I dont usually by sports games - the thought of sitting in doors in front of the telly recreating something i could be doing outdoors in the sun doesnt usually appeal. However having only once played true golf and sucking at it miserabley, - and not having sufficient financial resources for tuition and course time - Golf is one of the few sporting pursuits I would rather tackle from the comfort of my own living room.
Having previously owned and loved '05 on the PS2, i was initialy tentative about this wii offering. Too many multi-platform games have been ruined on ninty's console due to failure to utilise the remote or by trying to cram button intensive features onto the remotes, admitedly sparse, button layout. However on seing that this wasnt a direct port of the PS3 and XBox versions, rather a wii specific version, I allowed myself to be sucked in and purchased.
Bloody glad i did. This has proved to be the most intuitive golf game i have ever played, thanks, in the large part, to the way that the remote has been implemented in the play. Swing back with the remote and the onscreen character matches the depth of your arc. lower your swing slightly and your character reduces their swing also. movements are translated directly and near-instantly onto the screen, helping you to learn how to control your swing better and eliminate the guesswork out of shots.
Theres plenty of features crammed in there too. Play alone through the PGA cup or challenge modes, hook up with friends and indulge in a myriad of mini games (my favourite being battle golf) or take your game online and compete against other players to improve your rank and standing on the online leaderboards.
Online play is a peach - quick to connect, a steady stream of opponents and very little hanging about. And unlike ninty's own online offerings, you can even communicate with your opponents, OK, Your limited to a set of pre-selected phrases but its a step in the right direction at least.
Too good to be true, i hear you cry? well, almost, the comentary is boring and repetetive, the putting takes a little while to get used to - at first youll hit miles too hard or fall well short of the pin - and it can be a little hard to guage shot strength as theres no onscreen feedback untill after the ball is in the air. However, you can turn the comentary off, and after a few hours off practice on different courses and in different conditions you'll be hitting the ball exactly as you planned to - more often than not.
All in all TW 09 All-play is about as good as golf gets without playing it for real. There really is very little to fault it on and the sense of acheivment when you land your first hole in one overshaddows any of the minor niggles mentioned.