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King of Clubs Wii Review

07/11/2008 Family Returning Gamer Review
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King of Clubs Nintendo Wii

King of Clubs

Nintendo Wii


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I honestly thought that my birthday and xmas had arrived at once when King of Clubs burst forth through my letterbox. This was just too good to be true. I love crazy golf, and this was a crazy golf game, I didn't even think such a game existed. Earlier this year, Europe's largest dinosaur themed crazy golf course had opened around the corner from me, and it is fantastic, full of mechanical dinosaurs, with the holes spread around a wonderful blue lagoon.

Crazy golf for the English is a bit like croissants for the French, we love it. As a child we used to holiday in Skegness and it was littered with crazy golf courses (as are most British seaside towns), mostly with the compulsory windmill ready to bash your ball out the way at some stage. Just looking at this game in it's unnecessary cellophane brought back memories of having a superbly entertaining game with my late Granddad, as we made our way around the course clutching a pencil and paper keeping score. I won that one by the way but you get the gist, I am a crazy golf fan. Now surely this game would be a gift from the Gods? Wrong.

Upon loading the game I was quite excited as the intro jingle was competent and did not suffer from Jinglistic Massive (see my review for space chimps). The problems begin when you attempt to play the game. The game concept is pretty simple, you are one of several characters helping an Elvis look-alike rebuild his crazy golf course in Nevada. There is something like ten courses and 100 holes in total to play, but I didn't get past the second, for reasons we will go into below. You get to play against friends, an automated opponent, in career mode or tournament mode etc. You can collect power ups and cash, and use this for new clubs and special balls. Each course has it's own theme i.e. Jurassic Classic.

As the game came with the 3+ logo I made the mistake of thinking it would be suitable for my young children.

I have a large flat screen (37") but even with this the graphics are so poorly constructed that you struggle to see the holes. There is an overhead camera view but you have to move around and navigate, quite poor in all honesty.

As the game came with the 3+ logo I made the mistake of thinking it would be suitable for my young children, however the controls completely preclude this. It is hard to imagine how such a simple concept of making a crazy golf putt can be turned into something so difficult. The motion control is used in order to set your power level, but not to actually take the shot - how odd. The power is set by starting with your control pointing at the floor and lifting your wrist, so be prepared for frustration and wrist ache. I did decide to try it out with my eldest and within minutes she had given up and I could sympathise with her, I actually had to look up how to play a shot in the manual after first trying to follow the on screen instructions.

Attempting to read the manual was a mistake, as it is all written in Elvis speak, ho ho this would be funny, but writing the entire manual in it? Not wise. Once I had gotten over the ridiculously complicated controls I played the first course and found it horrendously difficult and not very much fun. After a while I opened up the next course and found it difficult and not very much fun. I played against a computerised opponent and found it difficult and not very much fun. Maybe I should try and buy a new club and use it? I purchased a club, however it didn't appear during the game and I was not able to select it for shots. Tried again, same thing happened.

Attempting to read the manual was a mistake, as it is all written in Elvis speak.

As you can see, the above does not make good reading. One thing I haven't mentioned is the extremely irksome music that plays and repeats over and over in the background (thankfully you can turn it off). The above issues, coupled with issues loading games and saving data and the difficulty level just made me want to give up fast.

People around the planet do complain somewhat that Wii games are often poor compared to other consoles. Perhaps we should thanks game makers for giving us a push into other more active persuits. For example Cooking Mama pushed me into some actual cooking owing to the game being so dull, and this one has pushed me into getting out and playing some really crazy golf instead of this dull offering.

I am off down to the real course to play the real thing.

Written by Sinan Kubba

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Sinan Kubba writes the Returning Gamer column.

"As an 80s kid I was obsessed with gaming. But university, stress and life relegated my hobby to the backseat. After years in the wilderness, I'm back into video games. I don't just want to play games that remind of a happy youth though. I'm just as excited about games that take things forward, experiences that re-ignite that curiosity and fascination I had years ago."

Here are the games I've been playing recently:

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