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Super Swing Golf Review

Developer: Tecmo Publisher: Tecmo
Release Date: December 12, 2006 Also On: None

The Nintendo Wii’s launch has proven to be one of the strongest we’ve ever seen. Headlined by Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and supported by the likes of Red Steel, Rayman, Super Monkey Ball, Wii Sports and Trauma Center, Nintendo did not even need to bring out its big guns in Mario and Metroid. The launch lineup keeps getting better and better as the December “launch window” games begin to trickle in with Elebits, Metal Slug Anthology and Super Swing Golf.

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Super Swing Golf was announced by Tecmo several months back as a launch title for the Nintendo Wii. The game, known as Pangya Golf, was a PC game in Japan where gamers could play their friends online in an arcade-style golfing experience. Since Nintendo will not have online gaming ready until Pokemon Battle Revolution in April 2007, Tecmo had to dump the online play for the Wii version of the game. Instead gamers will have to settle for offline multi-player, which is a great party game with friends in its own right.

The best way I can describe Super Swing Golf is by comparing it to Hot Shots Golf for PlayStation systems. This is a distinctly Japanese game in how it looks, sounds and plays. You have the flashy graphics, lots of bright colors and wacky characters. Each golfer has a caddy that chases your ball down and slides next to it, for whatever reason. The game is cute, charming and it features a wide variety of courses, but it doesn’t have the polish that you would expect from a next-gen game.

I personally am a big fan of Wii Sports Golf, but there are plenty of people out there that complain about its controls. It’s not the most fluid system out there, but it works and works well. If I can manage a hole in one in any golf game, which I did in Wii Sports Golf, I must be doing something right. You’re actually less likely to get that hole in one in Super Swing Golf, but for a reason you might not expect: the controls are more accurate.

Essentially, Wii Sports Golf had two factors in where your ball landed: the power bar and wind speed. Super Swing Golf, trying to take full advantage of the capabilities of the Wii, adds a third dimension to the two that are already present. Your swing is judged for its speed and angle, meaning that depending on how you swing, your ball will either go farther or shorter and hook or slice. From what I’ve gathered, the “Pangya!” is a perfect shot as far as technique goes, but whether you’re in position for a good shot is highly dependent on where you were aiming the ball.

The shooting mechanics are all much smoother than Wii Sports Golf, and far more precise. You have a map that will help you pick out a location to hit the ball, and judging from the distance from that spot, you will backswing accordingly until the bar reaches the distance that you want. By pressing A, you set the shot and then swing forward, releasing A as you swing through the shot. Putting is similar with a grid displaying the curves and slopes on the green. By counting the dots, which are either centered or to the right or left of the center, you can both determine distance and the necessary projection of the shot.

Super Swing Golf has both offline single-player and multi-player. While you will spend most of your time playing with friends, you will have to play the single player Story Mode in order to unlock courses, playable characters, caddies, costumes, equipment and all sorts of different unlockables. The single-player is difficult from the start, though the computer is capable of making some bone-headed out-of-bounds strokes that will almost automatically cost them the hole. You will proceed through the story, needing to beat each character as they come along.

The multi-player in Super Swing Golf is the most impressive part of the game. You can play with up to four other playings using a single Wiimote. If you huddle around your television playing Wii Sports, you will likely be doing the same thing with Super Swing, taking turns hitting the ball. There are three modes of play to choose from, including Stroke Play, Match Play and Balloon Pop.

Wii Sports was a perfect pack-in to display the capabilities of the system. If you wanted a deeper experience though, Wii Sports only scratched the surface. Tecmo is the first company to flesh out a full fledged golfing experience on the Wii. It honestly is a game that renders the analog stick with golf games obsolete. There’s nothing like gathering with friends, swinging away on virtual greens using ridiculous arm motions to make a shot. If you own a Wii and need an excuse to swing your Wiimote a lot, Super Swing Golf is perfect for you.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8
Written by Kyle Review Guide