Golf games are bastards. What other form of entertainment punishes you for perfection? A 100% swing, pin-point accuracy, and then the pitiful plop of the ball dropping into the water-hazard. It means that a really good golf game needs to help you find the sweet spot, a swing of, 67%, perhaps. It’s a level of subtlety that Customplay 2010 doesn’t manage.
The default swing technique, sweeping the mouse right then left, provides no visual clues as to how hard you’re hitting beyond the way your character moves. You’re left to figure out the game’s sensitivity, then adjust accordingly. It’s sufficiently twitchy that even after a few day’s play our swing was still more guesswork than intuition.
The alterative swing (you can have a two-click or three-click variation) is an easier way to select power, but feels clumsy and anachronistic compared to the mouse swing. It’s a problem that exists on both the fairway and the green. We’ve lost count of the times we misread the power required for a putt and ended up with the ball twice as far away. (The damn game didn’t – triple bogeys all round.) At times like those, golf games need a ‘snap putter’ button, to save our poor mouse.
It’s a shame: the swing strength is a singular flaw in a golf game that otherwise gets a lot right. The physics and fairway feel are excellent: there never seems to be an unrealistic bounce or roll. And you can use the mouse swing to draw and fade the ball by angling your swipe, so at least direction is very controllable.
There are a huge number of courses to pick from, none of them particularly famous, but then golf doesn’t need that kind of fidelity. And if you’re ever bored of the courses packaged with the game, then Customplay 2010 allows you to build, share and download courses through another app, CustomPortal, which also handles multiplayer, patching and even tournaments. It’s a complete package that gives a lot of power to the community (who do the dirty work of creating the more famous courses), but you’ll need to work a lot on your swing to get the most out of it.
Aug 14, 2009