Pangya! Golf With Style may have a cute face, but if you want in-depth golf action on your Wii, rather than the pitch-and-putt fun of Wii Sports Golf, this sits above Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 as the best fully fledged golf game on the console.
Of course, this is no simulator so you'll be disappointed if that's what you're after. This has cartoony characters, a living bag as a caddy, and locations that real golf hasn't even heard of. But that's all part of the fun and, unlike in Tiger Woods, the controls are so easy to grasp you'll be teeing off competently straight after playing the tutorial level.
The swing mechanic used here is what makes it so easy, but be warned: it's not like Wii Sports. It doesn't measure swing speed to determine the power of your shot; instead, there are power bars and you set your power with your back-swing. As you raise the Remote behind your head you see the power marker slide up the power bar. You can do this as slowly as you want and there's no time limit, so you can position the power just where you want it. When you've got the exact power you want, hold A to lock the power bar in place, then swing the Remote to take the shot.
It doesn't always go how you planned, however, because the game reads how well you swung the Remote and applies that to your shot. For the perfect shot, your swing must be straight, with just the right pace and follow-through. Swing too fast or slow, or off to one side, and your shot will lack accuracy and/or power.
This system is very similar to Tiger Woods, only here the swing mechanic seems to work so much better - the ball won't go swerving off massively to one side even though you were sure your swing was straight.
The Remote is also used cleverly on the overhead course maps - you simply point at the spot you want to hit the ball and the game will move your cursor there and even give you the right club for the job. You can also zoom in on the course by holding B and moving the Remote towards your TV.
Even though the controls are easy to master, you won't be breezing through Pangya! Golf With Style in a day - there are so many tournaments and goodies to unlock you'll be on it for ages. The main mode - Pangya Festa - gives you a story to play through for each of the characters, unlocking treats like new clothes and items for them as you go.
But despite there being plenty of golf to play, there's little else to do. A game like Mario Golf takes advantage of the crazy theme to offer all manner of alternative play scenarios like target games, hitting the ball between hovering islands or the like. Here, it's just straight-up golf all the way.
While Pangya! is simple to get into and fun, some gamers might dislike the simplistic swing method that makes more prominent use of power bars - it's nothing like the speed-measuring mechanic of Wii Sports. Not that Wii Sports Golf is perfect - it's not - but Pangya!'s simplicity sacrifices some of the authentic feeling of swinging a golf club.
It's also a shame that the Wii's online service wasn't up and running in time for this game, as the online gameplay of the PC game has been ripped out of the Wii version, along with the course editor. And without alternative mini-games or scenarios, this lacks variety.
But we like Pangya! Golf With Style for its simplicity and all-round playfulness. It's the best dedicated golf game on the Wii so far.