What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is no violence, sexuality, or coarse language in this game. It offers Web-based play but provides no support for voice or text communication, making inappropriate online antics impossible (though it seems to be somewhat irrelevant since, as of this writing, there were so few people playing online that it was difficult even to find a match). A better bet is local multiplayer, which is not only more conducive to positive socializing but also, as it happens, the most compelling means by which to experience this particular golf game.
What's it about?
In making the Wii-exclusive WE LOVE GOLF!, developer Camelot Software Planning drew from its experience creating the superb Mario Golf games. Players can enter single-round tournaments, go up against unlockable characters in match play events, and while away time in a variety of mini-game challenges that test players' ability to do such things as shoot balls through rings suspended in midair. But there's one major difference between Mario Golf and We Love Golf!, and that's the latter's brand new motion sensitive swing meter. Rather than tap a button to start and finish a swing -- the traditional method of striking a ball in most golf video games -- We Love Golf! has players point the Wii remote at the ground and move it to the right, hold it still for a moment at the swing's apex, then flick it forward. Unfortunately, it's not a change for the better.
Is it any good?
A developer's urge to use the Wii's motion sensitive controls to emulate real life actions is understandable and even admirable, but We Love Golf's swing bears more in common with the movement involved in a gentle underhand toss than a proper golf swing. Indeed, next to the highly evolved and empowering controls of other current generation golf games, such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008 and Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds, We Love Golf!'s swing system seems like a frustrating step backward for the genre, delivering a reduction in both comfort and precision. What's worse, the poor swing negatively affects the rest of the game. In order to compensate for imprecise control, Camelot has simplified its course designs and built in an enormous margin of error for the swing meter. In other words, players use unrealistic swings to hit a series of poorly controlled shots but still score ridiculously well (don't be surprised if you find yourself seven or eight under par on your first round).
We Love Golf is best enjoyed by casual gamers since serious golfers will be put off by the corrupted swing and hardcore gamers will quickly grow bored of the low level of difficulty. As with many Wii sports titles, We Love Golf! becomes more appealing in a social setting (chatting with friends and taking turns standing to play is somehow more agreeable than standing and playing by your lonesome), but that's a pretty niche application for a $50 game. And it doesn't do anything to help the lousy controls.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the different kinds of games they have played that make use of the Wii's motion sensitive controls. We Love Golf! employs a swing system that some may find awkward relative to traditional golf video game controls. Have you played other games in which motion sensitive controls were more of a hindrance than a help? Have you played any games that would not have been feasible without motion sensitive control?