One of the Mega Drive's most unique games has been translated
A story of hope, of friendship...and of golf.
It's always nice to report on the good work that the people of the retro community do -- especially when it's related to a game that your dear author has been hoping would get translated for years. And yet I'd dismissed the possibility because, well let's face it -- how many people are going to be interested in some old golf game? Especially one with outlandish and seemingly impenetrable RPG elements? However, a hacker by the name of the filler has proven themselves up to the tasks, meaning that now we can finally fully play the almighty Battle Golfer Yui for the Mega Drive.
Battle Golfer Yui is...well, strange. It's a golf-themed RPG after all, with a plot that stars two young girls, Yui and Ran, who are excellent at golf -- so good in fact that a thoroughly bad man by the name of Professor G kidnaps them and plans to use them as part of a golf tournament that's actually a front for his plot to take over the world -- however, Yui is freed before she can be fully brainwashed. And so, she enters the tournament in order to both defeat Professor G and save her best friend. That's barely scratching the surface of the game's story -- it takes some...well, surprising turns. Put mildly, it's way darker than you'd expect a golf-themed RPG to ever be.
The actual golfing action -- which can be played fairly easily if you're not interested in the whole RPG side of things -- is fairly typical of the era, being a top-down game where you control the power, direction, spin and all that stuff, hardly unfamiliar to those who've played Nintendo Golf, Major Title, or literally any other golf game released in the '80s. There are differences though -- you have a range of super shots at your disposal, ranging from ridiculous draws and fades, ultra-long drives, being able to skip over water and putting outrageous spin on the ball. If you've ever played the PS2-era Tiger Woods games, then it's like having a Gamebreaker available on every shot -- although these shots do have to be used wisely, and they all cost MP (yes, there's MP in a golf game). The other difference is that the holes are quite outlandish in design -- there's holes based on baseball fields, one shaped like a guitar, another that resembles a skeleton...this isn't your typical Jack Nicklaus course design, that's for sure.
Battle Golfer Yui is weird -- and not necessarily a game that gets a lot of love, seeing as you obviously need a serious understanding of Japanese to make your way through all the dialogue in the RPG parts, and the golfing action itself has major quirks but is still quite ordinary...however, it's certainly a curious enough game to warrant playing, especially now that it's mad story can be appreciated by everyone. The translation patch for the game is available at ROMhacking.net, so go to it. It's also worth noting that the game has been played by Arino of Game Center CX in one of the episodes that was translated by Kotaku a few years ago as "Retro Game Master" -- if you'd like to know more about the game, that can be fouind here.