A contender for the golfing crown?
For a long time now, Tiger Woods has been the undisputed champion of the golfing video game. But that could all be about to change with the emergence of John Daly’s ProStroke Golf being brought to the market by Gusto Games and O-Games. But I don’t think that the Tiger will give up his crown easily…
Most people will know what to expect of a golf game. The player hits the little white ball into a hole at the other end of the given course. It’s all pretty straight forward in that respect. The most important thing in any golf game is how the controls work, and this is where John Daly offers something a little bit different from what you would perhaps expect.
The Prostroke system is what I am talking about. It is said to offer unrivaled realism for a golf game, which after playing for a while is something that I can well believe. The thing is, although I like a good game of golf in real-life, I am rather unfortunately rubbish at it. Quite often I would play a round of Tiger Woods to stroke my golfing ego after a particularly bad game. However, with John Daly it seems that my poor golfing performance has followed me.
The Prostroke system works by allowing the player to make the various adjustments to their shot in a more realistic way, such as shifting your weight or moving your feet. This allows the player to adjust the flight of the ball as they would in real-life, rather than by simply hitting the right button at the right time. This leaning towards the more realistic is emphasised by the use of the Move controller, which is fully supported. After the revelation that was playing Tiger Woods on Wii with a WiiMote, playing this with Move was simply jaw-dropping. The level of precision is the first thing that will amaze the player.
Unlike golf on the Wii, which still offers an arcade style experience, John Daly using Move requires a level of actual golfing skill. Hitting the ball is directly linked to the amount of power that the player puts into their swing, so make sure the furniture is well clear, and the accuracy of that hit is dependant on how the player is holding the Move controller. It is a bit daunting at first and may well leave the player with more bogies than is healthy. But perserverance is required and the player may actually find that this system improves their real game.
The controls, whether using a standard controller or Move, are complex and difficult to master, but lead to a more satisfying game in my opinion. Beyond this, however, the game is somewhat disappointing.
Maybe it is that we have become spoilt by the amount of content that can be found in the Tiger Woods game, but John Daly’s Prostroke Golf comes across as lacking. There are a nice selection of tutorials that even go so far as to offer advice that could be taken to the real golf course. But, beyond the tutorials, there is simply a quick play mode and a challenge mode. The challenge mode offers the closest thing to a career mode, but is over far too quick and offers no sense of variety. There is an online mode, but finding someone to play with is challenging.
When first starting the game, players will immediately notice that the visuals of John Daly’s Prostroke Golf are, for want of a better word, old. Considering that this is a PS3 game, the environments are lacking detail and the golfers themselves are devoid of personality. The sound work, on the other hand, is quite good, if slightly sparse. I especially enjoyed the commentary that runs through the game, although I am not sure if it intended to be as funny as it came across.
John Daly’s Prostroke Golf has made a good attempt at wrestling the crown from the Tiger. the most important thing is the control method, and John Daly had got that down to a tee. It may be difficult and unsympathetic, especially with Move, but this makes the game far more satisfying in the long run. Everything else needs work, from the graphics to the content itself. But as far as foundations go, John Daly is off to a good start.