Motion controllers are ideal for golf games. The controller is set up to emulate a golf swing, and golfing is one of those activities that’s limited by cost, space and weather. So it’s great, then, that O-Games released John Daly’s ProStroke Golf at the launch of the PlayStation Move.
Well, it would have been if EA’s latest Tiger Woods title didn’t also have Move support. As it is, it has a tough competitor, and gets the inevitable comparisons.
First impressions leave it in quite the deficit. The presentation is sub-par, the graphics feel like they belong in the previous generation and everything has a generic look to it. The authenticity of the Tiger games just isn’t here. Don’t worry, though: there’s still golf. That’s what you’re here for, right? If you need the PGA feel or a roster full of famous guys, this isn’t the game.
Then, though, you get on the course and start swinging, and this is where ProStroke starts outpacing its competitors. The Move controls are nice and simple, which is what you want when you just start swinging and seeing what happens. The screen shows a top-down view of the ball, and it allows you to adjust and line up your swing just as you would in real life. There’s not quite the level of exact control that some want, since it focuses on making things fun, but the detection is there and the swing feels right. (It helps that it’s a little more forgiving to those with bad shots, since most of us aren’t PGA-level.)
It’s here that I’ll mention that the game doesn’t require the Move. Unfortunately, though, you’d be experiencing all the drawbacks of the game without any of its strong points, so… don’t do that.
There are a few multiplayer modes, and these will be where you spend most of your time. Online play is adequate, but there’s just not the player base needed to support an online community. The career mode consists of two stages: beating John Daly at a course, and then competing in a tournament on that course. The problem? The virtual John Daly is incredibly challenging, even at the beginning, so the learning curve is more like a really tall barrier. If you spend some time just playing, you can build up the skill, but a one-player mode in a game like this is supposed to be the venue for getting better so you can play with friends.
ProStroke gets the core gameplay right for a fun Move-enabled experience, but it just doesn’t feel like much was built around it. This is the kind of game that would benefit substantially from a sequel if it can get one.