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Preview: John Daly's Prostroke Golf


If you read my Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 review, then you know that I'm totally on the bandwagon when it comes to motion-based golfing. Going into my E3 appointment to preview O Games' John Daly's Prostroke Golf, I didn't expect the game's Move functionality to add anything to the experience I couldn't already get with MotionPlus on the Wii. But Prostroke actually impressed me, thanks to some clever design decisions.

Gallery: John Daly's Prostroke Golf | 32 Photos

The most beneficial feature of Prostroke is the instant feedback you get on your swing. In Tiger Woods, there are visual cues indicating how you're twisting your arm when you swing, or how you're not following through from your backswing, or even some basic info on your swing trajectory. But in Prostroke, it's all shown via handy meters, which end up being a cleaner, easier method of presenting the data. For example, my very first few swings showed that while by backswing was adequate, I wasn't following through with all of my power -- that and I was twisting my wrist ever so slightly, slicing the ball a tad.

So using the feedback, I immediately began to adjust accordingly. I took a bit off my backswing and started to push through harder, giving me more power, increasing the distance I hit the ball. Using the feedback on how I twisted my wrist, I then began to twist in the opposite direction before my swing, which corrected the problem. All of a sudden, I wasn't so bad at golfing -- and this was only after spending minutes with the game.

As an instructional tool, that kind of feedback is invaluable. When you enter motion-controls into the equation, the activity becomes less "golf game" and more "golfing tutorial." Sure, Prostroke is still fun in a gaming sense, but I can see genuinely improving my real golfing skills with this title -- something I felt I could do in Tiger Woods, but just not to the same extent.

One other big difference in Prostroke compared to Tiger Woods is how you pull off expert shots. In Tiger Woods, if you want to punch the ball -- a swing that gives your ball a low-trajectory flight path that makes it easier to get out of the rough if you're surrounded by trees -- you hit some buttons and select that shot, then swing. In Prostroke, you have to actually swing differently. For a punch shot, you limit your back swing as much as possible, then push forward with all of your might. Voila, punch shot!

That's not to say the entirety of my time with the game was a breeze. There were big issues with the pointer functionality -- it was way too sensitive. So when using Move in Prostroke -- it's optional, by the way -- you hit the triangle button to look down the fairway and to line up where you want the ball to land, you point the Move controller at the television and simply grab the grid and move it around. It sounds simple enough, but this build of the game would constantly go haywire on me and move the grid all over the place. I was assured by representatives that this is a known issue and being resolved.

My short time with John Daly's Prostroke Golf gave me the impression that EA's Tiger Woods has some real competition on the horizion. Through the precision of PlayStation Move and the game's instant feedback on your performance, diehard golf fans are going to like what's on offer here. For casual players, I think that Prostroke's swing mechanics and level of precision will make the experience harder to grasp, but the real value in Prostroke could end up being its ability to teach you how to be a better golfer.

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