Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ganbare Golf Boys


Ganbare doesn't make the greatest first impression. A mere two courses to choose from at the outset seems to indicate a lack of variety right off the bat, and matters only become grimmer once an actual round of golf begins. It's not that the graphics are poor, per se, but everything looks so tiny, and even prodigious drives appear to get little lift. The distant view will make most players feel detached from the action, and it doesn't help that this "action" plays out very slowly.

There's one thing that gives Ganbare a shot at success after its unceremonious start. A sweet on-the-course number made me think this would be yet another early-days NCS/Masaya effort that features good music but struggles mightily in other respects (think Energy and the first Schbibin Man). As I tried out the various play modes and advanced through a sequence of tourneys, I found that the soundtrack is no one-cool-tune wonder.

I also discovered that Ganbare's play system is actually quite solid. The targeting system is as simple as can be, and while the game's shot mechanism always feels fair, you won't master it without a little practice.

Blessed with nice music and satisfactory mechanics, Ganbare makes players comfortable within its simplistic confines to the point where issues regarding the game's speed and visuals are easily forgiven and forgotten about.

And while Ganbare initially seems opposed to the idea of letting anything that happens during play seem all that exciting... eventually lightens up and has a little fun.

In fact, there's enough fun to be had here that the chip actually beats out a number of its respectable PCE peers. It's more polished than the Jack Nicklaus titles, and its shot-to-shot action flows more smoothly than Power Golf 2's. Of course, it's far from perfect and anything but a life changer, but it's a likable game and a viable option if you're up for some HuCard golf.

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