Whenever I ask someone, especially
an adult who has never played video games, if they know about the Wii, the first
question I get in return is, “Is there a golf game out for it?”
Thanks to Wii Sports golf I can
answer a resounding “Yes!” While there have been other golf games, like Super
Swing Golf and Tiger Woods, they just haven’t been able to capture the extreme
accessibility that Nintendo so easily gave us with Wii Sports. Even with the
sequel to Korea’s quirky golf game, Super Swing Golf: Season 2, I just can’t
find myself advertising it to casual gamers. There are many reasons for that
that I will go into, but first let’s look at what these crazy Manga characters
are up to this time around.
If you’ve played the first game on
the Wii, then you are already familiar with about 90% of this game. Much like
the sequeled Tiger Woods series, there is little that has been changed in this
second annual game. One of the biggest changes is that now, in Tour Mode, your
characters advance on a board that is littered with challenges, prizes, and a
boss battle that caps every level. Some of the less obvious changes, like the
jettison of the motion-controlled camera in favor of a standard D-Pad control,
are nice tweaks that help the fluidity of the game.
“It must be nice to hit a
There are a lot of things, though,
that haven’t been added or changed that really needed to be. I’ll get the
biggest one out the way first: the motion controls. While the swing controls
seek to do more than what Wii Golf did – by factoring in slice and hook – rarely
will the detection be accurate, either because it is broken or just overly
sensitive. It does register your power and swing pretty accurately on the meter,
but the use of the power meter to begin with is just counter intuitive to the
whole concept of the Wii.
I spent at least an hour incredibly
frustrated that I was doing something wrong, unable to get past even the first
challenge. I figured that the reason for my consistent duff or hook was that I
was standing an inch too close or not following through, which of course,
correcting didn’t work. I also play golf, a real game that can be very
frustrating. In SSG2, you can switch to a beginner level that will always let
you hit a straight shot. But because they even had to make a beginner and normal
level, it is a testament to the fact that the controls in this game are
excruciatingly hard to master (or broken – I can’t actually tell). For the
remainder of the game, I switched to the oh-so boring button controls so I could
at least start winning some challenges.
“It’s balloon popping time!”
Putting is by far the worst
offender. Because the meter is delayed in reading your backswing, you have to
keep your head cranked up to the TV while you swing. It is extremely annoying. Thankfully, on the regular shots, the meter will resister your backswing
position much better.
All of the courses are well designed
and the game, as a whole, looks pretty good. If you played the first game you
know to expect the mystical, Final Fantasy-like elements that you probably never
expected to make their way into a golf game. On top of last year’s courses,
there are only a couple of new courses added to the mix this time, which is a
let down, but the weather effects look nice and there is a lot of variety to
appreciate in the number of courses. Some of the holes, like the lighthouse
course on the water, still use the 2-D backgrounds to add depth (you know, when
the 3-D model is pasted against a slightly different colored background –
remember the Playstation era?), which is a disappointment. But the graphics and
art design are nicely done, and combined with a peppy, upbeat soundtrack, you’ll
at least enjoy being around the game.
Season 2 has a lot of stuff to do,
like multiplayer, mini-games, and a fleshed-out tour mode, Special Shots, and
extensive store to buy stuff – but, this game is still not the golf game that
I’m going to proclaim from a mountain top to the Valley of the Casual Gamer. All
of the Special Shots and items that would normally make a game better really
mean nothing to me considering the state of the controls. It’s not a complement
to say that “while the controls barely work, it’s still playable,” even though
that is a description I find myself applying to almost every Wii game. This
franchise needs a kick in the pants to bring something new to the table.
For the New Year of 2008, I want to
propose three elements that all Wii games – I’m looking at you SSG: Season 3 —
should now include: solid motion controls (and if they don’t work right, are
left out completely), online play (no excuses for this now), and wide-screen
support. You heard it here first, folks.
Review Scoring Details
Swing Golf: Season 2
The motion controls are playable with the beginner clubs (they always let you
hit a straight shot), but don’t even think about trying to hook it. Putting is
also nearly broken. The use of a power meter was a mistake for the series.
Bright, cartoon Manga characters make up this game. The characters and variety
of courses look good and the weather effects are a nice addition.
The tunes are light and breezy, but quickly get on your nerves.
The story elements and fantasy setting is a love-or-hate thing. Personally, I
don’t care for it and I think it’s a distraction from what the game should be
concentrating on: golf!
This game excels as a multiplayer game, especially with the new mini-games and
Not only does this sequel lack any real substantial upgrades, but the motion
controls are without precision. However, there is a lot to do, and hardcore fans
will likely find a lot to love. If you already own the first game, there is no
reason to pick up the new one – unless you like being $40 lighter.