Neo Turf Masters is a golf game for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. While not as good as Mario Golf, this little cart has some fun and intuitive golf gameplay in it.
Gameplay & Control The modes offered in Neo Turf Masters (NTM) are what you would normally find in a portable golf game. In One Player you can choose from Stroke Play, Handicap and Triple Crown. Stroke Play is your regular exhibition round where you choose a character and a course. The game keeps track of your best score and saves it in Stats so you can view it later. Handicap is where you choose a character but the course is chosen for you as well as what your handicap is. Finally, Triple Crown is the tournament mode where you play all three courses and try to be number one at the end, winning the tournament.
During a match, the screen is broken up like so: small, over head view of the hole on the right, ball rest and wind (if any) speed on the top, club with yardage and feet position on the bottom, and your power meter on the right. Before moving forward to view your character on the course, you can use the analog stick to choose your club. Once you press the A button initially you see your character and you can change the position and direction you shoot by using the analog stick once again. The power meter works a little differently than other golf games. The taller gauge is used to measure how much power you want to use. Simply press the A button to your desired amount of power. The second, smaller gauge is for length and height. Pressing the A button and stopping the bar on the line gives you an equal amount of length and height. Above the bar gives you more length while below it gives you more height.
There are six golfers to choose from, each from a different country: USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Brazil and Japan. There are also three courses to choose from: Japan, USA, and Germany; one course from each country. Aside from those options and the Stats ability, you can view your collection of clubs that you gather throughout the game.
Graphics & Sound NTM is a first generation NGPC game but the graphics are very nice. The game has lots of colors including each character. The courses look nice and are detailed to show trees and grass better. The music does a nice job of trying to imitate a nice, mellow clubhouse feel to it. The sound effects of the clubs and when/if your ball hits something (like a tree) are done well and add to the true feel of playing golf.
Replay Value Aside from unlocking all the different clubs for the collection, there is two player Vs Mode Play. With this you can link two NGPC's together and go at a round of golf with a friend. What would've been nice would have been the inclusion of more characters to unlock as well as more courses. Six characters and only three courses are not nearly enough especially considering Mario Golf has more and you can create your own player.
Overall Neo Turf Masters is not as deep as Mario Golf but is still a fun portable golf game. There should have been more golfers and courses to choose from but the ones available are well balanced and nicely detailed. This is a great little golf game for the NGPC and a must buy for any golf or sports fan.