"I don’t know the ins and outs of golf by any means. Smacking the balls with absolutely no form intended is the length of my skill. So I choose rather to hit the fabricated lynx, where I don’t have to know anything about the game to enjoy it. I don’t need talent there because all I need is a decent controller and tolerable mechanics. So why on earth did someone create Outlaw Golf 2 and completely ruin my stride? "
I don’t know the ins and outs of golf by any means. Smacking the balls with absolutely no form intended is the length of my skill. So I choose rather to hit the fabricated lynx, where I don’t have to know anything about the game to enjoy it. I don’t need talent there because all I need is a decent controller and tolerable mechanics. So why on earth did someone create Outlaw Golf 2 and completely ruin my stride?
Sports games are either insanely realistic or completely off the wall. Either one is usually entertaining… usually. PGA tour made me feel like a seasoned pro while Blitz let me break every rule in football legally. When a company creates a sports game that stems so far into comic enjoyment they have to remember one thing: Some amount of consistency is needed, no matter how wacky you want to make it. Needless to say, this game doesn’t stand up to par.
This game is fun don’t get me wrong. Matter of fact it’s a downright blast when you’re not actually swinging the clubs. The characters are a riot; whether they’re fuming or partying. With strippers, ex-cons, hippies and rappers on your roster the antics are no doubt going to get a bit out there. If Miller (the ex-con) celebrates his shot too much, his guard/caddy gives him a jolt with a stun gun. Smack a decent ball and Summer (the stripper) pole dances along with her horny little body double and caddy, Autumn. Even the horrible shots are backed by a little bit of humor, bashing beer bottles over your caddie’s head or simply throwing a naughty temper tantrum. So if you’re a masochist eager to see your golfer distraught, this game is for you.
I wanted to learn this game first then be at ease when I pushed through the tournament, so I spent a good eight hours playing single games in an effort to hone my skills and get used to the mechanics. Pointless. It was pointless and I want those eight hours back. Skill has nothing to do with this game, much like ten pin alley. It’s a random, soul-numbing, nerve-nailing journey into the heart of inconsistency.
While Dead Or Alive my have hidden a very good volleyball game within a Sims like atmosphere, Outlaw tries to mask an absolutely horrid golf game with naughty and amusing antics. The major problem with this game isn’t the graphics, the sound or even the fun factor. It is just annoying when you buckle down and try to play some serious golf.
Outlaw’s mechanics are a mix of three of the most popular golf games out there. You can adjust the arch and trajectory of your ball as you could in Mario Golf, you use the analog stick to determine how long of a back swing you take like in PGA Tour, and you have a metered hit bar reminiscent of Hot Shots. Combining all the formulas from previous golf games sounds great when you’re reading the instruction booklet, but when you actually step out onto the fairway it’s a different story. PGA + Mario Golf + Hot Shots = jumbled friggin’ mess. It takes almost five minutes to plan, tweak and adjust your shot with all the things you have to worry about and that’s if you’re just planning on smacking it down the fairway. Trying to land it close to the hole is going to eat up a lot more of your time. And usually, you end up bouncing your ball off the green and onto the fringe. So you may want to think twice before you decide to act like Bill Nye while lining up your shot, as it isn’t worth it. It sometimes seemed that no matter what I did, I couldn’t pull off the shot I wanted, by no fault of my own, which ultimately lead to my loss.
The “bad shots” problem could be a result of poor stats. The available golfers are evenly matched for the most part, so it’s up to you to pick your favorite and build them up. Ha. Good luck with that theory. Stat building only happens when you play certain mini-games. Sometimes you try and hit targets strewn all about the driving range, other times you find yourself in the middle of a field, exploding golf balls in your bag in which to tip cows in the most violent way possible. Winning these mini-games consists of earning enough points for each level, after which you get a certain number of stats to be placed where you want. I don’t have a problem with this, but before you can do any real damage against the heavy hitters you are going to need to have past at least five of these bad boys, or you’re going to need a lot of luck. You only get two to start out with and it is not until much later in the game do you start to open more. So you have your work cut out for you. Which, again, wouldn’t be an issue if you were going up against guys on your own level, but you get to play the hidden prodigies of the game right out of the gate, whether you’re skilled or not.
Intimidating? Yes. Frustrating? Without a doubt. But if you think you’re dealing with the worst of it, try asking your golfer how he or she is feeling. Wait, actually you don’t need to. It will become apparent with an ingenious but retarded little meter that gauges your golfer’s mood, both good and bad. Hit a ball close to the hole, get anything below par or break a record and that meter goes green, slowly putting you “In the zone”. Once you’re there, you pull of miraculous shots, arch it around any stimey with ease and drop it dead on the green. Find yourself “In the gutter” and things are going to be a lot worse. Your ball won’t go nearly as far, even the slightest slip up will lead you into the rough and it doesn’t matter what kind of spin you try, the ball just won’t listen to you. This little meter can be turned off if you so choose, but it pushes you to a neutral stand point and you may need that extra spunk being in the zone provides you with just to pull off a win. It’s really a matter of tolerance. When it’s good, it’s like an old school Toyota commercial. When it’s bad, it’s aneurysm inducing.
On a lighter and more positive side this game has its share of antics and gimmicks, all of which are pulled together with the graphics and the sound. The presentation of the game is clean and precise. The characters have their own unique style and the actual lynx is something you would see in PGA tour. Although the mechanics of the game are blood boiling, their design is stellar. Each golfer has a smooth, rhythmic motion to them that makes watching each swing a lot more tolerable then the end result.
Dave Attel was kind enough to lend his voice as the commentator, even though I think the man knows less about golf then me. Although his little quips grow irritating, it is soon forgotten when backed by a soundtrack worthy of a Tony Hawk game. And much like the later Neversoft monsters you can weed through and negate all the bad songs, allowing you to choose your own play list.
While the graphics and the sound may be fair, the controls aren’t as glittering because they are more sensitive then a nine-hour sunburn. If you so much as even squirm away from the “straight up, straight down” method you’re ball goes flying… flying in a very bad direction. And unfortunately prayer is your only way out of this little dilemma as there is no pre-warning (hence the blue or yellow line in PGA). You’re pretty much taking your chances every time you hit the ball if you’re not concentrating or you’re analog stick is loose.
Inevitably the question I had to ask myself was “Are the antics and the humor worth trying to push through the jittery controls and the horrible inconsistency.” The answer is no. Hell no. This game is irritating. You beg and plead to push further through the game to unlock all those wonderful freaky golfers, but you can only curse and spit as you play the same round over and over, praying to the gods of the greens for some amount of luck. Luck that, sadly, will never come. This game is not a joy but rather a finger constantly poking your tolerance, easing up just so you can enjoy the calm for a moment then starting back up even harder then the first time. With Hot Shots and PGA tour available, the insane and the finicky both already have what they could be looking for and Outlaw golf does nothing to separate itself and make it a “must have”. Compared to its counterparts, Outlaw Golf 2 is the ball that gets bunked out of bounds while everyone else lies comfortably on the green.
Community review by True (September 22, 2005)
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