Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

The most exciting part of the game.

This is Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf, a sports game released by SNK for arcade machines and the Nintendo Entertainment System back in the year 1988. Now I didn't have an arcade machine back in the late 80s, but I did have an NES, and I did have this game.

Basically, it's a golf game. There's no fighting in it though. It's one of those dishonest titles, like the Neverending Story. Sure, it's a story, but it does have a definite ending point, which is around 102 minutes after it starts. No, it's more like if Mortal Kombat featured warriors who sat down and discussed their differences instead of resorting to violence.

Regardless of which analogy you use, you cannot use a golf club in this game to beat somebody's head in. I've tried, and believe me, it doesn't work. So, points lost there.

So, you may be asking yourself, just who is Lee Trevino? If you're not asking who Lee Trevino is, then you're on the wrong website and you should probably go look up the LPGA website for masturbation material. If you're a normal person and have absolutely no idea who he is, Lee Trevino is a golf pro who's been playing for decades. If you've ever watched the film Happy Gilmore, you've seen Trevino in a cameo role. Lee looks like this:

This is Lee Trevino.

Lee is not to be confused with late actor Julian Beck who played the role of Kane in Poltergeist II: The Other Side:

This is not Lee Trevino.

Ok, just so we're clear: Lee Trevino did not terrorize the Freeling family, kidnap Carol Anne Freeling or turn Craig T. Nelson's Mezcal worm into a gigantic demonic entity. Well, I'm not entirely clear on that last point. He might have tried to kill Craig T. Nelson with a evil-infused insect larva, but he certainly didn't haunt a family from California.

Try not to catch syphillus from any of these people.

Ok, so starting up the game is pretty elementary. You have your choice of play styles, choice of players and choice of golf course: USA or Japan. I guess the people at SNK only knew about one golf course in all of Japan and figured that the United States only had one of their own too.

As for characters, you can choose four: Pretty Amy, Big Jumbo, Super Mex and Miracle Chosuke. Aside from sounding like porn actors, they each have their own distinctive sprites and play style.

Pretty Amy is the token woman golfer, and at the risk of making a woman golfer joke: she's a bit slow and weak. Seriously: her swing isn't powerful, but her swing meter is the slowest, making her the easiest to control.

Big Jumbo, apart from having probably the greatest porn name of all time, is the strongest. He really grips his club powerfully and lets swing. The problem is, he's the fastest.

Super Mex is Lee Trevino with a stupid name. The only place he's even referred to as Super Mex is on the character selection screen. Everywhere else, it's Trevino. He's pretty balanced between power and control.

Last is Miracle Chosuke, the token Japanese character. SNK must have decided that for a Japanese video game about a favorite Japanese past-time, they might as well have one Japanese character. Miracle looks like Jumbo, right down to the character animations and palette-swapped sprite, but plays like Trevino. The best of both worlds.

She won't clear the tee area.

Playing this game is confusing and frightening. For the most part, the controls are unintuitive, the AI is flimsy and actions you can take are asinine and you feel like you're fighting the game for control most of the way through. And then, when you think it's all over, and the game shows you your score, you get to do another nine holes. That's just fucking scary.

So, with one button, you can set your aim, select your club and look at the hole from a number of angles. The other button lets you start swinging, wind back and connect with the ball.

The different terrain types have different physics attached to them. The fairway is easy to shoot from and the ball gets good movement. Light rough slows you down a bit. Heavy rough terrain and bunkers stop your ass cold. Your ball can bounce off trees, and you take a stroke if you shoot into water or out of bounds.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

If you can get to green, and that's a very big fucking if, you can try putting, an exercise in anger management. Instead of before where you're trying to wind up and swing, this time you're just swinging. The longer you leave the swing, the stronger it gets. This means that you can very quickly make a line-drive off of the green and into a sand trap.

The game does seem to take into account that not every player will excel in the game, and also that an NES may start to overheat after eight hours of constant usage. The solution? There is a cap on the number of strokes you can get on a hole. So, no matter how badly you suck, you will always be able to continue on to the next hole.

That's right bitches, 69 over par.

And what awaits you at the end of these 18 miserable holes of pain and suffering? Well, first you get to see a scorecard that shows you just exactly how shitty you play. Then comes the worst part...

What.  The.  Fuck.


Hole out? Is that even a real phrase?

I guess it is. It means to hit a golf ball into the hole. It still makes absolutely no sense to announce it like it's a big fucking deal once you've done it 18 times.

Now here comes the strangest part. Take a look at the box:

How the hell did Nintendo endorse this piece of shit?

There it is in big, bold, red letters: Endorsed by the US National Video Game Team.

Yeah, I didn't know that there was such a thing either. Ok, so I did a bit of digging and this is what I found: the US National Video Game Team was founded in 1983 by the owner of the Twin Galaxies arcade (better known back then for the Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard, which kept track of the highest high scores in the world).

The original USNVGT group consisted of Twin Galaxies owner Walter Day, Billy Mitchell (from The King of Kong), Steve Harris (who founded Electronic Gaming Monthly), Jay Kim, Ben Gold and Tim McVey. Here's a picture:


Yeah, these are the guys who endorsed this game. Billy Mitchell: a known douche-bag (seriously, watch The King of Kong if you don't believe me), a guy who almost shares a name with the Oklahoma City bomber and a dude with a mullet. A goddamn fucking mullet. Where there's one mullet, there's bound to be more. Are you going to trust your video game playing to a bunch of guys with mullets? Yeah, I didn't think so.

So, this bunch of mullet-heads thinks that you should play this game. You know what I think, I think this game blows.

The controls suck: I actually got stuck in a loop of continually cycling through different views of the golf course and I couldn't get out of it for two minutes. It took me five swings to figure out the technique for hitting the ball. The controls just fucking suck.

The AI is shit: The game actually tries to suggest where you should aim your shot and which club you should use to make the shot. The problem is, it knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If there's a 2 mile lake between you and the hole, the AI will say "Fuck it, I don't know if you can even hit that far, but you're going to try!"

Big fucking Jumbo: Big Jumbo is the worst possible fucking name for a character in any kind of media, anywhere, and at any point in history. They might have called him Dick Heartthrob, but then there would be a point of irony in his name and then it wouldn't have been so fucking pointless.

The title is misleading: The goddamn thing is called Fighting Golf. Just let me take my aggressions out on a caddy or Pretty Amy. All I want is a fist-fight or at least a duel with a 5 iron.

You can putt in a sand trap: Although you can choose the club you want to use to hit the ball, you can also use the putter. This is the most fucking pointless exercise ever, but if you're playing 2-players and you really want to piss the other guy off by playing very slowly, then tee off with the putter.

It's fucking golf!: It's a boring game, about a boring sport. The only way that you could get more boring and less active is if you were watching a guy playing this game. Or the guy watching the guy watching the guy playing the game. Or the guy watching the guy watching the guy watching the guy playing the game. The list goes on.

So, Mr. Trevino, how the hell did you get yourself attached to such a fucking horrible game?

Even he doesn't fucking know!
Even he doesn't know!

Fuck it. At least the music is decent.

Download the Theme Song Now! (MP3)

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