John Daly's Prostroke Golf Review
John Daly's Prostroke Golf box art
System: PS3, X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: O-Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Gusto Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 5, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Goofy pants don't win tournaments
by Andrew Groen

There was a decent amount of hope for John Daly's Prostroke Golf in the months leading up to its release. Never mind that it comes from an almost completely unknown developer in O-Games, whose most high-profile release to date was Superstars V8 Racing in 2009. Or that its publisher, Reverb, has a spotty record at best, working on games as varied as the abysmal Fairytale Fights and the great Beatles Rock Band.

John Daly's Prostroke Golf screenshot

Never mind all of that, because John Daly's Prostroke Golf was supposed to bring a fresh pair of eyes to the golf genre, and more importantly, implement the PlayStation Move control that was supposed to revolutionize the genre. The only problem? It doesn't. John Daly's golf game has about as much chance of beating Tiger Woods PGA Tour as the real John Daly does of beating the real Tiger Woods.

It's an interesting time in the golf genre, and the industry could have been poised to adopt a new king. Tiger Woods' reputation has been badly wounded by his ongoing scandal, so much so that it was rumored that EA might drop his endorsement of their golf series altogether. But instead of toppling the king, Tiger Woods' throne may be more secure than ever. Prostroke Golf shows us how much we've come to take for granted in the golf genre, and shows us a bleak alternate future without the many advancements EA Sports has brought to the genre.

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But before I beat up on it too much, I should mention that the PlayStation Move controller implementation is pretty good, even if it's not quite where it could be. The Move controller is used to measure the velocity of your swing, which is good and bad. On one hand, swinging the Move controller and having it accurately shown on screen is good fun. But a few things hold it back. For one, the back swing is a marker of how much power will be put into the swing. But you can hold the club back slowly until you reach the exact power you want; the swing doesn't need to be one fluid motion. It feels like cheating or gaming the system.

John Daly's Prostroke Golf screenshot

Also, the Move controller doesn't map anything regarding the angle of your swing. Just velocity. You aim prior to the swing and then fire away with the controller. This allows you to focus on the speed of the swing. However, the unintended side effect of this is that hitting the ball accurately is entirely too easy. The entire game is essentially about aiming the ball straight and then swinging. There is almost no challenge to hitting a ball straight, and no incentive to apply spin. Just “grip it and rip it” as John Daly says ninety-seven times in the first hour of the game.

The “too easy” statement applies until you reach the green. Then it becomes obscenely hard. The main culprit here is the aiming system. A precise putt requires pinpoint accuracy, but instead the Move-aiming system swivels wildly. It requires near-surgical precision to get the ball aimed in the right direction.

John Daly's Prostroke Golf screenshot

As I said, the motion control isn't what sinks this game; it's everything else. The presentation is sorely lacking in every single category. First and foremost, the graphics are abysmal by modern standards, though the game might have been passable if it released in 2004 against Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005. The scant few character models look awkward and uncomfortable. Even the character model of John Daly himself looks like a joke. He looks like a Nordic clown. His hair literally looks like a hard plastic wig, and his trademark goofy pants are probably the best rendered thing in the game.

Screenshots / Images
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