John Daly's ProStroke Golf Review

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John Daly's ProStroke Golf Publisher: O-Games
Developer: Gusto Games

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Join professional golfer John Daly for a series of challenges and tournaments on twelve golf courses in this golfing game that features the "ProStroke" control system and supports the recently released PlayStation Move motion control system for the PlayStation 3. The game is also prone to crashing and deleting your save data.

Kyle Ackerman

Don't even consider buying John Daly's ProStroke Golf. Really. I was busy writing this review as I ploughed through challenge after challenge, working my way through the career mode. On the second hole of the third tournament, the game crashed while the "saving" icon was flashing. The PlayStation 3 froze. Once I rebooted, I saw that my career had been deleted, giving me the opportunity to listen to John Daly's quips over and over again as I replayed every challenge yet again. I'll present you with what I'd written before the crash, edited while I search through my PS3 hard drive to see what data was corrupted.

If you're willing to risk a system crash that erases all of your progress, John Daly's ProStroke Golf is still a worthy purchase only if you're looking for a golf game that supports the PlayStation Move. That's why if you buy John Daly's ProStroke Golf, it should be on the PlayStation 3, and only if you own the PlayStation Move. It's not that John Daly's ProStroke Golf is a bad game (ignoring crashes), it's just not a good one, either. The controls are precise enough to make a passable golf game, but without a Move controller to let you actually physically swing the club, there are better (and much prettier) golf games available.

With John Daly's ProStroke Golf, Daly joins the ranks of Tiger Woods, adding his name to the golf game genre. If you're a fan of Daly, you'll love the fact that the tutorials and challenge dialog are voiced by the man himself. While it would be an honor to hit a few holes with the man and receive personalized golfing advice, listening to his recorded dialog is painful. His voice-overs are listless and extremely repetitive. Professionals ultimately narrate the tournaments and courses, but my first experiences with John Daly's ProStroke Golf were the tutorials and challenges, and those left me in fear that I would be listening to Daly's dialog all day. He certainly said his trademark "Grip it and rip it" a lot.

The best thing about John Daly's ProStroke Golf is in the name. The swing system is pretty good. I don't believe that it's the best, but it's certainly good enough, allowing you to easily transfer your golfer's weight and change your stance and club angle to hit nearly any shot as you want. Without the shot shaper, John Daly's ProStroke Golf is a mechanically-detailed golf simulation that takes time to master. Using the "Shot Shaper" and simplified controls, it's possible to immediately win tournaments because it generates a yellow arrow to tell you exactly how your shot will fly or roll. Add to that the display that tells you exactly how terrain will modify your power, and it's easy to golf well without significant effort. Characters don't level up, so you can immediately master an impressive golf game.

The worst thing about John Daly's ProStroke Golf (save the system crashes) is the graphics. The graphics look dated, there's a lot of popping and even the cinematic shots often make it difficult to see where the ball is flying or landing. I don't mind when tournaments have bystanders, but I don't like it when (in this current console generation) they look wooden and frequently repeated. Worse yet, if I hit them with the ball, there should at least be some reaction. Daly himself is only really recognizable thanks to his hair color and extravagant pants. There is some player customization, but it's minimal and indistinct. I wasn't really able to personalize my golfer, but I was able to don suitably emo attire so my golfer could mope around the course in his black outfit to show his dissatisfaction with Daly's dialog.

The game allows for quick play on courses, but the career mode requires that you complete four challenges against Daly before playing a tournament on that course. Certainly, winning the driving, short approach and putting challenges acquaints you with the various holes on the course, but after learning the basics, it felt like a lot of extra and unnecessary padding for the game. Because courses are unlocked sequentially, it means playing a lot of challenges before winning a few tournaments. Besides, the challenges aren't fundamentally hard, but the kind of mistake that would cost you a single stroke in a tournament can force you to replay the whole challenge. That's frustrating.

Given Daly's past suspension from the PGA tour, his rumored alcoholism and alleged domestic problems, he's hardly a cleaner-cut idol than Tiger Woods (after Woods' recent scandal). Daly is a professional gofer and an expert at long drives (at least, I hope that's where his nickname, "Long John," comes from), but he's not a professional voice-actor and isn't much of a companion on the course in John Daly's ProStroke Golf. Thinking about that, I figured out what I wanted this game to be. I could have forgiven the graphics and tedious challenges while swinging a Move controller had there been another voice actor going a little wild. That's when I decided I wanted to play John Daly's and Gary Busey's ProStroke Golf. That might have kept things interesting.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on October 30, 2010 10:20 AM.

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