realised rendition of Golf from a respectable series. Neo Turf Masters is one of those rare examples which proves that you can have an enjoyable pick up and play experience which has just enough depth to keep you interested, yet not too much which might deter those wanting a casual game of Golf.
Arcade perfect Golf
Might not last long for some