Outlaw Golf 2
Everyday I drive past it. The grass is greener than that of most city parks. The ducks are friendlier and the bunkers aren’t full of child crap. The only disadvantage is that I’m not part of the high society and therefore can’t enter the club. There will however come a day that I, Mario Moris, will set foot on that green grass and will drive with my golfcart from one hole to the other. But until that day I’ll have to be satisfied with golf games. Outlaw Golf 2 is, as the name might indicate, a golf game but if I have to waste my days with this, I’m afraid I’m never able to join the high society.
Sex sells and if it wasn’t for Sylvia Saint, Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy, the world would be an even violent place. That’s probably how the developers must have thought about Outlaw Golf 2 and in fear of a terrorist attack they implemented a hefty amount of sex and violence into the game. The comparison of slapping a ball with a huge, strong stick and hoping it will sink in the hole, with sex isn’t that strange after all. The characters are all equipped with a cup size that could easily let Lolo Ferrari live a bit longer than she did. Aside from the porn there’s also a bit of humour involved. It’s not like I pissed my pants from laughing as it wasn’t that funny at all. To be completely honest they’d better leave out those busty women too as they don’t bring any surplus to the gameplay.
The gameplay is a bit less realistic than in Tiger Woods games, though the difference isn’t that obvious. If you manage to get a perfect swing , your ball will catch fire and leave a nice graphical effect but aside from this graphical flair it doesn’t do anything. You also get a composure meter which shows how your player is feeling. Depending on how well you’re playing the meter will vary. So if you can’t manage to hit the fairway in three strokes, your character will get irritated which will be shown in the numerous cutscenes (which after viewing them once demand to be skipped). You can give your player a better self esteem by playing better or by trying out the two minigames. The first involves you beating up your caddy. Somehow this outlet of violence gives you a good feeling. By hitting the right button at the right time you hand out several punches. It’s a fairly easy way of increasing your self esteem. The other minigame is a bit more tricky. You’ll have to perform numerous actions with your golf cart within a given time limit such as running over every spectator to jumping through hoops. If you succeed in doing so you’ll be rewarded with a perfect shot. I was hoping this perfect shot would give me the ability to perform a hole in one, but sadly it doesn’t. The composure meter doesn’t really affect the gameplay as you won’t get any advantage when your character feels good about himself.
The gameplay is also more a case of gambling than anything else. By pulling your right analog stick you’ll hit the ball. However be sure to pull it in a straight line, otherwise your ball will totally miss its target. An arrow shows which way the ball will fly, without taking the wind in account. You’ve got one chance to preview your shot, so use it wisely. The putting mechanic is a bit different. You don’t get an arrow but you’ll get three attempts to preview your shot. This however wasn’t enough in my case making it gambling time again.
To make it feel like a full arcade game there are several variations of golf in the game. It’s not a case of different ways to hit the ball but more a case of different ways of counting the score. Take for instance the baseball golfing where the scores are counted the same way as in baseball games. This was a big disappointment to me as I thought that Outlaw Golf 2 was a more EA Big-like approach to golf. The arcade elements that the game offers have less influence on the gameplay and are only fun if the boredom is really catching on.
The offer of game modes isn’t really good either. The main mode is the Tour mode. Here you’ll have to choose from a range of different characters and range events. After each successful event, a new one will be unlocked as well as new costumes and sticks. Sadly there isn’t a storyline behind the tour mode, making it rather impossible to feel connected to your character. To spice up your golfing abilities you can try out the Outlaw range. Here you’ll get several goals to complete earning you some stats. The lack of a tutorial however makes it hard for those who didn’t play the first game to find out how the controls work. Of course, that’s what a manual is for, but who reads those anyway?
From a graphical point of view, it’s not all that bad. The characters look detailed enough and the several courts all offer enough variety to keep the boredom out. The soundtrack however has a pretty high “trailer trash” level but thank god for the custom soundtrack option in the Xbox version. The Xbox Live mode gives the game a little advantage, but as long as the single player sucks, there’s no use in trying the online mode as far as I’m concerned.
Outlaw Golf 2 looked to be a cool arcade golf game that likes to break the traditional golfing rules. But see through the sex and violence and you’ll be left with a mediocre golf game with an identity crisis. They have chosen the path of arcade gameplay with too little convincing. A hefty amount of busty women and an occasional fight here and there doesn’t make a game fun to play. If there is a third instalment coming up, and let’s hope not, I can only hope for better gameplay abilities in stead of boring minigames that don’t offer any surplus to the game. Until that day I’ll try to get into the high society so I can scare away those happy ducks and leave a nice doodle in the bunkers.