reviews\ Oct 23, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Disney Golf - PS2 - Review

Zippidy-do-dah! What a glorious day to hit the links!

This isn’t a ‘goofy’ version of the game, played on ‘minnie’-ature courses. Nor is it a watered-down ‘Mickey Mouse’ version of a links program, though you may have the urge to yell "duck" instead of fore.

(Resisting the urge to use ‘chip’ in a sentence here, especially if one has to ‘chip’ onto a green from a mountain ‘dale.’).

Ok, so perhaps the game is a little ‘goofy.’ It is, after all, Disney Golf, a PlayStation2 release from Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive and T&Esoft. The game is long on load times between holes, rife with reaction to a hole’s outcome, and wonderfully animated.

Donald Duck is likely to throw a temper tantrum, and clubs, if he records a double bogey. The game also breaks away from some traditional golf lingo for phraseology you won’t find out on the links. That fraction of time when you complete the front nine and move on to the back nine is seldom referred to as "halftime."

But the game has a wonderful array of Disney characters, including Pluto, Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Goofy, plus several others you can unlock through game play (a total of eight characters, complete with their voices ­ if they speak ­ are featured here). There are also two courses that can be unlocked in the same manner, in addition to the four you can choose to start on.

The game does have a nice variety of ways to play. There is stroke play, match play, skins match, combination play (two players take turns on the shots), a long-drive contest, a nearest to the pin contest, and a challenge game for one player where you can win coin prizes that can be exchanged for magical items.

The player interface has been kept quite simple, allowing players of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to compete. You aim the shot with the D-pad. The shot itself is a three-click (X button) feat, one to start the swing, the second to set the power, the third to set the connection between ball and club. Veteran golfers know what happens if you hit connect too early or late. The L1 and R1 buttons help you select your club, and the L2 and R2 buttons control fade or draw.

Aiming, especially on the green, presents its own problems. Initially the D-pad function seems to control the camera behind the character when it reality it is lining up the direction you are going to hit the ball. Once figured out, this is a simple function to understand, though not always easy to get right.

The player interface is easy to walk through. After each hole, you will be treated to an animated segue showing player reaction (which you can hurry through courtesy of the square button), current score and an overview of the next hole. Mickey is there to give you some pointers about the hole, and comment (seemingly always with enthusiasm, but then that’s Mickey) on your shots.

The sound of this game is a delight. The Disney voices are intact, and there are enough of the ambient sounds associated with golf to convey that aspect of the game. Musically, the game is well done.

When it comes to the graphics, the three-dimensional characters stand out against the right cartoon-ish background. The game features some nice effects and is a real treat for the eyes. If you have a soft spot for Disney characters and animation, you will love this game.

Disney Golf is not the kind of game that serious console golfers will want to tee up. It is an enjoyable romp through a delightful world. The load times between holes can interrupt play, and some of the segues between shots showed a few pixilation problems that didn’t affect the actual game play, but nonetheless looked odd.

This game is rated for Everyone.


Gameplay: 7.8
The load times between holes slow down the flow of the game, and the reaction animation is repetitive. Lining up shots takes some getting use to and the game is a little behind other golf games in that regard.

Graphics: 9
This is wonderfully animated, with lush, colorful courses and favorite Disney characters in delightful 3D. The bit of pixilization was odd, but doesn’t detract much from the overall look of the game.

Sound: 9
Disney characters and Disney voices make the audio track rich. Musically the game is also very solid.

Difficulty: Easy
The player interface is set up so that younger players can compete. There are no difficulty levels, per se, but just hitting the shot dead-on can be a challenge.

Concept: 8
The characters and courses are a real treat. The game falters a bit in golf terms, but does a good job of capturing the core elements of the game.

Multiplayer: 8
This game supports 1-2 players competing either head-to-head or together.

Overall: 8.2
This is a delight game sure to please Disney fans. The graphics are excellent, the sound track is wonderful and the game play is good enough to make this a treat to play. Hardcore console golfers may find it a little pedantic, but this is a game that will find a home among younger players and those seeking a family-oriented outing in the world of cyber golf.  


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