Tecmo is primarily known for a few different franchises across various genres, foremost among them being the Fatal Frame, Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, and the old-school Tecmo Bowl series. Now, they're looking to add another notch to their belt with the addition of a golf title, Super Swing Golf Pangya.
Super Swing Golf Pangya is a port of a popular PC golfing game that is played by millions worldwide, including at least a million people in Japan. The original title is Korean-developed, but the console release is going to be rebuilt from the ground up by Tecmo. It sports an impressive development team, including Fatal Frame's Keisuke Kikuchi. The "Pangya" in the title refers to the sound of a golf ball being well struck, and is used in a similar way to "Nice shot!"
The graphics are cute, in that distinctly Japanese sort of way. The female characters we saw ranged from completely petite to fairly svelte and well-endowed. There were a decent amount of character designs on display, but the true hook is going to be player customization. You can upgrade your character's clothing and costumes and even unlock a few special treats for your player, such as a Dead or Alive Kasumi skin. We asked about other possible unlockables but were told that some things must stay secret.
Super Swing Golf Pangya will also include an actual story mode. At this point, the story mode is going to be a number of one-on-one golfing battles followed by cinematics. Fighting game fans will find this a comfortably familiar way to do things, and quite efficient as well. Each character is going to have his or her own ending and story path as you progress through the game.
The gameplay looks to be very arcade, such as in Hot Shots Golf. Super long drives, cute and expressive characters, and wide-open, spacious courses all are sure to be included. The stages are not necessarily based on real life, either. Our demo stage was a simple traditional golf course, but there are going to be such varied stages as a golf course on the deck of a pirate's ship. The key factor in all of this is the fun factor: what will be fun and funny to play on? The developers seem to have a good grasp on this concept.
Super Swing Golf Pangya is currently exclusive to Nintendo's upcoming Wii system, and of course supports its motion-sensitive controller, though not the separate nunchuck at this point in time. You control your golfer by way of actual golf swings, and the developers want this game to be an experience. Standing up to tee off will give you the best experience, but we were assured that you could also sit down and play Super Swing Golf Pangya, though that won't make it half as fun.
It will include single-system multiplayer, most likely supporting four players, but no online multiplayer has been announced. Tecmo has focused on making the game fun alone and fun with friends, and multiplayer with an unseen opponent is nowhere near as fun as playing against someone sitting on the couch next to you.
Super Swing Golf Pangya is still a ways off, but it should hopefully be out in time for the launch of the Wii.
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