John Daly’s ProStroke Golf

Originally Published: 3 November 2010

John Daly is one of the more colourful characters in golf. His trousers alone are the reason that people hold up signs that say “Quiet” as players approach the tee. They’re that loud. And they’re faithfully recreated in this game – the sequel to ProStroke Golf: World Tour 2007 and fully Move enabled for the PS3.

I should start by saying that you can play this game with a regular, run of the mill, common-or-garden PS3 controller. Which is great but, be honest, if you’re given the chance to swing a phallic peripheral with a glowing ball on the end around your front room with great gusto would you opt for the namby-pamby normal controller? Would you? Anyone can do that.

So, Move wand in hand (and firmly secured, naturally) I started to play the game. I turned to the tutorial first, to get to grips with the different shots – it’s a relatively quick process, explaining to you, in stilted voice-over, how to perform each type of shot, how to move your feet to get the maximum ooomph on the ball (it may be called something else in the game) and such like. Once you’ve had it explained you can practise shots until the cows come home or hop out of the tutorial and get stuck into the game proper.

Career mode isn’t really a career – you don’t develop your character as you would expect from a career mode. It’s just called that to differentiate it from quick play, where you can do the same things as you can in Career mode but a little bit quicker. Career mode is the place to go to unlock the twelve courses on offer – you do this by beating Daly at his own game. Each course comes with a driving, approach, putting and matchplay challenge which you must beat to unlock the course proper. You’re challenged by Daly to drive further or get closer to the pin. If you beat him, all well and good. The challenge is passed and you’re one step closer to unlocking the course. Fail the challenge and you’ll have to go again. While it starts off fairly easy, you’ll soon find that it becomes increasingly difficult to beat the challenges and you’ll become thankful of the charity pass that’s offered to you after repeated tries because “we can see you’re really trying to improve”. I’ll be honest, the first time I got one of these it annoyed me so much – it was like the crazy-trousered pro was mocking my golf skills so I kept hammering away at the challenge until I could rub his smug face in my genuine victory. But that was just probably just me.

Using the Move controller everything’s as you’d expect from a game of golf. Swing the controller back, and swing it down for your shot. The speed you bring the controller down determines how much wallop you put into the ball, any twists and turns you put into the Move wand (whether intentional or not) will hook or slice your shot into trees, water or other greens – just like a real game of golf. It’s actually bloody good fun and really shows how much work has been put into building this game for the Move controller.

Graphically, John Daly is not the best looking. While everything looks okay, there’s nothing really stand-out about the graphics. All the character models are pressed from the same mould and the courses lack elements of detail that you’d hope for on a current-gen console. The game was developed on a budget and it is sadly evident in the visuals – it doesn’t detract from the fun gameplay, but it is a shame.

The sound is another area where improvements could be made. The satisfying plink of a golf ball off the club is great, but the commentary and voice-overs leave a little to be desired. The vocals are stilted and, more annoyingly, often wrong. You’ll hit a magnificent shot, going for over 300 yards which lands squarely on the fairway – a shot you’d be proud of in normal circumstances – when the commentary team will annouce that you’ve made a mess of that shot, or you’ve gone wrong there. Even the great Daly himself, during the challenges, will proclaim your shots as rubbish when they’re excellent. And then he’ll make a 40-yard drive into a tree.

Who’s laughing now, Mr Fancy Pants.

Summary
It’s not the best looking, or the best sounding game out there but the Move controller functions incredibly well here. It’s obvious that without the addition of Move this would be a really quite bland addition to the golf genre, struggling to hold a candle to the likes of the Tiger Woods games. With the Move controller, however, it’s capable of holding its own. If the graphics and voice-over quality were improved this would be absolutely spot on.

7/10

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