Review by Christophee

"An excellent way to bring golf to the GameCube"

GameCube owning golf fans in the UK will probably know exactly how frustrating it is to hear that Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour will keep on being delayed, as happens with most UK releases. With this news, I decided that I would buy another golf game to play until this was released. What I found was a very cheap copy of Ace Golf (The PAL UK name for Swingerz Golf). But how ''ace'' would the game turn out to be?

Graphics: Truly brilliant. I have never come across a golf game with graphics as excellent as these. The characters have an Amine feel to them which is hardly surprising as this is a Japanese game. The character detail is pretty good, the characters are well designed and quite well built but there is not enough tone or fine detail on the skin or the faces. All in all though, the characters look good and the swinging movement is spot-on. The surroundings of the course look great with greatly textured trees, skies lakes, cliffs and fabulous lush green grass. The game also has an excellent 3D feel, meaning it is easy to see where there are slopes and bumps on the course.

Audio: Every character has his/her own special phrases for when things go well and when they go horribly wrong. These sounds can be quite comical, which adds to the Anime feel of the game. There are also sounds and comments from the audience when something goes well, badly or when the weather conditions change. The problem is, you don’t get to see the crowd but that is not uncommon in golf games. There is also sound for every weather condition like the patter of raindrops and the crash of thunder.

Gameplay: The thing that makes this game different form any golf game that I have played before is the intuitive new swing system. Instead of pressing the buttons at carefully timed intervals, the swing is done by pulling the C-stick back and pushing it forward. This doesn’t take very long to get used to and is an improvement on the old system in my opinion, giving you a better feel of actually playing the game of golf. The game is very easy to pick up and play, making it ideal for golf novices to get into but, at the same time, making sure that it is an enjoyable experience for golfing fanatics. The game is notably similar to Mario Golf on the N64 which some may see as a copy but I see as a bonus as is takes the best things about an already excellent game and brings it to the 128-bit era of gaming, before Nintendo’s own GameCube offering.

Lifespan: There are many different game modes to choose from including Tournament, Stroke, match and even Mission play. The Mission mode requires you to pass certain golfing objectives to move onto the next and complete the mission. It is a very fun addition to the game. There is also a possibility for up to four players to join in and if you do not own four controllers don’t worry because only one is needed for a four player game. There are many characters and items to unlock and many tournaments to win so this game will keep you going until Mario Golf is out and beyond!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/11/04

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