A golf game might not be Everybodyâ€™s idea of a good time but even people who struggle to tell the difference between a 9 iron and a $9.95 iron from Kmart will find something to like in Golf: Tee It Up!
Thereâ€™s no major gimmick or twist involved â€“ just a cute, polished cartoon golfing experience. As a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game, the title is far from a technical marvel, but it never strives to impress outside of its own limits, so comes off well as a light-hearted and surprisingly addictive arcade game.
Golf: Tee It Up! is easy to pick up, but doesnâ€™t spoon feed you from the word go. Your confidence is likely to get quite high before you realise youâ€™re trying to use a pitching wedge to drive the ball 300 yards. A high wind speed can push your ball meters off course, and inconveniently placed shrubbery can turn your sensational drive into an embarrassing ricochet, as your ball pings off a tree trunk and over the side of a cliff face.
On the flip side of this difficulty is the ability to often hit perfect shots if you have even the slightest notion of timing and a bit of button pressing enthusiasm. The game is enjoyable to play, and obviously aimed at a wide target audience, but can be humbling as you mess up so badly, youâ€™re forced to discover what comes after a triple bogey shot. (For the record, youâ€™d be staring at a miserable +4â€¦)
To help you on your way to golfing greatness, the game includes a â€śFocusâ€ť ability, allowing you a few precious seconds of help with each hole. You can use your focus
for good, or for awesome to change the spin of the ball during flight, or to predict which way the ball is going to roll on the green. With only a couple of seconds worth of focus power for each hole, thereâ€™s never a danger of the feature taking over and turning your game into a super powered Heroes montage.
The graphics are bright and pleasant enough to look at, with an abundance of vegetation and sunshine populating the screen during a majority of the gameplay. Thereâ€™s no Doom 3 engine at work here, but a genuine effort appears to have been made to make the two course locations look interesting and detailed.
Music may not seem high on the list of â€śMust Havesâ€ť when youâ€™re concentrating on your swing, but a bad soundtrack could have killed this game. Luckily, most of your rounds will be played with a rather charming soundtrack in the background, similar in style to the mystical melodies heard throughout Fable. As long as you donâ€™t have the game running 24 hours a day, youâ€™d be hard pressed to find the music irritating.
With different gameplay options available, Golf: Tee It Up! could fill your entire evening, or 10 minutes as you wait for the bathroom to free up. Stroke, cup or matchplay games are all on offer, and with customisable characters to dress up and play with, your entertainment options are many. We strongly support playing golf in monster feet and bunny ears in real life too.
Golf: Tee It Up! is an XBLA worth getting your hands on, and at 800 MS points, will provide a reasonable bang for your buck.