Golf is one of the classiest sports around. It may seem a bit lightweight when compared to say contact sports, but a high degree of dexterity and premeditation is required to fly past rival golfers and secure that hefty prize cheque. It’s tough to get into real golfing and the same can be said of video game golfing too; Tiger Woods’s PGA Tours is realistic portrayals of the sport that aren’t very beginner-friendly. However, the more casual gamers can now rejoice – PangYa has arrived and not only does it boast a wildly colourful ensemble of professional sportspersons, but it makes some really good use of the Wii remote’s motion controls to provide an interactive golfing experience like no other.
Most Wii owners will already have some sort of virtual golfing experience thanks to Wii Sports rendition of the gentlemen’s game. It was fun, but in no way realistic. In contrast, PangYa features some realistic swing movements that make you feel like you’re actually hitting a ball. There are so many ways to swing the club that a full tutorial is in place to guide you through the ropes. It will take a while to get to grips with the free-motion scheme.
Once you have the controls sussed you’ll have to tackle the advanced weather and terrain conditions thrown at you. When it’s raining cats and dogs, you had better swing a bit harder to counteract the watery resistance, but be careful not to sweep the golf ball into a sandy bunker as the wind blows in all sorts of crazy directions. Undulations can also be rather tricky affairs with great precision required to stroke a ball towards the green without overshooting or else, having it roll back down the slope, perhaps into a small pond if you’re that unlucky. Again, it’s nowhere as complex as Tiger Woods’s official offerings, but PangYa definitely has more charm and charisma with its flamboyant cast and more easygoing nature.
There’s a lot of replay value here too. By winning tournaments you gain points which can contribute towards your next set of baggy tops, sparkling accessories or more oddball characters to play as. Aside from an endearing story mode, there are also fun derivatives of the main golfing events; Balloon Bash requires you to smash through all of the balloons scattered about a course before finishing off with a well-placed shot into the hole. Add in a dizzying range of opponents of varying ability (some rather cheap CPU, though), eleven uniquely themed courses, some dazzling anime-esque 3D graphics full of great particle effects and some highly-intuitive (if a little inaccurate) motion-based controls, and you’ve got one the best golfing sims out there.