Super Swing Golf

boyward - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Nintendo Wii
Produced by: Developed by Ntreev, Published by Tecmo
Price Range: $21-30
Learning curve time: Half a day
Age level: Adults Only
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 & up)

     Reviewed By: Phil Rownd (aka boyward)
     STAFF REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Genre: Sports
Christian Rating: 2 of 5 (poor)
Gameplay: 3 of 5 (average)
Violence: 5 of 5 (none)
Adult Content: 2 of 5 (heavy)


Super Swing Golf.  Illustration copyrighted.

I have enjoyed Camelot’s “Mario Golf”, as well as Sony’s “Hot Shots Golf” series. Both Mario and Hot Shots offer a cheery cartoon golf experience with deep gameplay on wacky golf courses. Super Swing Golf is like the other two in most ways. All three games use a traditional three-phase button control scheme where you push a button to start your swing, push again to gauge your power, and push a third time to set your accuracy. One advantage Super Swing Golf has over the Mario and Hot Shots games is the addition of motion control, and the good news is that it feels like real golf more than Wii Sports Golf ever did. Unfortunately, its severely uneven gameplay and borderline child pornography place it in a class far below the competition.

First, the good news. Swinging the remote like a golf club feels right. Unlike the somewhat wonky golf game in Wii Sports, if you hook or slice the ball or botch that putt, you know it’s due to your own lousy skills, not bad controls. Hitting that sweet spot after hours of practice gives a rewarding feeling. Some players never do get the hang of swinging a golf club, and they can always opt to go back the traditional three-phase button controls. Either way, when you learn how to hit the ball straight you’ll earn “Pangya Points”, which you can spend on new clubs, balls, caddies, or clothing items for your character. This level of customization goes far beyond anything we’ve seen in the Mario Golf games, but the deeper you go into Super Swing, the more its flaws become apparent.

Super Swing Golf is the western version of an online Korean golf game called “Pangya”. In the transition from Korea to the west, Pangya’s online mode has been completely removed from the Wii version of the game, so if you want to play Super Swing Golf with a friend you’ll have to share the same TV. I had hoped that the sequel would fix this omission, but I understand this remains a missed opportunity in the Super Swing 2.

Nevertheless, I have enjoyed playing Super Swing Golf with my wife. Neither of us golf in real life much, so we’re at about the same skill level, and although we rarely shoot under par we have a good time cheering for each other to get the ball in the hole. Each player can use their own remote, so you don’t have to pass the remote back and forth and readjust the wrist strap constantly. I can imagine other Christian couples sharing an hour of casual game time together.

It’s harder to recommend Super Swing Golf gamers who intend to play alone and mean to spend a lot of hours with the game, partly because the single-player challenge is so uneven, and partly because the “suggestive themes” are perverse and inappropriate. I’ll address those latter concerns first.

Superswing Golf-5

SEXUAL CONTENT
Super Swing Golf features one of the more unfortunate characteristics associated with Japanese anime: The girls in the game are portrayed as sex objects. Most of the outfits you can dress these girls in are designed to put the body on display, and the girls who wear them are about 12-18 years old. At the beginning of the game you can choose between a pre-teen boy or a girl. I chose the boy. All of his clothes were modest and appropriate for someone going to the golf course. My wife chose to play as the girl, but all the poor girl had to wear were revealing halter tops and bikinis. My wife spent a few hours earning Pangya Points and finally earned enough to buy her a modest dress. Once that dress was equipped we went back to enjoying our two-player contests without any problems at all, but as I took my character deeper into the single-player story mode I began to unlock more girls and I discovered the breasts get bigger, the poses get sexier, and the outfits get tighter. I even unlocked a lot of hand-drawn artwork that was a cartoon version of what you’d see on a men’s magazine, like Maxim. The girls strike all kinds of suggestive poses, sticking their rear ends out and showing off their barely-clothed breasts. I went on one Super Swing Golf fansite and they had an article showing some of these poses and outfits, one of which showcased a girl’s tightly outlined crotch, and there was some discussion on whether it was child pornography. Don’t misunderstand me. These fans were not overzealous Christians looking for a fight. Super Swing’s highly sexualized treatment of its female characters is enough to earn the world’s attention… and their disgust. These characters are kids dressed like sex objects. The more involved you get with the game and the more you unlock, the more of this stuff you’ll see. To make matters worse, when playing through the story mode the flirty male characters will comment on how hot the females are, and while this stuff may be acceptable in Japan, it’s really rather demeaning to women and to men alike.

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VIOLENCE
Characters throw themselves and their clubs on the ground when they lose.

SPIRITUAL CONTENT
One of the caddies is a broom-riding witch.

That’s about it for content as there is no profanity. I’d like to address Super Swing’s other major flaw: the uneven challenge in the single-player game. Your opponent rarely plays a consistent game of golf. They are either good at the game, or terrible. Their ball will go way off-course and land out of bounds, taking away all of the challenge, or else they will hit the ball perfectly every time, making it impossible for you to win. It’s like the game flips a coin before each game, and decides whether the computer-controlled player will play well or badly. Add to that the fact that you can’t save and quit in the middle of a game, and you have one unbalanced game of golf.

Super Swing Golf has some breezy, catchy tunes and slightly-better-than-Gamecube graphics, but if you’re looking for a good, casual Wii golf game I’d actually recommend Gamecube’s Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour over this. Or you could wait for Camelot’s upcoming “We Love Golf”, which will feature the same cartoon style and fun motion controls you want on Wii, and will probably have none of the perverse content you’ll find in Super Swing.

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Super Swing Golf is a game with an identity crisis. Judging by the cover, it looks like a kid-friendly game of anime golf, but the deeper you go the more smutty it gets. It’s like buying a children’s book and discovering a copy of Maxim magazine inside. Avoid it.

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Year of Release — 2006




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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