Albatross 18: Season 2
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Game Factory has another take on computer golf games, can Albatross 18 change the way we used to play golf games? Read our review to find out.

Albatross 18 Screenshot

Golf games are as old as computers; we have seen masterpieces like Links 386, PGA Tour and the Tiger Woods –series. Albatross 18 is an attempt to reach a wider audience by making a golf game which is social, casual and cute.

The origins of Albatross 18 are sketchy and somewhat confusing. Originally the game was called Pangya (which means Bang in Korean), in Korea and Japan the game is still played under the Pangya brand. The original game was developed by Ntreev Soft and published by HanbitSoft, both Korean companies. HanbitSoft is perhaps not very well known outside their home market, the company hit grand slam when they published Starcraft in Korea. Albatross 18 is the creation of Game Factory, and is the US and European version of Pangya.

We played Albatross 18: Season Two online for about a month in order to get the whole experience from rookie to senior. Albatross 18 is primarily an online multiplayer golf game with the ability to chat with your opponents. But there is also a shopping feature around the game so that you can buy new clothes or accessories for your character.

The golf part of Albatross 18 seems like a simple affair but it is not. You can adjust the power of the shot and choose clubs. Different clubs will give the shot different length and accuracy. A major factor when planning your shot is the wind direction and speed. Albatross 18 is also littered with bunkers and other hazards for you to end up in.

There are a number of different themed levels with 18 holes on each, the themes includes Christmas, Winter, Night, Desert and many others. Some of them are really nicely designed, but they do not look like the classic golf games we are used to. On some levels there are old abandoned battleships around the fairway and on others wind mills. Every level has something interesting to look at, there are penguins walking around on some for example.
The graphics in Albatross 18 is truly amazing; the characters are inspired by Japanese manga, complete with clothing. When playing you will notice how very well the characters are modeled, their hair and clothes are moving and so on. The levels are also beautiful with smoothly rendered objects and great lightning effects, everything is very cute.

When playing a game you will meet people from all over the world, some of them are interested in chatting while playing some are not. During the game you will earn Pangya when you perform great shots, when the level ends you will also earn Pangya for completing the level. If you choose to leave during the game you will lose your precious Pangya.

Shopping is a big part of Albatross 18, even though the developers have managed to balance it very well so that it doesn´t take over. The store is filled with caps, jeans, trousers, skirts, sun-glasses and so on.

A major problem with free online games is that the persons playing in them are more bullying the community and hacking their way through the game. Coming from months of playing Warrock I was kind of expecting the same thing in Albatross 18. During the time we tested the game we met no hackers, saw no verbal abuse or anything out of the ordinary, just a friendly community.

The secret to the friendly and good spirited community is the penalty system in Alabatross 18. When someone makes a bad comment or something it is possible for the other players to report it to the administrators. The administrators give the player a warning, after a certain number of warnings the player is banned and cannot create another account.

Albatross 18 features a great soundtrack, one of the best so I have heard this year. It is happy and relaxing and goes great together with the cute looking graphics, truly superb! It is also funny as many of the songs repeat over and over again you do not get tired of them.

Overall Albatross 18 is one of the most entertaining games I have played this year. I am not a golf nut but this game really got my attention and kept it. This game is a must try for all you online gamers out there looking for something different!

Albatross 18 Screenshot Albatross 18 Screenshot Albatross 18 Screenshot Albatross 18 Screenshot Albatross 18 Screenshot Albatross 18 Screenshot
Related: Links Championship Edition
Developer: Game Factory
Website for Game: http://www.albatross18.com/season2/
Publisher: OGPlanet
O/S: Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP
Year of Release: 2007

Requirements:
Pentium III 800 MHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, Gerforce 2MX or higher
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB, Windows XP.





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