Maybe upon seeing the name of this game you would think that it involves any number of things. Perhaps you indulge your imagination and think it could be a game where you have to skin as many members of the Irem clan before your times runs out? Perhaps you think that it could be some new game engine where you battle against the famous Rapper ‘Irem’ in a war of who can give the best Handshake or (like me) you actually own this game and can see the box art which clearly depicts a golfer?
Lets get into the heart of things. Golf games before the 32 bit era are not the greatest, there are the odd titles that stand out like Golf’ on the NES or Chip Shot Super Pro Golf on the Intellivision but these are few and far between. There are dozens of golf titles on the SNES the main offender being Electronic arts with their PGA series which many of you will have played at least one of and many of you will remember it leaving a disappointing taste in your mouth. Its not uncommon for people to say “the better gaming technology gets, the better the games are.” and while we can debate all day and night on whether this is true or not. It makes sense that this would be true with golf games because you need thousands of lines of code for the ball physics alone then when you start to get into what golf has over other sports (mainly the stunning vista’s) you can understand why a powerful graphics chip set will benefit any video game based on the sport. so , let me invite you to cast away your dispersions while we delve as deep as a SNES game will let us delve (Flashback notwithstanding) and review The Irem Skins game (known as ‘The Irem Major Title’ in Eu and Jp).
Graphics: As far as most SNES titles go, its nothing special, rather ‘OK’ looking. the animation of the golfer is not as good a the PGA series and nowhere near near the quality of Jack Nicklaus Golf’s swing animation having said that the overhead view of the entire course is stunning, pity you will be mostly skipping this sequence in order to get to the next hole.
Sound: To begin with the tracks you hear are well written and sound pretty good the only downside to this is there are all of 4 songs in the game and they get repetitive, fast.
Gameplay: This is where Irem skins shines, the physics are brilliant and fair yet still bring some challenge to the table. Picking shots, direction and tapping your swing timing is executed perfectly and this game stands head and shoulders above the other golf titles on the system. Another great feature in this game is ‘skins mode’ what this does to the game is effectively take out the tedium of golf titles if your opponent sinks his ball in less shots than you are currently on, he wins that round and you move onto the next hole and the overall winner is the person with the most money. Every now and again the game will throw in sub quests like, nearest to the pin etc. So there are extra ways of wining money if you are behind and if the hole ends in a draw the winnings roll over to the next round. It lends a bit of excitement to the normal placid game of golf and this title is all the better for it.
In closing, apart from Kirby’s dream course this is the most exciting and entertaining golf game on the SNES and of the more pure golf experiences in the system, by and large the best one out there. If you like your golf games this is a must for your collection If you want to play something multiplayer that is entertaining but not too strenuous on your bleeding thumbs I recommend it to you also. Not the greatest game on the SNES and that’s why this is mostly overlooked but still a good romp through the greens… plus it gives you the excuse to say “hole” and “oh he’s in the cabbage” a lot and that’s why I give this game 3 out of 5 stars.