Since golf games aren’t exactly deserving of a full review, considering how they tend to provide a similar experience, let’s do some flash reviewing. 250-300 words should prove sufficient for the various installments of golfing on the Wii. Developers flocked to the system, specifically to develop golf games for a controller seemingly designed for this purpose.
The first of these, Wii Sports and its Wii Motion Plus version Wii Sports Resort, play almost identical with the additional of more exact controls. The first measures your direction, speed, and the angle of your wrist, while the latter goes for a much more exacting form and power requirement. Swing too hard and you’ll cause the ball to careen somewhere undesirable, while turning your wrist EVER so slightly will cause the ball to curve – hey, just like in real life!
There’s a meter in both, and the only real difference comes in the accuracy to the real “golf” experience. In a way, they really only constitute a demo, as each only offers a standard golf course of 18 holes and little else. However, if you want to pinpoint actual golf in a video game, then by all means pick up Wii Sports Resort – it wasn’t to my taste, but it may work for you.
Next up, We Love Golf tries to replicate the feel of classic accesible golf games like Hot Shots Golf or (a personal favorite of mine) Mario Golf. For the uninitiated, both games used what we call a “swing meter”. Where you pressed the button first determined the power behind the shot (always towards the end for the most distance), and where you pressed it second determined how the shot would slice (hit it right on point to go straight). There’s variations on this formula, of course, but golf games used this for quite a while, and there’s really no reason to tamper with a winning formula.
Thus, enter Camelot and Capcom. Camelot developed both the Mario Golf and Tennis games, so their pedigree on this point is obvious. However, the Wii swing controls don’t neatly translate into an actual golf swing; you basically swing the Wiimote back to determine the strength of the shot, waiting for the meter to catch up with how far your pushed it, and then swing forward at the exact right time to get a shot. To get this right requires a lot of practice, and a helpful Practice Swing feature makes this easier on everyone. As well, you can rotate the Wiimote to change the slice of the swing, but thankfully it’s not actively measuring the angle of your wrists.
I found putting especially difficult, as the slightest swing backward would make the meter fling to full power for a tiny put. Be forewarned: you must pay attention here. All in all, I find the system works well for those enamored with the ancient “swing meter” system like myself, and I happily endorse it for some Wii golf. It should be noted that We Love Golf! also contains the full assortment of modes you’d come to expect from this game, from multiple course to Skins play to all the other variants Camelot can and have mustered through their years of making accessible sports games. BUT, and perhaps this might make or break your own interest, you never really need to swing it. I found myself using an awkward swing because of the design (as you slowly draw back the club to get power – not exactly visceral), and that just takes you out of the experience a little bit.
The music’s also darn good and relaxing, so there’s that!
The odd duck of this bunch, Super Swing Golf (Season 2, though the PAL version art up above apparently doesn’t say that) from Temco, sits in an odd place between the two. Based on a Korean MMO Golf game called Pangya (and, for whatever reason, everyone keeps calling the game “Pangya” inside the game, but just roll with it), it contains a strange blend of accessible golf and inaccessible story mode stuff. By “inaccessible”, I mean it contains a bizarre plot involving golf competitions from multiple dimensions…and if this sounds hilariously dumb, you might be the audience for this game!
Kidding aside, the golf itself feels like a blend of the previous two. The Wiimote, as usual, measures the angle of your wrist to determine the relative slice of the shot, but you only need to hold the Wiimote back to determine the power. Once you do so, just hold the A button to keep that power setting without any additional reflexes. However, you must swing the Wiimote LIKE a club with the full power behind it in the right position, or it won’t measure the shot correctly. Honestly, I make this sound more intimidating, but if you do this correctly with the follow-through required, the ball will sail through the air and you’ll make it where you wanted.
So, in a sense, I could call this the most accurate of the simulations, not limiting you in power or in actually swinging it like an actual golf club. Fail to adjust your swing and your shots will fly anywhere but where you want them to go; do it right, and you win. It’s truly excellent if you want to spend the time poring over it. Of course, special shots change this and certain club sets turn every shot into a straight shot, but that’s for cheaters, right?
Add that to costumes, characters from Tecmo properties (think Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden), and the word Pangya blazing accross the screen far too often, and you’ve got something weird and wonderful! A strange release from Tecmo, to say the least!
I imagine there’s far more golf games, but that should certainly do!