December 6th, 2006, 21:14 Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo may be giving away a Wii version of golf with every US system, but those looking for a more filling experience have only one choice for now: Super Swing Golf, from Tecmo. The US version is due out in a few weeks, but in order to get a sneak peak at the final build, we played through a few holes in the Japanese version, which hit Japan opposite the Wii itself on 12/2.
We already shared with you a close-up look at Super Swing Golf, or Swing Golf Pangya, as it's known in Japan, back in early November (check out our preview for more). So the big question is, how has the final version come together?
Tecmo's development studio did a few things very right. The game supports Dolby Pro Logic II and progressive output. The non-Nintendo Japanese launch titles have, for the most part, avoided these. Tecmo has also made full use of the Wiimote as a pointing device during menus, another feature lacking from many of the launch titles.
Swing Golf does suffer from some of the problems one associates with a game that was rushed out for launch. Load times are a bit on the long side -- a surprising rarity for Wii games so far. Judging by the abundance of loud seek sounds during the loading, this looks like something that could have been refined had the developers had more time.
The game is also middle ground as far as presentation is concerned. Visually, the simple character models and occasionally choppy framerate, put Swing Golf in the list of Wii titles that do little to push the system's visuals beyond GameCube levels. The menu system is pretty bare bones and a bit tricky to navigate. The game lacks voices for its "Pangya Festa" story mode, an unfortunate omission in light of the cute the character designs.
Some of the control issues that we mentioned in our preview early last month weren't addressed for the final version. Swing Golf's selling point comes from its use of the Wiimote, and there's no denying that swinging the remote like a golf club adds a new layer of fun to the experience. But outside of that, the game does a bad job with button layout, making for some downright confusing moments.
We'll have a full review of the final US version closer to its release (now set for December 12). In the meanwhile, download our new gameplay clips, which we grabbed from the final Japanese version.
For more information and downloads, click here!
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