We Love Golf! Wii Review
It’s frustrating when you play a game where all the fundamentals are in place to come together and potentially make a wonderful game, only for the execution to be messed up – even more so when the genre is one of the developers greatest of fortes. We Love Golf! is one such shocker.
Coming from Camelot, the developer of the original Everybody’s Golf (a hugely playable game at the time of its release) and the Mario Golf franchise (of which I’ve had limited experience with). At least from a visual standpoint, We love Golf! is more along the lines of those games than the photo realism of Tiger Woods. But unlike their previous golf output, as a game, their new title is seemingly doing little to attempt to emulate real life golf and simply just doesn’t possess the personality of their past offerings.
Unlike past Wii golf titles, We Love Golf! doesn’t attempt to task you with the job of mimicking the swing of a real golf club with the Wii remote. Here you hold A (or B for test swings) and swing the remote back to set the power of the shot, keeping your eye on the gauge whilst doing so, then once the remote icon overlaps your cursor, power is decided and the cursor will then head in the opposite direction, of which, by carefully timing your swing as the cursor meets the impact zone is the time you’ll determine the accuracy of your impending shot. Extra complexity is included with the addition of draw and fade shots, which are executed by twisting the remote to the left or right as you’re taking a shot. The good news is that all this works wonderfully well and is easily the best control scheme for overall simplicity and accuracy that has ever been devised for that magical Wii remote.
Which would have been great, if it wasn’t for the fact that the game lets you away with murder, or almost anyway. The addition of a target marker on the gauge, which more or less allows for pixel perfect power setting (though to be fair not taking into consideration wind conditions and the lie of the green) and the fact that completely missing the impact zone in the second phase of your shot seems to have little effect on just where your ball will ultimately come to rest, makes it all too easy. Landing in the rough is also a challenge here on even the latter courses, which, for many, whether they like it or not (of which they shouldn’t) is as much a part of golf as putting the ball into the hole. It’s just far too easy for anyone with a pair of hands to get to grips with.
At least the single player modes have some challenge to speak of as well as a generous helping of content to unlock. The tournament mode is where you go to unlock additional courses (of which there are eight) most of which are only marginally different in the challenge that they offer and largely possess flat greens, which is strange, but nonetheless they look quite nice in a bright, harmless and cartoon-y way (I particularly like the red skies of the Camelot Links). The VS mode is where you go to earn extra characters to play with. To unlock them you must face off against each individual golfer in one-on-one competition and win, which is effortless in itself, but it’s their additional outfits that prove most difficult to obtain. To get all of these, you must have a rematch with every single character multiple times (with each rematch posing more of a challenge) amongst other things. But it’s well worth the effort as each one has their own Capcom costume to don, which may be nothing more than aesthetic, but is still a neat addition to the game all the same.
Once you’ve unlocked all of that, you might want to try what is the main attraction of any sports game, the multiplayer. Traditional modes like Stroke Play are accompanied by Target Golf (land on a target and attempt to gain as many points as possible is the idea here) Near Pin Contests (err..land as near to the pin as possible) and Ring Shot (where you must pass your ball through a number of rings). The game can be played both on and offline. Unsurprisingly the online doesn’t exactly have a thriving community and this is unlikely to change, but it has to be said that with my limited experience, proceedings run with little to no lag to speak of.
So many years ago, with the original Everybody’s Golf, Camelot got the balance of accessibility, challenge and depth just right, therefore it’s quite shocking as to how bad We Love Golf! has turned out. There’s still fun to be had and just as long as you don’t mind a game of golf that isn’t going to be particularly taxing, you could very well “love” this version of golf.