For those looking for the middle of the road between Tiger and Hot Shots, Eagle Eye Golf is it.
Eagle Eye Golf is a blend of simulation and arcade golfing. I’m not sure that it will find a large niche among golf-minded gamers since those that are of the golfing persuasion will already have their Hot Shots and Tiger Woods PGA. Those that prefer the arcade style of golf may find this a little more interesting as it presents a bit more of a challenge but nothing so frustrating or difficult. Overall the game has a decent selection of modes including online play but the gameplay itself is just average. There are no particularly colorful characters or amazing courses. This is an example of a game that would have been revered at the beginning of the millenium but it’s bound to be largely overlooked simply because it’s a case of too little, too late.
It’s difficult to shoot holes in this game as it’s pretty solid from a technical standpoint but it doesn’t offer anything fresh or unique. It covers the same old ground and does it with all the flair of a budget title, which is basically flair-less. Hey it’s cheap and it’s functional. It’s the snowmobile equivalent of the Ski-doo Skandic Tundra – which I must admit looks a lot better than it did a number of years ago. You can create your own character but you’re limited to a few racial and body types, all very conservative. A course editor allows you to customize your own dream course and considering the few courses included in this game this is a good addition. You can add hazards, level slopes and change the entire fairway to give you and your buddies not only more of a challenge but something different to look at. You can even test the hole out before you save it just to make sure it’s perfect.
As in any golf videogame, it all comes down to the control system. In this case we use the analog sticks to hit the ball and determine the amount of power instead of using the power meter that requires hitting the button at the desired time. The sticks are definitely the way to go for a more realistic experience but there is little room for error. You have to learn how to finesse the sticks to the exact degree required. Pulling back on the stick determines the strength of the shot. To connect with the ball you must then push the stick forward, careful to make this move as straight as possible to maintain any degree of accuracy. Each club is slightly different and as such will be used for different kinds of shots as in a real golf game. To replicate this, each club has an accuracy zone on the head which must come in contact with the ball. This will ensure a straight shot. How far the ball travels will be determined by how far back you pulled the stick. If you hit the ball outside of the zone there’s no telling where it will go as you may end up hooking or slicing it. It takes a while to get used to these controls but once you develop the touch, it becomes almost too easy.
Topspin, backspin, fade, draw, hooks and slices are all possible. You can hit the ball in any of the eight directions of the D-pad and by adding some English, you can fine-tune the direction to exactly where you want it. Occasionally you will encounter some wind but its effect on the ball is negligible. A grid system is employed to help you make the best putting decisions. The game doesn’t give things away, you have to work for it but you can earn items such as better equipment to play with. The characters that you choose will also have different attributes which you will have to compensate for at first but you can also upgrade their skills with your winnings which will increase your overall accuracy.
To keep you occupied there are numerous single and multi-player modes. There is a training mode but it’s more of a practice mode since you don’t get a lot of direction. In Stroke mode you can play any course that you’ve previously unlocked. The Mission mode will have you completing various objectives such as landing the ball within a target area. Here you will win items such as new clubs and upgrades. The Tournament mode features a handful of other players, bots in this case, that compete for the title as well as equipment upgrades. Survival mode is a sudden-death match in which players are eliminated on a per-hole basis. It’s unforgiving if not frustrating.
Up to four players can take part in the multi-player modes which include Stroke, Tournament, Skin Match, Best Ball, Sudden Death and 2Ball4Some. The only problem I have with the multi-player mode is that you don’t get to see any of the other players. You are basically alone on the course, which is the case in the single-player mode as well. There is no audience or golfers in the background. Otherwise these online modes are just as good as the single-player modes with no technical problems that I was aware of.
This isn’t a great looking game. It looks like it was developed in the 90s. The characters lack detail and personality. The whole game comes off as more of an instructional video that covets function over form. To give the game credit, there is no clipping and the scale of distances is consistent and relatively easy to gauge. The music is generic and the voiceacting is equally weak. There are not many lines so it shouldn’t have been a problem to get the actors to do them properly. Unfortunately they are repeated endlessly.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Eagle Eye Golf is for the birdies but it’s definitely not a hole in one.
Golf! What is it good fore? Absolutely nuthin’! Huh! Get it? Fore? As in golf? Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? By Patrick Evans
In the golfing genre, players have really only had two quality choices on PS2. For fans of the PGA Tour, EA’s Tiger Woods series blends the realism of the tour with arcade power shots and spin control. In contrast, Hot Shots Golf sports the traditional three-tap swing system that has been in use for years while featuring manga-styled characters instead of traditional golfers. This fall, a third contender in the golf genre hits PS2 as Eagle Eye Golf comes to the U.S. from across the Pacific.
Eagle Eye Golf bills itself as a golf game for casual gamers and the control scheme is a hybrid of the two styles listed above. When starting the swing, players will pull down on the right analog stick until to start the power meter. At the desired power level, pushing the stick up locks that power in on an impact zone, which dictates how accurate to your target the shot is. Putting various levels of spin on the shot is also an option depending on the situation, and other considerations, such as player fatigue through a round, must also be taken into account.
While it won’t be as in-depth as the EA “Game Face” mode, character creation in Eagle Eye will be rewarding nonetheless. Players will be able to decide what gender their golfer is, what clothes they wear, how they sound, and more. After the aesthetics are done, attribute points can be divided between power, control, impact, and fade or draw. As you play through the game, different equipment will be unlocked that can be used to improve your game. Continuing to use a particular piece of equipment will improve its overall performance, further enhancing your character’s game.
The goal of many “casual” games is to involve other people in the fun with multiplayer support. Eagle Eye will support up to four players with seven different modes, including match, tournament, skins, and team play. Solo players aren’t left out either, as there will also be six single-player modes including tournament and mission modes. Mission mode will set 100 goals for the player to accomplish, rewarding them with items unlockable items.
For players that aren’t satisfied with the initial offering of courses, there will be an extensive create-a-course mode included. The creation tool will allow you to place trees, bunkers, water hazards, and more wherever you want them, giving you the opportunity to build the ultimate 18- or 36-hole dream course. While it would have been nice to see some online support to post completed courses for download, there is the option of taking your created masterpiece with you on a memory card instead.
Gamers that find the gameplay of Tiger Woods a little intimidating and the characters of Hot Shot Golf too over-the-top may find a golfer they like in Aksys’ first PS2 offering. While it does have similar visuals to Hot Shot, the updated swing mechanics may be what sets it apart. And if the swing doesn’t win anyone over, the ability to create a custom golf course may. With a budget price ($29.99) and a unique approach, Eagle Eye should be worth a look when it makes its way to the States this October.
A comprehensive course creation mode lets you freely create your own golf course. Create the shape of your courses, add trees, lakes, and other objects freely, and save it to a memory card.
The analog stick is used to control your swing and can affect the hook and slice of the ball. This simple yet challenging control system will appeal to novices as well as seasoned gamers.
Create and customize your own characters. Various parameters for exterior features can be set to make your own unique characters that you can use in single player and multiplayer.
In Eagle Eye Golf, there are over 70 items and each item acquired has parameters called skill points, which increase as you use them.
In Eagle Eye Golf, one player mode has 6 different modes of play including a Tournament Mode, Mission Mode, and even a Survival Mode. Multiplayer mode has 7 modes of play including stroke play, match play, and team based games.