Written by  :  D Michael (232)
Written on  :  Dec 18, 2006
Platform  :  Xbox
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

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Golfers and non-golfers enjoy!

The Good

I consider there to be three types of golf games. The first type is the technical, realistic kind, the second is the silly, low impact kind, and then there's Outlaw Golf.

Outlaw Golf has done an excellent job of combining attractive and entertaining comedy with realistic and technical gameplay.

It's called "Outlaw Golf" I assume because of the characters with which you play the game. Most of these folks are bikers, ex-cons, or just quirky in general. They are all character types you wouldn't expect to see out on the course. Most have witty sayings and practice risque behavior out on the course, and the announcer is right there with them with rude and suggestive comments.

Nevertheless, the gameplay side is highly technical. For one, strokes are executed by holding directly back on the R analog stick, and then pushing directly forward to make a straight swing. If you are just a hair off in either direction, the ball will hook or splice. This swing style takes lots and lots of practice, and even after completing and unlocking the entire game, there were many instances in which I'd mess up hitting the ball. I liked this, because even Trevino, Woods, and (especially) Muriyama hit the ball out of bounds from time to time. Of course you can select the point of impact on the ball for spin, and make numerous other adjustments that factor into your shot aside from the use of the R analog swing system.

Another thing I liked is that your character will be affected by both bad and good shots. For example, if you make consistently good shots, it will become easier and easier to hit the ball straight. Land in the rough or out of bounds, and your character will become upset and it will be extremely difficult to hit the ball straight. I liked this level of realism, in that when things are going good out on the course, your confident rises and the game gets easier.

Putting is no joke either. If you are trying hard to sink the ball once you're on the green, you'll find yourself taking a lot of time to plan out your shot. You can view the green from multiple angles, examine the grade of the ground, and make adjustments accordingly. Then once you have decided on the best approach and made your adjustments, you're still going to need to use the back to forward analog function effectively to make your shot play out effectively. Easy to learn and hard to master, the putting system in Outlaw Golf is one of the best I've seen.

Every player has a caddy, and what's funny is that if you are playing well such as scoring a birdie, eagle, or just make good shots, you'll have the opportunity to beat up your caddy which is a simple mini game in and of itself. Beating up your caddy effectively will allow your player to become focused and driving or putting becomes easier. This is best done when you have gone into the sand or landed in the rough and need a focused character for your next tough shot. What's more is that each character has their own fighting style. One might beat their caddy down with a golf club, while another might do a pile driver on him and then break his arm. The harder you beat your caddy, the more focused you become.

This game also has high replay value in that there are many things to unlock. New courses, new characters, and most importantly better quality clubs and golf balls. Aside from this there are many options for different kinds of games like skins and casino (where you make money wagers on each hole). You can also do a co-op team game against the computer, play heads up, or do a 2v2 with you and a computer character vs another human and computer character. There are lots and lots of options.

Everyone has their little dance, sayings, or personality in the game. Furthermore different characters possess different specialties in that some may be good at long drives, while others have better control.

The physics in the game are excellent. Wind is factored in accurately, and the roll of the ball and the effects of different surfaces hold up with real life golfing. On top of that the camera angles are excellent and you get to see everything that's going down from impact of the ball, through its flight, and finally to where it rests.

The Bad

There are some minor issues I had with the game. While it's fun at first to watch the little cutscenes of various characters acting up on the course, after awhile it gets old. Furthermore while there is a wide variety of remarks made by the commentator, after about 4 or 5 18 hole rounds you've heard it all. Thankfully you can turn commentary off, but when you do the game suddenly feels very quiet with a minimal of sound effects.

Sometimes when playing against the computer it gets old waiting for the opposition to drive or put, but fortunately holding down the buttons speeds up the process substantially.

This game is especially hard on the xbox controller. Usually hitting the ball straight is easier when the back to forward on the R analog is done in a quick and hard flick o' the stick. After a period of time, I've noticed that in playing other games that the R analog was damaged slightly.

The Bottom Line

Outlaw Golf has everything for the golf fan, and a lot of other features that will attract those that haven't had an interest in video golf. No matter which side of the fence you're on, I recommend this game due to its realism, quirkiness, and high replay value. Aside from any of that, it's just plain fun.