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JDProstroke

Intro
Dust off those virtual Calloway’s, because ‘John Daly’s Prostroke Golf’ (JDPS) threatens to grip and rip it on motion sensing PS3’s world over. Claiming a world-class physics engine as its caddie, does this budget Move title have legs?


Game
As someone yet to tackle a proper 18 holes, I have an unhealthy obsession with golf simulations. Even as a wee lad, I grew giddy over the arrival of the original ‘Links: The Challenge of Golf' on my trusty 486 rig. Let the record stand that ‘mini Paul Stuart upgraded both a video and sound card for the sole purpose of tackling the best sand traps that Access Software had to offer.’ (Mauna Kea was a helluva’ add-on course, mind you.)

Like a sugar addiction, this obsession only grew with time and puberty. Dozens of golf titles were consumed, as an unending quest for the perfect 9-iron approach feverishly headed toward critical mass. The longing for a perfect double-click swing meter was insatiable; there was no better sound in the entire world than cupping a 12 foot putt.

The arrival of ‘RealPlay Golf’ for the Xbox was nirvana in a Par 4. Ignoring the pangs of awkwardness stemming from being attached to Gametrak’s bungee strings, I leapt headfirst into the first true at-home golf simulator. (In writing this review, my wife mockingly reminds me of the holes I dug in our rug slicing away at RealPlay.) Unfortunately, however, Gametrak’s physics were equal villains to RealPlay Golf’s awful graphics. I adorned the bungee cords no more.

Nearly six years later, I’m again feeling those sugar pangs. It should serve as little surprise that a Move pre-order featured visions of 1-to-1 motion, bunker saves aplenty. The announcement of Tiger Woods Move compatibility was but console aspartame. I wanted sugar in the raw…or not at all on my Playstation 3.

John Daly’s Prostroke Golf emerged as a simultaneously intriguing and peculiar title, one clearly marching to its own handicap. Its namesake a mere golfing curiosity, the game’s selling point a supposed near-realistic physics engine. Pre-release video looked horribly grainy, very indicative of a title clearly aimed at budget minded gamers. John Daly?!…I say no more.

Prokestroke

Don’t get me wrong: the graphics in the actual game do – in fact - suck. Tracking a JDPS ball mid-air is an absolute nightmare. Player models are circa Playstation 2. The audio is atrocious – what the hell is with the giant swarms of insect sound effects? - matched only by hideous, repetitive commentary by Daly.

In game menus are equal offenders, impossibly frustrating to navigate stemming from far-too-sensitive Move detection. Finally, unlocking many of the 12 uninspired courses and/or their features requires mundane challenges against John Daly. And that annoying commentary.

There’s a catch, however. This game plays a damn good, realistic round of golf. Dare I say, the most true-to-life, home golfing simulator to date. On the Pro setting, JDPS will make one rue slice and hook tendencies, likewise inconsistent swing arcs to nowhere. On the same token, a beautifully executed, open club arc wedge will dance following a well-stroked chip. Yes and amazingly enough, JDPS recognizes follow-through, ball placement, and clubface dynamics via the Move.

Mastering the game’s Prostroke system is a bit tricky, one alleviated by a surprisingly robust manual. Thank the powers that be for this blessed document, as the tutorial makes several vital references – most notably in stance adjustments - that only apply to Dualshock controls.

No, you’re not crazy.

Most other game reviewers blasted JDPS for the PS3, all pointing to its awful audio-visuals, menus and high difficulty levels. While I can heartily declare an ‘amen!’ to the first two aspects, the third criticism confounds me. The Holy Grail of true 1-to-1 motion finally arrives, and there remain cries for Wii Golf physics. My friends, once you lip a putt on JDPS via overswing, you’ll never pick up ‘Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11’ again. Dare I say that I hope OG Games has a sequel up their sleeves; the Prostroke system deserves no less of a fate.

Thus, for a Move owner with even a passing interest in golf and/or golf games, this reviewer declares it a near-mandate to drop the now $30 or less to secure JDPS. If one can get past the god-awful audio-visuals and wonky menu navigation, there’s a terrific, longer-term golf party game waiting to tee off. It even features The Belfry, a beloved course from my original Links days. (Insert nostalgic tear.)

Golf newbies and/or driving range wannabees, however, take heed. JDPS’ amateur setting is unfulfilling (it does not account for anything but backswing strength), initial learning curve a tad steep for the Big Bertha unaffiliated.

Prostroke


Lowdown
John Daly Prostroke Golf for the PS3 might look and sound terrible, but plays a terrific round of golf. The first legitimate home golf simulator, this budget Move title sports both a solid physics engine and robust playability options. A great purchase for golf game fans, perhaps a pass for those new to the genre.


Boxart
+
  • Excellent Prostroke physics engine
  • Realistic motion detection
  • True club/stance interaction
  • Hideous graphics and sound
  • Irritating menu navigation
  • Not suited for genre newbies
Quote: "The Holy Grail of true 1-to-1 motion finally arrives, and there remain cries for Wii Golf physics. My friends, once you lip a putt on John Daly Prostroke Golf via overswing, you’ll never pick up ‘Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11’ again."
Reviewed by Paul Stuart | 11.22.10

Similar Games: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (8.0)

Boxart

John Daly's
Prostroke Golf

Publisher
O Games

Developer
Gusto Games

Genre
Sports

US Release
October '10

ESRB
"E"

Platform
PS3

Details
Players 1
Dolby 5.1
PS Eye Enabled
Move Enabled