NOT EXACTLY PAR FOR THE COURSE
After playing Wii Sports: Golf to death, all I wanted was for somebody to release a golf game that had more meat on its bones; offering the same gameplay that Wii Sports featured, while including elements such as full-size courses and online play. Not only would you think that would be the obvious route to go with a post-Wii Sports golf title, but you would also think that it would be a fairly easy game to make. (After all, we’re not talking about Gears of War here.) With Super Swing Golf (previously known as Pangya Golf on the PC), developer/publisher Tecmo got some things right, but unfortunately, they also got a whole hell of a lot wrong.
I spent a very painful hour with Super Swing Golf, and while I did appreciate that there were more than 9 holes, somewhat interesting in-game characters, and different modes of play, the swing mechanic in this title COMPLETELY ruined it for me. While Wii Sports: Golf excels at using natural golf swings in its gameplay, Super Swing Golf — for some reason that’s completely mystifying to me — takes that idea and screws it up by making the backswing anything BUT natural. Here’s the deal: To start your swing, hold the Wiimote as you would a golf club, then go into your backswing. As you increase the backswing, the power meter for your shot will (somewhat) rise. When you have all the juice that you want for your shot, press and hold the A Button to lock the amount of power, and then follow-through by launching into your downswing. Sounds a little goofy, eh? Well, it is.
CAN YOU FEEL THE HATE TONIGHT?
Now, while having to dick with the A Button in the middle of your swing is indeed pretty damned oddball, it shouldn’t have to have such a negative impact on the gameplay; yet it does…greatly. See, while performing your backswing, the power meter doesn’t seem to be willing to move all that much. Every time I would reach the apex of my backswing (ready to hit the A Button and follow-through), the power meter wouldn’t be anywhere near where I wanted it to be. No matter how I altered the force of my swing, I’d always have to stop during the backswing, stretch my arms up higher to get an acceptable level on the power meter, hit the A Button, and then, finally, follow-through. This made the game absolutely maddening to me, and after about 30 minutes, I had such an absolute hate for this title that I am confident Satan sat smiling on his throne, pleased with my lividness.
ONLY FANBOYS NEED APPLY
The way I see it, folks, unless you’re a truly serious fan of Pangya Golf or Albatross 18 (which, by the way, you can play on the PC for free — with better control and online play, unlike Super Swing), you’re probably going to despise Super Swing and its abysmal swing mechanic. This IS NOT the game that follows through on the promise of Wii Sports: Golf, and you’ll definitely want to try before you buy. (To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t give $10 for this game.)
And although I could have, I didn’t really feel the need to go on at length about the irritating putting and slow story/match modes of play, with the game forcing you to watch the NPC characters S-L-O-W-L-Y make every shot; ’cause really, if the base-level controls in a golf game are craptastic, none of the rest of it really matters.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Stay away. Far, far away.