John Daly’s ProStroke Golf – On the ‘Move’

Now, I’m not a golfer; I understand the mechanics of the game (game, really?) but when it comes to the activity itself I’m with the great Mark Twain who said golf was “a good walk spoiled” but here I am presented with the opportunity to see a new golf game written to specifically use the PlayStation ‘Move’ controller. New tech? I’m there!

I got down to the office of Lunch PR a little early for my appointment, but they’re very gracious folks and let me in to have a play. This was my first ‘hands on’ with a Move controller and, apart from the requirement to have a wrist strap on in order the save expensive TV / vase / window replacements I found the device itself to be very easy, ergonomic and light to handle.

But let’s talk about the game itself… John Daly’s ProStroke Golf is very typical of most golf games, or certainly the ones I’ve played, there’s great scenery, some very nice background and ambient noise and, not being a golfer, what seems like some pretty realistic gameplay.

OOOH! Nice trousers!

The use of the Move controller, while initially somewhat different to what I’m used to, very quickly became second nature and the positioning of the buttons also works well in the context of what you’re doing.

Gameplay involves the usual top-down view of the course and indicators of distance, club choice, wind speed and the ‘lie’ of the landing area but it’s the switch to first person – ProStroke – view when getting ready to hit the ball which makes the difference. The ‘Move Button’ is used to show readiness and you move into ProStroke view by pointing the move at your imaginary ball (we used a key on the floor) and pressing it. You’re then in practice mode, the on-screen ball is transparent, and you can work on both your swing and wrist positioning using the power meter (0 – 100+% – more in a bit) and the direction indicator, a yellow line which shows where the ball will go. A note here as comparison… I’ve played golf games on the Wii and one of the big frustrations – one which did create some preconceptions before today – was the lack of consistency when lining up a shot. Looking for 40% led to a reality of anywhere between nothing and full whack! Now then, a little about that power meter. Mr. Daly is renowned for having a mighty stroke and the game reflects this by allowing you to emulate the big-guy if you get your swing perfect… good luck everybody!

The ProStroke view of things.

The Move however is precise, very precise and I was able to get a consistent level of return for any specific movement. Once the shot seems to be right, another click on the Move button puts you into real mode (a note here… make sure your club is on the right side of the ball before doing this, there’s nothing more embarrassing than knocking a ball backwards off the tee!) and you play the shot. After which you simply view the next shot, line it up and repeat until the little white ball plops in the hole.

It’s also possible to adjust your stance when addressing the ball and I understand this is important for getting out of bunkers and such. As I didn’t get into a bunker I had no need of this feature, yes I’m a little smug about that!

As I mentioned, I’m not a golfer but I got a par on my second hole and managed one-over on my third. This means either I’m better than I thought, or that the Move controller and the first Golf game built around it really are very good at translating what you want to do into what actually happens on screen. I’m going to go for the latter being true.

In summary I’d say that John Daly’s ProStroke Golf is a good golf game, which has been enhanced considerably through the use of a superb peripheral in the PlayStation Move controller. Simple, precise and elegant.







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