|Download added: golfporn.mpg (2457604 bytes)|
"I blame the porno putting music and boredom for my extremely lame and crass comment here. Sad."
Quick arcade port to fill in the launch lineup, and it didn't result in a great game. The graphics look decidely previous-gen, and not even artistically attractive at that, the ball physics are flat and unimpressive, the control is annoying, and the game lacks any particular reason for being unless you're a huge fan of the Miyazato golfing family, or characters from other Sega franchises playing golf.
For instance, there are characters from Sega's "Virtua Fighter" series that you can play, like Jacky and Sara Bryant. Jacky wears a dorky Charlie Brown-style yellow-striped polo shirt, it's kind of funny.
Aside from Jacky being an annoying, whiny poster boy, you'd be stupid to pick him because he's a driving wimp when compared to one of the famous Miyazatos. There's no real attempt at balance here, as they're just better. Way better.
Apparently you can unlock little accessories and things for your characters as you play. A sort of mysterious scoring system gives you points; you get bonuses for particularly good approach shots and so forth.
The weather sucks. Really. For some reason, at least half the time, you're golfing in a typhoon. About half of the remaining time, the green is all wet, and the ball only rolls about half as far as it should. And there's usually pretty stiff wind.
Maybe this was all to add some variety to the gameplay, because the courses aren't that interesting (well, not the "Bali" (in Las Vegas for some reason?) course we played, at least--St. Andrews is here, you'd think that would be better anyway), and the odd input method, while irritating, makes it pretty unexciting and simple to get a spot-on swing.
Basically, you push the right analog stick to a point on its lower half: right side is low power, left side is full power, straight down is half power, see. This is irritating both because there's no timing or anything involved that would make getting exactly the power you want some kind of skill, and because it's just a pain to maneuver the analog stick precisely enough to get the exact fraction of power you want.
Unless you keep forgetting that the right-stick swings rather than rotates the camera, though, it's really hard to miss-hit, so the challenge comes in the form of the aforementioned weather, and possibly kind of squirrelly physics that may make the necessary power level hard to predict from shot to shot.
Oh, and the greens are nasty, and the putting interface makes it hard just to see the hole. Smooth. The best was when the camera lodged itself squarely behind a tree when my friend was putting, so he couldn't see a darn thing. Camera control is very rudimentary, and you can't really fly down the course with it; best you can usually do is reverse-view.
You can activate different types of specialty shots, like power, approach (extra spin), and so on. Power, at least, which is used most often, has one of the worst looping sound effects to grace a modern video game. It's awful, but you have to listen to it over and over if you're going to try to play at the top of your game.
Why you'd really bother past a few holes, though, I'm not sure. It's not absolutely unplayable, it just isn't very appealing.
Oh yeah, and the music is always the same, and putting sounds like a porno movie, although not in a titillating way.