Oct 19, 2007
Ultimate Frisbee is one of those weird sports that nobody plays until they get to college, and most everybody stops playing once they get out of college. Frisbee Golf? Same thing, only geekier. Still, having skipped Calculus class more days than not in favor of tossing the ol' flying disc around behind the dorm, we felt like this was the game for us. Turns out, we were wrong. Not as wrong as most anyone who thinks their high school sweetheart is going to stay faithful once she heads to college and gets that fake ID, but pretty tragically wrong nonetheless.
As the creative title hints, Original Frisbee Disc Sports: Ultimate & Golf is actually two games in one: a Frisbee Golf game and an Ultimate Frisbee game. We'll start with Ultimate Frisbee, which is basically football with no pads, helmets, or steroids. You have two teams of four, each trying to get the Frisbee into the other team's "end zone." The catch, of course, is that once you've caught it, you can't run with it and you have to pass it within ten seconds.
We've gotta be honest: Unless the meaning of Ultimate changed to "really bad" without our knowledge - and we checked to be sure it hadn't - this isn't Ultimate. It is, in fact, terrible. Each of your players supposedly has stats (speed, defense, throw accuracy, etc), but it's impossible to tell them apart on the field - everyone is a white guy with brown hair, even the ones who were African American or Middle Eastern on the selection screen. Thus, it's a crapshoot as to whether the schmuck heaving the Frisbee down the field is the one with a five-star accuracy rating or the good defender with one-star accuracy.
That is, until he launches it ten feet above his target's head, so no amount of bashing L and R can correct that angle to make it catchable. Nice turnover, jackass.
You can choose from three offensive styles and defensive strategies, but we can't count the number of times our defenders blew their assignments. The most entertaining moments came when a graphical glitch caused the players to explode into disparate polygons and then recompose themselves every time they took a step. Oh, and the way the controls blend the stylus (for play selections and individual assignments) and buttons isn't clever. It's inane and impractical to do on the fly.
So, what about Frisbee Golf? Surely that fared better, right? Well, there are no stupid teammates to worry about, but it's got its own problems. There appears to be only one 18-hole course, for starters. And while we don't mind the golf-style meter in which you click once to start, once to choose power, and a third time to choose direction, the stylus-swishing touch-screen alternative is too imprecise.
Also, the Frisbee will sometimes bounce off trees as if they're solid objects, the aiming is completely clunky, and the scale is all crazy - you'll bounce off a rock that's literally ¼ of an inch away on the DS screen, but when your guy onscreen looks about 15 feet from the basket, you'll be told you're actually 48 feet away. Bogey, bogey, bogey.