Swing Away Golf
By: Trippy Liquid
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As the industry has matured over the years, there still seems to be one thing that it can't let go...the most boring sport known to man (sans watching magic the gathering contests on ESPN) GOLF!
Funny thing is, though it may be the most boring sport known to man...its also seems to be one of the best selling console franchises since Nintendo brought you Golf way back in the day of NES. Swing Away Golf is the first golf game to hit any next gen console, so lets see if this franchise needs to be put down or if its still got what it takes to keep fans coming back for more.
Ok, we're talking about a golf game here so there isn't a lot of action taking place. Needless to say there better be something nice to look at or a game like golf could lose appeal fairly quickly. Swing Away Golf has exactly what Golfers Digest ordered. Swing Away has some of the most beautifully real-time rendered fairways ever seen. The Trees and sand traps in this game really make the course come alive. Not to mention the little rivers and ponds obstructing you're path to the smooth greens. All this while holding on to the fact that this is a game and not an actual golf simulation. The characters in Swing are much more based on cartoon characters than games such as the classic Links. But this aspect just seems to add to the fun. Bottom line, the graphics in Swing Away are more than enough to keep the visually influenced occupied.
Well, we can see that Swing Away has enough visuals to keep our jaws glued to the ground...but how does it sound? The answer...GGGGRRREEAAAT! Finally, voice overs that are worth the actors/actresses pay check! From the snobby rich girl to the guy who just wants to beat your ass in 18, this games got some great voices. The background sounds are also very realistic with chirping birds and impatient players. And the "star-blast" sound really makes you feel good when you hit that perfect shot! The music is a bit corny but that won't hold you back any. Overall the sound is very enjoyable.
Here we go...my favorite subject to review...GAMEPLAY! So its a golf game...how much "gameplay" can a golf game have? The industry's been putting out golf games for years and it seems that everyone of them has the same old operation for hitting the ball. Hit the button...wait for the gauge to go up...hit the button...wait for the gauge to go down...hit the button...and you magically hit the ball (I wish golf was actually this easy, then I might play). Low and behold...Swing Away Golf isn't one to innovate on the system. But who says that's a bad thing? Granted its the same old gameplay you've seen for ages now...where the game really shines is its character development mode. Its great...you get to start out as a total rookie and work your way up thru the amature circuit to the big leagues. On your way you get skill points to put into you characters few abilities such as distance and approach. You also win clubs and cash so you can shop at the pro shop or just use the clubs you win. Its an RPG Golf game!!! WOOHOO!!
With great graphics and sound to match, Swing Away Golf is a title which all hardcore gamers should appreciate. Granted it's not much of an innovation...Swing Away comes with enough extra goodies to keep you interested for many hours of fun. Bottom line, if you like golf games then Swing Away Golf would make a wonderful addition to your collection. If you hate golf...then you still might love this game. As I always say, if you have any doubts, rent it first...but I can tell you that you won't be dissapointed! Trippyliquid...trippin out!