by TDK Mediactive
Outlaw Golf is one of the first titles we will look at from TDK Mediactive. Over the next week or so we'll look at Shrek Super Party (Xbox) and two other games for the GBA, Shrek Hassle in the Castle and Robotech The Macross Saga. For a while it was feared that Outlaw Golf would be a US only title so it's TDK Mediactive we have to thank for the game arriving here in the UK.
Outlaw Golf is a golf game unlike any other. If you like your golf games realistic and peaceful then you are in for one heck of a shock. The game features, for want of a much stronger word, mature language and explicit violence. The game is definitely an adult game and how it landed an ELSPA rating of 11+ defies belief with it's violence and language. There are also some suggestions of intimacy between the female golfer and female caddie pairing of Summer and Autumn which really isn't for anyone's eyes who is still at school. I not saying that features such as this shouldn't be in a game, but it shouldn't be able to be purchased by a 12 year old for instance. However that's ELSPA's fault and not that of the developers.
Anyway after the shocking revelations of the game's let's say 'uniqueness', let's have a look at the gameplay. The modes on offer are Exhibition and Tour mode. The varieties of golf game are Stroke, Match, Skins, Best Ball, Scramble, My One and Only, Casino and Time Attack. These modes can either be played in Exhibition mode or as one of 30 events in the Tour Mode. The game includes only 3 courses and in terms of game features this has to be the biggest disappointment. All of the Tour events are played on these 3 courses and it can get repetitive as a result of this.
All in all there are 10 golfer and caddie pairings within the game, although initially there are only four you can access and the other six pairings will be unlocked with your success in the Tour mode. You begin the game with access to El Suave, Summer, Ice Trey and Harley. The unlockable characters are Mistress Suki, Killer Miller, CC, Trixie Monroe, Scrummy O'Doole and Doc Diggler. They all have their respective caddies. They all have different personalities but one thing they all love to do is beat up their caddies when things aren't going too well. Your golfer has a composure rating and when bad shots are performed this will decrease and of course when good shots are performed it will increase. The composure rating affects the chances of performing a good shot. Composure can be restored by beating up your caddie. During a game you will earn beating tokens for birdies etc. To successfully hit your caddie you simply have to press the button at the appropriate location on the gauge. You can amass a maximum of five hits which can take your composure from the lowest to the highest rating.
You perform shots in Outlaw Golf by bringing the right analogue stick back and pushing it forwards. This is supposed to simulate a true golf swing and actually works quite well. I also noticed that when your composure is poor there is extra vibration when you pull the stick back which makes it more difficult to perform a shot. Of course if your composure is sky high then there is less vibration and therefore a shot is slightly easier to make. The game still retains the power bar though, so you can see the power of the shot you're about to make. A suggested power percentage is also shown to help you judge the shot. Spin can also be applied to your shots. The ball physics are quite impressive too. When you are aiming your putts on the green, you are allowed 3 peeks of the estimated finishing point of your shot. This allows you to roughly guess where to place your shot without downright cheating, like many other golf games have done in the past.
Visually the game is impressive. It was disappointing to see vsync problems though, which are evident when panning the camera around. The characters all look very good and the textures on the courses are also very impressive. The camera angles within the game are also good and I had no problems with them at all.
Throughout the game, tutorial included, there is plenty of speech from the characters, most of it is 'adult' in nature. None of this speech is subtitled which is a catastrophe for deaf gamers. You can still play the game of course because all important details are in text, but if you are buying the game for it's adult flavour then you'll be in for a huge disappointment. Of course if you're playing the game with hearing people in the room then be careful because of the content of the language.
Outlaw Golf will be both loved and hated by gamers. Those who love golf will probably prefer not to play a game that mixes adult content and violence into their beloved sport, which is a shame because the golf elements of the game have been done very well indeed. However those who prefer the adult nature of the game and just want to have a laugh, will probably be very interested in the game. The lack of courses is a huge shortcoming though, especially when most golf games come with at least half a dozen courses.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10 Adult is one way to describe the flavour of the game but if you like this kind of content mixed with your sports then Outlaw Golf will appeal to you. The lack of courses is a disappointment though.
Deaf Gamers Comment: No subtitles at all.