Touch Golf E3 2005 Preshow Impressions
18 holes, 14 clubs, and two screens. We go behind the numbers of this DS-only golf game.
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Golf games and handheld devices are a match made in heaven. That's why we're excited to see Touch Golf, which is currently in development for the Nintendo DS. Though the game's controls borrow a bit from a more well-known links franchise--namely, EA Sports' Tiger Woods--it seems to have a look, sound, and feel all its own.
Based on the trailer for the game, you'll be using the lower DS screen as both a course and hole map (one that will move dynamically once you hit your ball). More importantly, the touch screen will also be used as your method for swatting the ball. The swing mechanic seems to be more straightforwad than Tiger's. There doesn't seem to be an explicit power meter to speak of, though there were a few horizontal lines on the lower screen that could possibly indicate the power of your shot. For example, the farther "back" you start your stroke, the more power you'll put behind it. Secondly, as you draw your swing, a small blue line appears, tracing out exactly how "straight" you approach the ball. Presumably, you'll be able to fade or draw your ball by adjusting the curve of your drawn stroke. However, that isn't necessarily clear in the trailer.
The upper screen shows your golfer as he or she addreses the ball and eventually follows through with the stroke. We noticed small displays would pop up when the golfer holed out, showing small portraits of the player, along with his or her score on the hole. The character designs seemed slightly anime in flavor, though the small screen made it difficult to tell for sure.
Beyond the golf action, we were pretty impressed with the upbeat music in the trailer, which fit the quirky nature of the art style pretty well. Here's hoping the tune is just a sample of the kind of music we'll find when the game is released. No date has been set for Touch Golf's release yet, but we look forward to going a few more rounds with this one in the future.