Welcome to the most incomprehensible golf course in the world. It’s a mixture of real world physics and fantastic environments. Japanese characters mesh seamlessly with an ancient Scottish sport using ridiculous items such as bombs for golf balls and baseball bats for clubs. Logic is thrown out the window and so is the fun. Welcome to Pangya, home of Super Swing Golf.
Yes, there’s no fun to be found in the golf courses of Pangya. Fun left town and was replaced with a user-hateful interface; a control system that’s so far beyond wonky that there’s no more wonk to be found, only despair; and hydrocephalic characters who are so super-deformed that bad little boys and girls everywhere who are punished with this game will suffer nightmares well into their adult life.
However, to its credit, the game actively believes it’s fun. Right down to its insipid story, characters, dialogue, overwrought emotions (repeated ad nauseum due to lack of animation variety), and heartfelt belief that you will give a damn about Scout, not to mention the assortment of freaks he meets along the way. And the courses would be pretty amazing if Mario Golf’s fantastic environments weren’t so incredibly lush in comparison. The game dilutes its own attempt at charm by being far too straightforward at golf.
Hope you enjoy ciphers, this game is full of them. In fact, you’ll be playing as one for a good long while as Scout. Scout is the protagonist of Super Swing Golf’s main single-player mode. He’s a generic anime design that works as your primary avatar. He has no personality, lacks style (unless you change his hair color and clothes) and zero charisma. Ah, but this is a golf game, who cares about all that? Apparently someone does, or anime golf games wouldn’t exist at all.
In fact, I’m going to digress for a moment here and ponder the existence of this game. Is it made with the solo player in mind or as a multiplayer game? This question is due, in part, to one of Super Swing’s major problems. You have one whole character to choose from in the beginning, and the others are available through a tediously slow unlocking process. Right out of the box, the only way to tell the difference between two avatars is the "1P" and "2P" hovering over their heads.
So this game is primarily for single player, right? I couldn’t tell you. In fact, it raises a number of unanswerable questions. Why can’t I make my own character? Why is there a golf genre smack in the middle of Mario Golf games and Tiger Woods losing all the strengths of either game and suffering every weakness? What if Mario Golf wasn’t fast paced, silly, and charming? What if Tiger Woods had no variety or choice? The answer, friends, is Super Swing Golf.
Touching back on the controls for a moment, no matter how the controller is tilted, the club is pulled back. That’s realism, folks. One would think that in order to hit the ball straight, the controller is swung down straight. Truth is, only the developers know. It’s impossible to gauge what was done either consistently or inconsistently from any other shot. Since the movement isn’t 1:1, correction is painfully difficult.
The best part, however, is fighting the interface. The Wii was made to simplify. Super Swing complicates. Sometimes the controller is a club; other times it’s a mouse. In itself it’s slightly cumbersome, but possibly a necessary evil since other factors such as club selection and positioning are involved. However, not everything is available on the screen. For example, how do you access the map? There’s no mini-map to click on the screen to enlarge. Hit the number one button on the bottom of the controller instead. Make sure it’s hit twice, or else the game will simply move to free camera mode. Okay, now that we’re on the map screen, let’s play "Find the cup." Don’t see it? Well, hit the B button and wave the pointer around to move the camera wildly up and down the course until you get lucky and find the flag. Now this is a game!
No need to ponder the target audience anymore. The answer is obvious: no one. Super Swing Golf is obnoxious, gimmicky, featureless, and, despite its best attempts otherwise, humorless.