After experiencing it, I really can't see how you can play a golf game in any other way.

User Rating: 8.1 | True Swing Golf DS
To me, golf is a very boring sport. But even more boring are all the golf games out there... I mean, what's the point? At least while exercising the real thing you get to take nice walks and enjoy some fresh air.

Reluctantly, I picked up True Swing Golf and gave it a try. My reaction surprised me.

The major difference between True Swing and any other licensed golf franchise (Tiger Woods, anyone?) is the advertising. There are no brands, no billboards, no ads. Not on the player's clothing, not on the equipment, not even on the golf courses. It's just golf and the great outdoors, a very "light" and refreshing change from the usual in-your-face advertising in the golf games we are used to.

True Swing Golf lets you pick one from eight pre-set characters (four male, four female). You also pick their personality (either cool or wild) which will influence how they react to the result of their swings, but it's also supposed to have an impact on their overall golfing performance. A very cool little detail is the ability to pick if your golfer is right-handed or left-handed.

There are several different modes of gameplay: Practice, Quick Round, Match and Tournament. Practice and Quick Round are very casual, while Match and Tournament pose a challenge. In Match, you play against an A.I. golfer, but you can pick your opponent's difficulty level to match yours. In Tournament, you compete for cash prizes. You can then use this money to purchase upgrades in the Golf Store, such as clothing or equipment (gloves, clubs, balls, shoes) with better stats.

True Swing Golf also offers wireless multiplayer gameplay for up to four players from one single game card through the DS Download Play.

The game offers fifteen fictitious 3D rendered golf courses, each with a different design and specific obstacles ranging from sand pits to lakes or lots of trees, not to mention wind conditions.

When beginning a new course, the top screen shows you a 3D aerial view of the entire course from start to finish, while the bottom screen shows you a top-down panoramic. During gameplay, you see your character and his/her respective actions on the top screen, and the swinging and menu access happens on the bottom screen.

Being my first contact with the DS, I really enjoyed the use of the stylus for this game. You actually swing the stylus to hit your ball, and the touch screen does a really great job at recognizing strong and delicate swings, registering the speed at which your ball will go (I did find it easier to swing with the screen tilted sideways, for long drives anyway). You use the stylus as if it were the club: you touch the club, pull it back and quickly drag it forward (without lifting the stylus from the touch screen) to simulate the swing. Furthermore, you can angle your swing and change where you want to hit the ball to compensate for wind conditions.

True Swing Golf is an easy to pick up and play game that will appeal to both golf players and golf videogame players. It's very interactive and realistic, and after experiencing it, I really can't see how you can play a golf game in any other way.

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