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Super Swing Golf

Love it or hate it, golf is one of the most popular sports in the world. So it makes sense for game developers to exploit this potential market, but they need to make a choice; do they go with a simulation style like Links, or arcade style like Everybody’s Golf? With colourful courses, anime styled characters and lots of unlockable content, it’s clear that Super Swing Golf went with the arcade style. The game evidently ticks off boxes set by the genre’s leading titles like Everybody’s Golf and Mario Golf but is it any good?

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Unfortunately not. It’s a shame when you consider there aren’t too many good golf games for the console; although the Tiger Woods series is a notable exception. The main criticism I have of this game is that it does little to differentiate itself from a tide of substandard golf games available on the Wii. As with many titles players swing the Wiimote just like they would a real club, so to make the game stand out it was decided that it should be as strange as possible. Having baseball bats and maces instead of clubs is one thing, but having a plastic bag or a dolphin with an umbrella as a caddy is just weird. Nevertheless there’s method to their madness. Super Swing Golf is a spin off from the somewhat hugely popular (in some areas) PangYa, an online golf game set in the same location of PangYa Island and features many of the same characters, caddies and items.

“…having a plastic bag or a dolphin with an umbrella as a caddy is just weird.”Super Swing Golf has four single player games modes consisting of Stroke Play, Match Play and Tour Mode along with the obligatory Practice modes. Oddly, given the series’ origins the game does not support online play; instead there are a few multiplayer modes for up to four players and consist of Balloon Pop, Darts, Driving Contest, Match Play and Stroke Play. The former three modes will are short lived, so it would have been nice if more modes were introduced. Although in hindsight the biggest problem would probably be finding somebody willing to actually play the game with you.

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“Although in hindsight the biggest problem would probably be finding somebody willing to actually play the game with you.”The main distraction in the game is Tour Mode, with players progressing through the game via a grid system, enabling gamers to choose their own path. Prior to each game we’re forced into a text based conversation with another character. Whilst they can offer hints and tips, they are also soul-destroyingly painful to read, repeating the same advice over and over, making it as subtle as a brick in the face. To keep sugar-hyped kids happy, games last for just a few holes, in the early stages it’s usually three or four, meaning you don’t have to spend an age working through 18 holes. Playing well earns PangYa, which is the in game currency. Earn enough and you can treat yourself to a trip to the Clubhouse to buy alternate clothes, equipment and items. The eleven courses in the game do provide a lot of variety, from lush greens and parched deserts to snowy tundras. Sadly some of the holes are bland with a few trees and the odd building, making them look unfinished.

As mentioned earlier, the controls use motion sensing. Whilst it’s a novel approach for the system, it’s by no means exclusive to the title and nor does it perform well. I’m by no means a good golfer, but after following the on screen instructions as best as possible, balls were sliced and the power of the shot seemed horribly inaccurate to what was represented on the power bar. I’m fully happy to admit that this may be down to my own ineptness, but as this game is geared towards younger and inexperienced gamers, it is also likely that they will suffer the same fate. Thankfully putting is much more enjoyable. Providing slope direction and recommended power, it’s entirely possible for everyone to sink the odd long-range putt from time to time.

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It may be harsh to call Super Swing Golf terrible, but it does have a lot of flaws. The poor controls, badly designed courses and an unneeded level of wackyness provide nothing more but a few hours of distraction. Still if you’re a fan of PangYa or looking for an alternative sports game, then this may be right up your ally. Just don’t blame me if you think it’s below par.

5 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in January 2008.

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