It was a Sunday afternoon and I was browsing lazily through GameStop. The game Swing Away Golf caught my eye, so I stopped and took a look at it. Me being a golfer, I was interested in buying a decent golf game, but I had very little money. When I saw the price tag of $4.99 I thought, heck I'll give it a try. It's only 5 dollars. I hooked up the game as soon as I game home and boy was I happy. Swing Away Golf was not the most realistic golf game, but it's cheap price tag and great content made up for it. The game has a nice difficulty curve, starting you off meeting other golfers and playing some stroke play. You gain points for every game you play which you use to increase your distance, accuracy, control, or recovery. You can also win cash and items. As time goes on more tournaments open up and you meet new, and better, golfers. You begin to play Match play and Skins matches. Soon you can try to become a pro by playing an 18 hole round of golf and getting better than 1 under par. After that you have to pass a tour test, and if passed it opens up a whole new aspect of the game, Tournament Points. While I have no idea what to do with them, they're fun to collect. You get them by winning Golf Tours. After this you just go on cruise control, winning games and learning more about your fellow golfers, their past, childhood, and more. The storyline definitely makes you want to keep playing.
The Golf courses ranged in difficulty and added some variety to the game. Overall there were seven of them, with all of them looking stunningly good. All games were played through 18 holes and took just over an hour to complete. However, Swing Away Golf lacked a bit in its realism. Most of the golfers could hit no more than 270 yards, except your character who can often hit 400 yards with a good wind and lots of training. Also, the characters feet don't touch the ground but are a few inches up from it, which can be bothersome. Oh, and what if you hit the ball up in a tree? Well no problem! The character just magically appears in the tree and you just hit it out of the branch. The only realistic things were the courses (though the holes seemed a bit short for pros) and the wind. The wind played a huge factor in your shot, making it go long, short, or side-to-side. Luckily, you have a handy wind direction arrow in the upper right with how fast the wind is going to help you, but I often times forget to realign my shot.
The actually golfing in Swing Away Golf is pretty good. You have a distance meter that goes up, and after pressing X goes down to an accuracy meter. The harder you hit the ball the harder it is to keep it straight. There are also some handy yard meters telling you how far the ball will go if you stop the meter there, though they can be inaccurate at times. There are also environmental factors that affect your shot, including the wind and rain.
Swing Away Golf's graphics were well done, besides the characters standing above the ground and not on it. The sound was also pretty good, with voice clips after the characters shoot or lose a hole. The only problem is that there are no voices for the storyline, just readable text with characters moving their mouths.
Overall, Swing away Golf is a very good game worth a buy if you don't mind a few problems in its realism. Try PGA Tour for something more realistic.