Real World Golf


Review by Matt Paprocki

Mad Catz


Graphics: 3

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7


realworldgolf1xbox.jpg (37269 bytes)It's tough to compete in golf video games when Tiger Woods doesn't adorn your box. There's only one thing you can do to counter that situation: make a bigger box. That's exactly what Real World Golf does, cramming an interactive golf system (not just the game) into a mass of hopefully recycled cardboard. When it works, the entire experience is unmatched.

Letting players swing a club while hitting a virtual ball is hardly an innovative concept. It's been done before, dating back to the 16-bit era, and multiple arcades feature a similar style of play. What Real World offers is a compact, easy to understand play model that can be used almost anywhere.

The sum of parts here are the base, two gloves, a cheap plastic shortened club, a foot pedal, and the game itself. Set up is painless, taking around three minutes once you're familiar with where things are supposed to go. The gloves attach to a weighted base by thin wires. These two thin pieces of wire is how the game registers your swing and motions.

It's necessary to calibrate initially, and heading out onto the driving range is a quick way to ensure the game can properly register your swing. It could take a few tries. Once set up, you can tackle tournaments or basic play. A few extra party games are a nice addition.

For the most part, taking a few swings on any of the courses is enjoyable. While none are recognizable, the greens and fairways do a fine of job of making them feel high class. Hindering their feel is the abysmal graphics engine that's beyond dated. It's almost impossible on some courses to distinguish rough from fairway.

The interface is fine given that you're tethered to the base. Raising a single hand will adjust you aim, hitting the small foot pedal brings up a screen to switch clubs (along with plenty of other choices), and you can zoom into your destination by putting both hands up. It's not neccisarily natural, but it works.

realworldgolf2xbox.jpg (21637 bytes)Putting is the games crippling flaw. There's no aiming necessary since the game automatically sets up the line. The only concern, on any difficulty, is power. If the game was consistent, this might not be a problem. Unfortunately, when comparing the available practice swing to the real thing, it rarely registers correctly.

That begins a small decline in the Real World Golf's entertainment value. Without online play, multi-player is cumbersome. While you won't need to switch until after one player is completely finished with their round, this means the opposing player is sitting around doing nothing for nine or even 18 holes.

The act of swinging itself will provide some problems as well. A taller person will have problems during their backswing since the wires on the base are too short. This could lead to a missed ball, accidental aim adjustment, or damage to the base. A powerful swing can lead to the same issues. Consistency is the final problem, registering different strength levels on swings that look to be perfect.

When it's working properly though, Real World Golf is a great console experience. At times, it definitely feels like the game was built around the technology instead of the other way around. Aside from that, this unique way to play video game golf is an easy purchase from those who have grown tired of EA's arcade style Tiger Woods franchise.


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Last updated: Friday, August 25, 2006 10:33 PM