On the surface, We Love Golf appears to sport a title that is trying to cash in on its similarity to the name of the console on which it appears. Fortunately, this isn’t the case, especially if you look at Camelot’s development history. They created the first Hot Shots title and were in charge of the Mario Golf franchise from the Game Boy Color all the way through the Gamecube days. By focusing on likeable characters, easy to pick up gameplay, interesting course designs, and solid golfing mechanics, Camelot has made some of the most enjoyable golf games of the last decade, adequately displaying their love of the pastime.
After a long absence from the sport, We Love Golf is a return to form of sorts for the company. However, instead of revolving around Mario and his crew, this game features a cast of unknown characters. There are several different golfers to choose from and to unlock, but they all come off feeling somewhat generic and stereotypical. This leads to selecting a character based completely on their abilities, since you will feel no real connection to any of the included golfers.
Thankfully, character selection begins to get a little more interesting once you’ve played the game for a few hours. You will be able to unlock outfits for these fairly bland characters by successfully completing various events. These costumes will make the characters look like several historic Capcom characters ranging from Jill Valentine to Apollo Justice. This is a great addition to the game, though I wish it didn’t take so many hours to unlock some of these outfits.
Aside from these classic characters, players will also eventually gain the ability to golf as any of their Miis. It takes quite a long time to unlock this option as well, but it is definitely worth it. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to customize your Miis’ golfing abilities. Instead, you will have to choose one of the included characters and basically paste your Mii over them. This holds true for their golfing abilities, animations, and even their voices. While this is unfortunate, it is still a good addition that lets you somewhat personalize your experience.
Once you’ve selected a character, you are free to tee off. This is where We Love Golf truly shines. Players are given a ton of different gameplay options including tournaments, stroke matches, character matches, online matches, a practice mode, ring shots, target golfing, and near pin contests. Character matches have you facing off against other golfers trying to win the most holes. This is where you will unlock most of the game’s characters. Unfortunately, when facing an opponent in this mode it frequently seems as though they have no desire to win. If it comes down to it, your foes will almost always miss easy putts that would undoubtedly win them the hole. This is somewhat upsetting if you are looking for a challenge, but it does make unlocking the game’s characters a fairly painless affair. Online matches play out similarly to these character matches but allow you to play against a friend or a stranger from anywhere in the world.
Target golfing is an intriguing mode that will help you hone your skills in a variety of different shots. In this mode players will be given a target, with the center being worth the most points and the outer ring worth the least. Whether putting, driving, approaching, or taking a second shot from the fairway or rough, players will need to accumulate a specific number of points after ten attempts to succeed. This mode can get incredibly difficult but will greatly improve your accuracy and help you to learn the ins and outs of the game’s controls.
Speaking of controls, We Love Golf plays like an almost perfect marriage of the controls found in Wii Sports Golf and the Mario Golf franchise. Instead of completely relying on your swing strength or timed button presses, players are given the best of both worlds. You will grip the Wii-mote like a golf club, tilt it backwards to start the backswing, making sure to stop at the appropriate power, and then swing it forward at the correct time to make proper contact with the ball. Players can also put top or back spin on their shots by holding the 1 or 2 button down while swinging. This may sound complicated but after just a few swings it feels completely natural and works rather well. The controls work so well and are so simplified, in fact, that if you just ignore putting spin on your shots, you can honestly play this game entirely with one hand.
We Love Golf’s presentation is a bit on the cartoony side, but it suites the game well. The game’s characters all look like they were ripped directly from an anime, complete with incredibly large eyes. All eight of the included courses look great, are well designed for a challenging golf experience, have a unique feel, and are host to some good details that make you feel like you are on an actual golf course. My only real complaint is if you look into the distance, you can clearly tell the background is a two dimensional picture. These still look decent but can often make the courses seem less fully realized while playing.
There is also one incredibly bizarre part of this game’s presentation that I feel is worth mentioning. While playing We Love Golf, players are constantly getting tips from an on-screen Wii-mote named Chip. He will give you pointers on everything from how to swing to how to switch your clubs. When you put the Wii-mote down for more than a few seconds, Chip becomes instantly bored and begins to speak with Birdie (which is what he calls your actual Wii-mote). This is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen, as Chip will crack jokes, call for someone to play, and a variety of other odd things while Birdie verbally responds through the Wii-mote’s speaker. Although this is a little on the creepy side, it is pretty entertaining to witness and adds to the game’s charm.
Even with their lengthy absence from making golf games, Camelot manages to score a hole in one with their first Wii golfing title. Simple and intuitive controls mix perfectly with its appealing and approachable cartoony look to perhaps make We Love Golf the best, non-simulation links experience available on the console. With its wide variety of play options, tons of unlockables, and included online play, expect to enjoy this title for a seemingly endless amount of hours to come. If you are a fan of Hot Shots, Mario Golf, Wii Sports Golf, or even just golf in general, you can’t really go wrong with this title.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.9 Graphics
While everything is a bit on the cartoony side, the game still looks quite good. 4.7 Control
By combining the best aspects found in the Mario Golf franchise and Wii Sports Golf, We Love Golf feels completely natural and controls incredibly well. 3.2 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The quality of the music, sound effects, and voices are great, but characters have very few things to say and can quickly become annoying to listen to. 4.6
With several different play modes, eight courses to choose from, a good variety of characters, a ton of unlockables, and online gameplay, We Love Golf is an incredibly fun game that will keep you happily playing for a very long time.
4.3 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.