It's a formula that couldn't possibly go wrong: take the hugely popular and wonderfully playable Mario Golf games, strip out all the Mario characters and fantasy elements, then slap in some accessible Wii-based motion controls for good measure and make sure the whole thing is online. Surely the end result would be one of the best golf games not just on the Wii but, like, forever? Actually, yes - yes, it would be. And, indeed, it is.
We Love Golf is the most believable golf game that Camelot has ever made, with the kind of flawless physics that you'd associate with 'proper' golf sims. True, it might all be wrapped in a brightly coloured bow, have golfers that look like they've dropped in from a nearby anime convention and still allow you to perform power shots that explode with electricity, fire or some other outlandish effect but that's about as fantastical as you're going to get here. Those of you expecting lucky golf balls, magical clubs and items that can double your distance for a single shot would do well to look elsewhere.
Swings And Roundabouts
It's the swing-based controls that contribute most to We Love Golf's realism. Getting the timing right does take a tiny bit of practice (staying ahead of the club marker, you swing back to set power then forward when the marker returns to the bottom) but because hooking or slicing the ball is done by swinging earlier or later instead of how you hold the Remote as you swing, it's really easy to get the hang of.
Like the controls, the rest of the game is incredibly accessible too with loads of touches that help those not savvy with a club. Although you can turn off all the assistance, it's possible to get help with things like gauging how much power to put behind the ball, where the ball will bounce or roll once it lands and even how to swing your club.
That the game is so accessible only heightens the feeling that We Love Golf is focused more on multiplayer than solo play. There are certainly plenty of tournaments and character matches for lone players to experience, but the fact that Camelot added online play specifically for the Western market speaks volumes. We're not criticising it for this though, especially since the online mode works very well. Not being a fast-paced game, the action holds up nicely without any noticeable problems but it would have been good to have more than just one-on-one matches.
But is it better than Super Swing Golf? Well, yes, but only just. Where We Love Golf succeeds in having better controls, it falls short due to a lack of character customisation (you can play as your Mii eventually, but it's just plain scary seeing a Mii head on a 'real' body). Where it has great online, it's fairly light on the single-player side. Still, when you and your friends can dress up as Ryu and Chun-Li from Street Fighter II, it's hard not to smile like a loon.