We Love Golf, the upcoming game from Camelot and Capcom, attempts to balance an easy-to-pick-up-and-play game with a technical sports game that rewards players who get out on the course and practice more than the other guys. The game takes a combination of traditional three-button-press golf-swing mechanics and the Wii motion controls, which means you'll need to play with precise timing and a smooth swing if you're planning to hit those greens. Also, they've added a couple of new playable characters and Wi-Fi support for the North American version of the game, making this the first Wii golfer with online matches.
Our first time out on the links, our swing was a little rusty. With a few practice swings (which you can do by holding B during the swing), we found the key is a steady backswing, followed by a pause at just the right moment before the follow-through. How far back you pull the virtual club, and (unlike most golf games) how much muscle you put into the swing, determine the power of your shot. We saw one golf ball spurt out a little fireball tail after a perfect swing, and on the next hole, our perfect shot gave the ball a couple cool space rings during its flight - each golfer has their own out-of-the-ordinary flair for a really good shot. The fire and space rings are just for fun, though, and underneath them is a realistic golf simulator (minus the walking part).
The swing mechanic also uses a meter at the bottom of the screen. When you start your swing, a Wii remote icon moves along the gauge and shows you just when you should stop the backswing and hit the ball. For real golfers, the swing should still feel natural; if you've played Wii Sports golf, you should have an excellent idea of what to expect.
There are ten golfers that you can play with (not including your Mii). Four are unlocked to begin with, and more become available as you defeat them in Character Matches. They each have eight outfits, including one Capcom-themed set of golf attire, so if you've ever wanted to play golf as Chun-Li or Apollo Justice (lawyers are usually good golfers), you can - as soon as you unlock the costumes, anyway. Along with unique country club clothing and fire-tail golf shots, each character has his or her own range of emotional reactions. Sinking a 50-foot putt or slicing a ball into the drink will have your golfer pumping his fist or dropping the club in frustration. Even when using a Mii, the facial expression will change (it goes from happy smiley face to sad, squiggly line face).