It’s time to tee off and take up your club in Wii Sports Club Golf for the Wii U. With improved controls Golf is better than its predecessor, but the GamePad serves as an unnecessary second-screen, relegating it to the rough rather than the fairway.
When Wii Sports launched back in 2006 for Nintendo’s seventh generation home console, it was a smash hit and incorporated some of the best sports to rival your friends on. Cut to the present day and Nintendo has revealed the updated HD versions of Tennis, Bowling and Golf, with Boxing and Baseball to feature at a later date. But are there enough changes to warrant parting with your hard-earned cash to fully purchase Golf, or is it worth keeping to the 24-hour passes for those lazy Sundays?
With the inclusion of the Wii U’s GamePad, second-screen gaming has reinvigorated Golf since the Wii’s days. Now there’s a virtual ball placed firmly at our feet, and we can gauge the strength by practising a few shots before taking our professional golfing stance – accompanied with an optional argyle vest and cap – to give it a real whack. After judging the wind direction, the placement of the shot and the potential distance we should cover, the game mirrors Golf exquisitely but to the detriment of fun.
Rinsing and repeating glances from the GamePad to the TV screen and playing by the rule book becomes tiresome for the average gamer. In no time at all, you’ve shirked your golfer’s clothes and backed the creative path, wondering how many times you can avoid the water and sand bunkers by taking the most unusual path possible. The GamePad may reflect the challenges of the sport in reality, but it doesn’t require an in-depth study to remain under or on par. It’s just as beneficial to keep your eye on the TV screen, feeling the strength and dexterity in your swing, without even giving the GamePad a second glance.
Controller accuracy has been improved greatly with the Wii Motion Plus. Gripping the remote with two hands gives you much more control over the direction of the ball, as a one-handed swing will more than likely veer off course, landing you in the rough or worse. Both Lakeside and Classic routes give you ample opportunities to keep on par in the three, nine and eighteen hole courses, offering up enough variety for players.
If you’re looking to play with a friend or group of people, the Skill Shaper courses present a lighter mood on the greenery. Putter Madness will help you gauge the strength of shots, with the highest scores achievable when putting from a greater distance, while Target Shooter keeps you on track by creating a barrier you must pass in order to score big points. But Golf’s most amusing mini-game is Bingo Clubber. Players are presented with a bingo board and must either calculate the shot correctly, or just leave it to chance, in order to score big points. For those players in need of light relief, teeing off to score points on a bingo board brings vivacity to an otherwise demanding game.
Of course, the biggest and brightest element to Wii Sports Club is the ability to play online with players across the world. Playing Golf online pits you against players with varying skill levels. It’s great to see how other players tackle courses – where you may even score some tips – but an equal measure of Schadenfreude is also thrown in.
If you’re a fan of the sport and like a challenge, Golf is certainly up to scratch, but the average gamer is best sticking to the day passes on those rainy days.