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Jack Nicklaus 4 and 5
I had always wanted to produce a top golf game for the computer. I got my chance in 1996 when Cinematronics called and asked me to come out and help them finish the Jack Nicklaus 4 golf game that they were developing for Accolade.
These were old friends, including Mike Sandige who did solitaire with me. I ended up moving to Austin, Texas, producing Jack Nicklaus 4, and then became one of the founders of Eclipse Entertainment, started by David Stafford. At Eclipse I went on to produce Jack Nicklaus 5, with an entirely new development team, in just 8 months (a miracle). Stephen Balkum and Jeff Lomax are the best team of programmers I've ever worked with. They're still together, making sure that Callaway Preowned Golf Clubs are available to everyone that wants them on the Internet.
The reviews for Jack 4 and 5 are outstanding:
"Jack Nicklaus is truly a legend in his own time. So it's only fitting that the latest computer game to bear his name, Accolade's Jack Nicklaus 4, should be the preeminent golf simulation of our time." --Scott A. May, Computer Gaming World (5 stars)
"...with its most solid golf offering to date, Jack Nicklaus 4 is a glorious golfing feast from tee to green. Offering gorgeous graphics, first-rate sound, realistic play, and multi-player competition. Besides a superb golf simulation, JN4 boasts its name sakes' specialty, with a brilliant course designer that lets you build the golf course of your dreams." --PC Gamer, Editors' Choice (89%)
"Sports fans are used to seeing athletes make comebacks, but software titles usually hit a plateau from which they coast or fade. But with Jack Nicklaus 4, Accolade had defied the odds, stared down the competition, and reclaimed the crown for the best golf game simulation on the market." --Bill Holmes
"...with Jack Nicklaus 4, Accolade has added some grand new elements to solidify this games place at or near the head of the class. Sure it plays great and looks fantastic, but the darn thing lets you build your own course too. What isn't there to like?" --Gordon Goble, The Computer Paper
"The Jack Nicklaus series is fast becoming the most complete and satisfying computer golf game on the market, ready to edge out even the front runner, Links. Jack Nicklaus 5, coming as it does barely a year after Jack Nicklaus 4 is a marked step forward in the game and its awesome course designer....The biggest difference, however, is in the radical changes made to the golfers. Instead of using, videotaped two-dimensional golfers, Accolade has struck into unfamiliar territory to create fluidly animated, motion-captured, true-3D golfers....Jack Nicklaus is the most successful golfer in history, and Jack Nicklaus 5 is more than worthy to bear his name." --Chet Thomas, GameSpot (8.8)
"Talk about an unexpected surprise. How does Accolade follow up Jack Nicklaus 4, arguably the best golf sim on the planet? With Jack Nicklaus 5, of course. What's unexpected is the JN5 comes so close on the heels of JN4--the games were released less than 7 months apart. But the big surprise is how Accolade made a great game even better....an astonishing lineup of 10 18-hole courses...more aggressive computer AI....Graphics remain a highlight...physics have been tweaked to allow for uneven and hillside lies...the biggest change is the new polygonal golfers, who replace the old cut and paste FMV images. Comprised of 2,000 polygons with motion-captured animation, the new onscreen golfers are utterly amazing." --Scott May, Computer Gaming World (5 stars)
"If I could only have one golf game on my hard drive, Jack Nicklaus 5 would be it! It's got personality, challenging gameplay, variety, and it provides a fresh experience each time you tee it up." --John Cauthen, Digital Sportspage (92)
"In Jack Nicklaus 5, Accolade has combined an improved course architect program with a golf sim that is arguably as good or (dare we say it?) better than the one found in Links. The result is a package that will be difficult for the PC golf enthusiast to resist." --Jeff Lackey, Computer Games Strategy Plus (4.5 stars)
"Jack Nicklaus 5 is a solid, solid golf game. The replay value is incredible with the course designer and ability to download courses off the 'net. If you are a golf game fanatic, Jack Nicklaus 5 is worth every penny. This is as close as you can get to golfing without touching a club." --Colin Gale, Electric Playground (9.5)
"Like its human namesake, Accolade's Jack Nicklaus golf series is a veteran performer of unquestioned excellence...Jack Nicklaus 5 hits stronger than ever...as are the ultra lifelike 3D golfer animations, the flock of original venues, and beefier course designer. Paired with the uncanny ball movement typical of previous Jacks, you've got one perfectly outrageous golfing experience." --Gordon Goble, Gamecenter.com (5 stars)