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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Not Ranked

Genre: Sports (Golf)

Awards: None
Nice Shirt, Jerky! Pros: Smooth Gameplay, Nice Course
Cons: Tends to Get Boring on the Back 9
You Gotta Get It There, Alice


Overview: Here you have a golf game. Plain and Simple. Its the way our 8 bit Lord and Savior intended.
No sponsors, no world famous name on the box, no caddies, no multiple courses, no career modes, no running after the ball like a damn plumber, no car crashes after your wife finds out you cheated on her with anything with holes... Nope. None of that. Just a lot of green, and supposedly a lot of mean. The name of this 7800 title always cracked me up. Though Mean 18 Ultimate Golf is a decent golf simulation, there is nothing very mean or ultimate about it. But, half of the title is correct: There are 18 holes of GOLF here.

Graphics: The biggest flaw in the graphics department is the jabroni swingin' the club. Pink shirt, light blue pants, and a face that only Louie from Scrap Yard Dog could love. Though our generic golfer looks like a loser, I would kill for this guy's swing. The golfing animation here is pretty good. Though the golfer gets a mixed score on looks, the main concern should be and is whether or not the course looks and plays like a legitimate golf course, and the good news is: "Yes!" The 18 holes are all varied in length and design. Groovy looking signs are found before the tees, giving us a little intel on the challenge that awaits. The golfer looking back and forth from ball to hole while putting is a nice touch, and kinda sounds dirty, too. Overall, the graphics of Mean 18 are very good.

Sound: Obviously, we wouldn't want thumping dance tracks while we are trying to putt in a 25 foot birdie, but again an Atari game fails to offer appropriate audio to a game. The swing has a nice "SCHHEEWOCK" sound, but other than that and the sound of the ball landing in the cup, there's not much here.

Gameplay: Another mixed bag score here. Parts of Mean 18's gameplay is superb. You click a button to start your swing back, and as it goes, a meter at the left rises. You click the button again to stop for the distance you want, and then follow through begins. You hit the button a third time to hit the ball appropriately. If you are early, the ball will hook, and if you are late, the ball will slice. Pretty cool stuff, and it works well. It's the type of thing that we've seen a million times before, BUT IT WORKS. At your disposal you have a complete set of clubs, and all of those seem to have the appropriate distances and lofts in tact. All is fine and dandy until we get to the weird putting portion of the game. Although its not terrible, putting sometimes just gets wiggy. For some strange reason on random short putts, the golfer will be standing at a 90-degree angle to the hole! You have to loop these in, which is surprisingly easy, but wacky and weird all of the same.

Originality: (This is a port of a computer game that I have never played, so I have to judge it on Originality) The guts man, the guts here are solid. But sadly, Mean 18 is just a little plain all of the way around. Nothing really makes the port stand out, and there are probably 1000 golf games that are more fun than this one because of the lack of bells and whistles in this cart.

Value: They weren't joking when they called this game Mean 18. You only have 1 course to play on, or to break it down for all the unhip kids...18 holes. After a few plays, this will probably get really boring to the casual video game golf fan. You can play with a buddy, select difficulty levels or try out swingin' from some Mean Pro tees to make the holes a little longer to up the challenge if the spirit moves. A tournament, season, money lists or even the ability to pick your guy's shirt color would have lengthened this golf game's life-span.

Overall: Since the original review back in the early aughts, this game's rarity rating has spiked. Some say getting an NTSC boxed version of this cart is harder than aquiring that turd Tank Command. Good hunting in the wild, friends, recent auctions on ebay have seen this guy go for several hundreds of dollars. And when you get it, Mean 18 Ultimate Golf feels like you just bought a stripped down car. It will get you to where you want to go, but it's not gonna get you laid. Truth be told, the mechanics of this title are very good, and we all know Atari was hit and miss in the execution department at this point in the 1980s. If you really love golf, or you enjoy trying new golf video games, this game will please you with its decent graphics, smooth gameplay and it's singular nifty course. But sadly, if you are a Tiger Woods generation golf fan, the lack of rock-n-roll will bore you to tears.



Other Reviews:
The Video Game Critic: A-
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: 3.5 out of 5.0 (Good)
The Atari Times: 4 out of 10





Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman at www,Atari7800.org for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.