Super Swing Golf Season 2 Update
We hit the green with Tecmo's upcoming Wii golf game.
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Tecmo released the original Super Swing Golf hot on the heels of the Wii launch in December, offering an alternative golf game that fell somewhere between the traditional experience of Tiger Woods and the simple golf found in Wii Sports. The game featured a colorful cast of characters, fantasy-themed courses, and a unique control scheme that relied on the Wii Remote. Not much was changed for Super Swing Golf Season 2, Tecmo's follow-up to last year's game. The game offers a refinement of the gameplay and content of the original game. It also adds some new bells and whistles in the single and multiplayer games. We recently had the chance to try out a near-final version of the game to see how the title is shaping up.
You'll find the same basic breakdown of modes in SSGS2, single and multiplayer, although some tweaks have been to the experience. The single-player game puts a new wrinkle on the solo game from the original Super Swing. The golf game is pretty much the same in terms of how it plays out; you'll still need to use your golf skills, special clubs, and super moves to get your ball into the hole. The framework for the golf game has changed up quite a bit though. You'll now be making your way through a board-game-style map with each point having its own unique golf challenges. Along the way, you'll find special points just off the main path that offer unlockable content, such as outfits, clubs, caddies, and characters if you can defeat their respective bosses. The items you open up do more than just make your character look swank because they'll offer unique stat upgrades. The club selection is pretty solid and faithful to the last game, whereas a new beginner's club is ideal for newcomers still getting the hang of the control scheme.
The multiplayer game skews toward a party-game feel with support for up to four players. We checked out three of the four minigames in the party mode: darts, driving contest, and balloon pop. Darts challenges you to land your ball in a dart board laid out on the ground to match a target score. The driving contest gives you three shots to get your ball out to the farthest distance. Balloon pop is arguably the coolest of the games we played, thanks to the novelty of letting your fellow players mess with you while you take your shot. Your goal is to basically pop as many balloons as you can. The catch is that there are various items you can get, which let you distract whoever's playing by drawing graffiti, altering the wind on the course, or making noise to name just a few. As always, there's nothing like a little psychological torture to make multiplayer fun. Unfortunately the game doesn't include Wi-Fi support for online competitions or leaderboards, which is a bummer.
It takes a bit of practice to get a handle on the controls, but you'll be able to get plenty of it in SSGS2's practice mode. Not only does the mode let you brush up on the basics of the game, it also lets you set up your own custom course on which to hone your skills. Beyond that, you'll be able to take practice shots during the game before you actually hit the ball, which helps you prep for tricky shots. While the game maintains the same basic control mechanic as its predecessor, the refinement to the system gives this installment in the series a better feel.
Super Swing Golf Season 2's presentation doesn't stray too far away from the sights and sounds of the original. The game still sports the cutesy, anime-inspired look of its predecessor. The characters look like the eccentric cousins to the Hot Shots Golf cast, thanks to their varied personal styles, which you can take a step further by customizing with a host of clothing and accessories. The courses, especially the returning ones from last year, are in the same vein, although the new courses sport a more fanciful design that allows for over-the-top touches, such as lava pits. The audio is still a modest array of sound bytes and effects set to lounge-y tunes that set a mellow vibe.
Based on what we played, Super Swing Golf Season 2 is shaping up to be a smoothed-out update of the Wii launch game. While the game is thin on new content and has an expansion-pack feel, the control tweaks help tighten up the experience. If you were a fan of the original Super Swing Golf or if you're looking for a nontraditional golf game, you'll want to check out Super Swing Golf Season 2 to see if it's for you. Super Swing Golf Season 2 is slated to ship this December.