Super Swing Golf

Golf games are a video game staple and have been for as long as I can remember, I have always found virtually hitting a wee ball around a golf course alluring, even though I don’t play real golf at all.  It seems that with its innovative control method the Wii has become a spiritual home for golf games, indeed the golf bundled on Wii sports was a fine example of how it can be done.  So here we are with another golf game on the Wii courtesy of Super Swing Golf, but is it any good?

When I started to play this game a sense of déjà vu overcame me, on my first shot (which was perfect) the word ‘Pangya’ filled the screen, but where had I seen it before?  It turns out Pangya is a well known internet game, especially in Eastern Asia where it has an almost cult following. SS Golf is basically a console version of this and shares most of the features.  You start the main game mode ‘tour’ by choosing a male or female character, Scout/Hana, giving them some clothes and the like and heading out to the game map.  The map has paths leading to various game types of versus play, minigames and hints, you choose which path to take and off you go.  The character animation is sumptuous in a manga type way, with the proverbial under dressed women and big headed characters and some animals for good measure, sadly the courses don’t quite match up to the character design, but they are by no means shabby.  In its essence this is like a golf RPG, much in the same way that Mario golf on the GBA was, which is maybe why it has such a large following in the East.

You can, of course choose two different playing styles, one by swinging the Wiimote like an axe murderer, the other by gently pressing the Wiimote buttons.  After much trial and error I settled with the button pressing, the next choice was which shot choice to make of which there are a great array of options.  You can spin the ball in any direction, you can power up, you can draw and fade!  Golf terminology!  You can also use special shots of which there are three types on offer, Cobra, Tomahawk and Spike, however these can only be used when your special meter has built up.  The specials are a great way of getting around obstacles but can also get you into trouble if you misjudge them as they go a bit further than normal shots.  As you play you are awarded pangs which are the game equivalent of money, you can spend these to buy clothes, equipment and accessories in the clubhouse; here you can also hire caddies although they are merely cosmetic.

At this point it has occurred to me that there is really quite a lot going on in this game, the main display as you are playing is filled with icons and the like, almost to a distracting level.  Customisation, although not vast, is well filled up with items, there are eleven courses to play on and unlock and there is a multiplayer for up to four people including standard golf and minigames like golf darts and balloon pop.  Unlockable cameo costumes and characters from various Tecmo games such as Ninja Gaiden, Fatal Frame Monster Rancher and Bomb Jack are also included!

Different balls react in different ways with different clubs, items can be purchased to power up… the list goes on.  Maybe that is the problem in the game, there is just too much to it. Yes, it does offer good value for money and has great longevity but I think by the time you are half way through you have seen all it has to offer and the changes are merely cosmetic.  Don’t get me wrong, the golf plays wonderfully, it’s bright and brash, has lots of charm and has a novel feature where you can save your character to the Wiimote to take round to a friends house, I didn’t know the Wiimote could do that!  A quote which I found on the back of the box got my attention,

“Basic reading ability is needed to fully enjoy this game.”

That says to me it is aimed squarely at kids, but the manual is one of the most in-depth I have read in a long time and like I have said there is so much choice going on in game that the kids may struggle to keep up with what’s going on.  Adult supervision is a must, mind you knowing kids, they could probably albatross every hole without breaking a sweat.  If you like golf though, this could prove to be the game you have been looking for as it does capture the sport rather well.







Leave a Reply