PS3 Review – John Daly’s ProStroke Golf

October 25, 2010Written by Jonathan Leack

John Daly’s ProStroke Golf is the first golf game to be released with PlayStation Move support right out of the box. Sports Champions included a slew of solid sport titles to enjoy, but many golf fans have been craving a realistic adaptation of golf. John Daly was set on delivering a golf game for golfers with his first gaming title ever, and as a result John Daly’s ProStroke Golf was created. Does this game deliver on the promise of a realistic golfing experience, or does it just fall flat in the rough?

One of the most notable additions to John Daly’s ProStroke Golf is its implementation of the PlayStation Move controller. Although the game can be played with a DualShock 3, the Move is by far and away the best way to play this title. The game does a fantastic job of measuring the player’s stroke, speed, and also the contact with the ball. Even the slightest movement changes the trajectory of the ball, and similar to real-life, it’s very challenging and requires a lot of practice. This leads into one of the first frustrating details about the game, the difficulty. When played with a Move controller this game is exceptionally difficult. Beating the first four challenges against John Daly to unlock the first tournament can take upward of four hours to complete, and while it’s exciting to finally beat the challenges, they aren’t balanced to ease you into the game. While there is a difficulty setting for the controls and how sensitive they are, even on the amateur setting this game gives you an overwhelming sense of unfriendliness.

The game features a basic tutorial system that lets you watch a few videos with commentary before practicing what was taught. Outside of this, the game does nothing in the way of guiding you through the ins and outs. At first you may want to jump straight into a tournament, but after further investigation you’ll realize that you’ll need to beat a few challenges to unlock tournaments. Other than the John Daly challenges and tournaments, this game boasts very little content and is limited in its offerings. While you can create your own character, everything is unlocked from the get-go. While there is an online mode, the options are limited and the matchmaking takes what seems like an eternity. If you do happen to enjoy this game due to its fantastic Move controls, you’ll be disappointed by how little there is to do.

While the menus are laid-out well, navigation is nauseating due to how sensitive the cursor is. This sensitivity also translates into the game when adjusting a shot, and fine-tuning for precision is inherently frustrating. The gameplay itself is simple and you can add back-spin, front-spin, and curves to the shot as well as change the club you’re using on the fly. However, for some reason the ball tends to slide across the grass like a linoleum floor, so being accurate is sometimes impossible. Even John Daly has trouble during challenges and will approach the putting green to only have his ball slide 100 yards into the rough despite only chipping the shot.

John Daly’s ProStroke Golf isn’t a game you want to show to your friends to display the PS3’s power. The environments are bland, and the transition from rough to fairway is hardly noticeable. Sometimes it’s impossible to see the golf ball until the camera zooms in on it due to the lack of quality shaders and effects. Most surprisingly, the game manages to throw frame-rate dips your way in some cases which is really odd when you look at the lack of graphical detail. It’s also worth mentioning that the characters are reminiscent of PlayStation Home characters, and John Daly looks like the clown from Stephen King’s It.

The sound effects and commentary are equally as bad if not worse than the graphics. All environments sound the same with boring bird noises, and the ball sounds like a giant ping-pong ball sliding around the game’s sub-par environments. Commentary is hilarious at times due to how awkward the delivery is, and if anything Peter Kessler and Sam Torrance sound like two Europeans commentating while being held hostage. Oh, and don’t bother trying to mask the game’s poor audio with your own custom soundtracks since the game doesn’t even support them.

John Daly’s ProStroke Golf is a realistic golfing experience hampered by limited content and horrible presentation. Golf fans will be thrilled at how precise the inputs are, but will quickly grow tired of the nuances such as overly-sensitive menu navigation and the unrealistic physics. The lack of extra modes or options makes this a bare game that offers little in the way of welcoming or even entertaining the player. Until this game ends up at a lower price-point, it’s hard to recommend John Daly’s frustrating first swing at gaming with John Daly’s ProStroke Golf.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Fantastic PlayStation Move controls.

– Poor graphical quality and abysmal audio.

– Complete lack of content.

5 out of 10