The Ryder Cup competition, played between Europe and the USA, is one of the few golf tournaments to interest many non-golfers, as our boys do battle with the Yanks for one of the most prestigious trophies the sport can offer.
True to the original, Ocean's game puts the player in charge of the 12 best professionals from either side of the Atlantic, playing over a grueling three-day schedule in which five rounds of golf and the elusive 14.5 points winning total will stretch most people's nerves to the knuckle-
Choosing to play either as USA or Europe, and in the shoes of up to four golfers at any one time, the player's skill with a driver and a spot of deft team selection could be the difference between finishing as the grinning Tony Jacklin, or the crushed and bitterly disappointed Bernard Gallagher.
Microprose Golf is the touchstone for simulation excellence, and Ocean's attempt comes nowhere near it. In the Microprose game, contoured fairways, realistic ball flight, challenging gameplay and an attention to realism in wind effects, lie of the ball and other areas more than make up for ordinary graphics and poor sound.
On the graphically-
The Ryder Cup was first officially placed in 1927 at Worcester, Massachusetts, when Ted Ray's British team went down 9.5 to 2.5 points at the hands of the great Walter Hagen. Twelve months earlier, the unofficial precursor to the cup competition had seen the British destroy the Americans at Wentworth.
Abe Mitchell, the captain of that first unofficial team, was shortly to be immortalised as the figure you can see on the top of the trophy, donated by British businessman Samuel Ryder, which the teams have competed for ever since.
Great Britain's first official Ryder Cup win came two years later at the Moortown course, and every two years since then, war permitting, the cup has provided one of golf's most enthralling competitions.
Despite a British win in 1957 and a draw in 1969, the Americans dominated the Ryder Cup until 1979, when the beleaguered British enlisted the help of the continent to form a European team for the first time.
Matches became closer and closer until, in 1985, Tony Jacklin's team finally won the cup back when Sam Torrance sunk his memorable putt and prompted a flood of joyful tears from all present.
The resent resurgence of European golfing strength, thanks to players such as Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Berhand Langer, has made the Ryder Cup one of the most popular sporting events of all, and millions of viewers tune in every two years to watch what has become a string of incredibly close-
Ryder Cup's most damaging weakness has to be the poor quality of the simulation itself. The flight of the ball is nothing like a real golf ball, and the avid real world golfer will be disappointed.
In addition, the hole previews do not offer a yardage gauge, making it almost impossible to decide whether to lay up before a stream or attempt to clear it with a good drive.
Ocean's wouldn't be spoiling the player by offering some sort of yardage indicator, as all pros these days have almost Ordinance Survey-
Three different methods are available for actually taking a shot, ranging from the easy-
This is fairly easy, so the player can elect to introduce wobble to make stopping the sight at the correct spot a lot harder. The third method is the chip/
On the whole, Ryder Cup Golf never really feels like Golf. The poor ball flight mechanics, a nagging suspicion that those fairways are actually completely flat, and the seeming lack of effect of the wind on the ball rob an otherwise neat play system of realism.45%
Reasonable but sparse more or less sums it up as far as sound goes. The sampled cheers from the crowd when a hole is won are suitably rewarding, but they begin very clumsily without any fade-in and end almost as abruptly.
The odd tweeting bird, splashes when your ball lands in water, and a great sample of the ball landing in the cup when a putt goes down are the only spot effects except for the awful white noise used to indicate that you've hit a tree.55%
Ocean have made full use of the A1200's 256-colour mode to make Ryder Cup Golf easily the best looking golf game on the Amiga. The game's four courses (which include the Belfry and the Village, Ohio) are beautifully drawn, from the trees to the shaded fairways.
By stacking the various graphics in layers, a certain amount of parallax effect is achieved, and the most distant objects are faded into the sky to give the appearance of depth. Static screens are every bit as good, particularly those which are accessed during play, and the attention to detail is gratifyingly high.
There are a few bad points, though, and a few extra touches here and there wouldn't have been out of place. As in most golf games, for instance, the golfer sprite, his swing action, and the club he is apparently holding remain unchanged whether he's betting out a 300-yard drive or attempting a tricky wedge shot, and the shading could benefit from more attention.
Polygons aren't used on fairways or greens, so the shading is the player's only way of guessing the lie of the lad, and as this is often a little too subtle, it can be very difficult to judge which way the ball will bounce or roll. A grid can be superimposed on the greens, but iron shots are unaided by any such technique.
Overall, though, there can be a few gripes over graphics, which are definitely the game's strength.80%
Ocean have produced a golf game which refuses to be categorised in the normal way. In terms of simulation, the game is badly flawed, but the variety of shots on offer gives Ryder Cup Golf a flexibility in gameplay which many will find attractive.
Probably the game's best element is that it is a team event, and it is here that the drama of the Ryder Cup is at least partly reconstructed in pixel form.
Choosing from the last European or USA team (you can play on either side), the player has the job of selecting who plays who and in what order, making the role of captain one of the most important.
There's no point in putting your best players against the other side's weakest in the hope of quick points, because your own weakest players will take a real trouncing when their turn comes up, and as each player performs in a similar fashion to his real world counterpart, the golfing fans among us will have a much easier time of it.
As the three-day event unfolded, I found myself skipping from match to match in an attempt to bolster flagging rounds. Faldo and Woosnam can usually be left to their own devices, but some of the other players, if left under computer control, will be less predictable, and the game aids team play immensely by enabling the player to change the golfers he has under his control at the end of each hole.
This makes it possible to stay on your favourite hole and play each match as it comes through, and I managed to win four in a row doing just that. On the other hand, the warm glove at winning a hole can quickly dissipate when the score board comes up showing that the other matches are losing ground.
The extra challenge of team play in an intensive three-day tournament lifts what is otherwise a very average game with good graphics, and has the golfing simulation been better, Ryder Cup might have been a very good game indeed.