Pro Stroke Golf: World Tour 2007 Review

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Publisher: Oxygen Interactive
Developer: Gusto Games

Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PSP
Reviewed on PSP

Starting as a skillful golfing novice with a set of clubs and an sweater vest or polo shirt, strive to conquer the world's greatest (usually fictional) courses – or build your own – in Pro Stroke Golf: World Tour 2007.

Kyle Ackerman

Pro Stroke Golf: World Tour 2007 is a decent golf game. Unfortunately, even on the PSP, golf is a crowded genre, and a game has to be superlative to compete. Versions of the game were already released for the PC, Xbox and PlayStation 2 to a less than stellar reception – and it appears that the PSP version has fixed some of these problems – but it still falls short of the Tiger Woods and Hot Shots games.

What Pro Stroke Golf lacks is a hook to bring in typical gamers. The game boasts pros like Sergio Garcia, Ben Curtis and Ian Woosnam, as well as commentary from Sam Torrance, Ian Baker-Finch and Alan Green. But while these names might appeal to serious golfers, they don't have the international or casual appeal of a Tiger Woods. And the aspirations to strict realism can make for nail-biting attempts to hit under par, but they lack the wacky characters and exploding golf balls that pull in football and backgammon players alike. That makes Pro Stroke Golf a game for real golfers with a bit of time on the way to the green.

So while Pro Stroke Golf doesn't do much to differentiate itself, it does manage to deliver the kind of golf gamers have come to expect. There's a decent tutorial to coax you through all the different types of shots, and a lifetime mode that will have you playing against other golfers in an effort to gain renown.

The game's saving grace is that making anything other than a straightforward shot requires a little skill. Rather than just tapping a button to add spin or toggling through different shots, I had to control the golfer. Flop shots, punch shots and spin are all arranged by deciding where to place your golfer's feet and strike the ball. That means it requires a little practice to play a truly difficult lie or hit around a tree.

The fact that you can't simply overpower Pro Stroke Golf: World Tour 2007 gives it a bit more play. On the other hand, the AI competitors, even those modeled on famous golfers, have a problem finding the green. In fact, they seem to aim for bunkers rather than avoid them. So while it's challenging to stay under par, your opponents will have even more trouble. Plus, you have to watch most of what other players do, so playing with an AI makes it take a very long time to play a full 18 holes.

Pro Stroke Golf: World Tour 2007 does allow for multiplayer games, and even supports a course designer so you can make your own fanciful courses. Or, go through the trouble to remake real courses the game didn't license. While those features are pleasant boons, the game still needs something dramatically unique to set it apart from other golf games. Even for the PSP.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on March 28, 2007 2:52 PM.

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