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Mildly Amused by Fun! Fun! Minigolf

Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance owners ought to be familiar with Shin’en. The German developers are responsible for some of the best 3D programming on those two portable platforms. From the GBA launch title Iridion, to the wonderful Nanostray titles, Shin’en has created a handful of titles that serve as exemplars of the graphical and sonic capabilities of Nintendo’s handheld systems.

With the release of the eccentrically named Fun! Fun! Minigolf for Nintendo’s WiiWare store, the developers have made the leap to home consoles. As expected, the title is a graphical powerhouse and indistinguishable from full-priced, disk-based software. Beauty comes at a cost however, as this title won’t keep Wii owners busy for more than a few hours. We spent nearly as long clearing the required 308 blocks from our Wii’s memory storage, as we did playing through all the courses.


                                                                               Fun! Fun! in the Sun! Sun!

The game contains twenty-seven holes of minute golf spread across three nine-hole courses. The US Course is appropriate for young children, with its uncomplicated layout, while the European course offers an immense challenge. In the middle of the difficulty spectrum, lays the Asian course, where hole-in-ones are a demanding task. Complicating the title is the game’s punishing ruleset- from the start of every hole the ball must be hit in a relatively small zone near the cup. Otherwise it’s considered ‘out of bounds’ and the gamer is required to redo the shot. It’s a needless regulation that puts a damper on the game’s enjoyment and removes a key strategic element. Playing it safe with a softer two stroke hit is no longer a viable option, one of the few interesting variables in an otherwise simplistic pastime.

The entirety of the Fun! Fun! holes stem from the types of layouts found at most amusement centers; the title clearly tries to imitate reality. Although we would have liked to have seen a course filled with improbable other-worldly designs, no such option exists. Individual holes offer geometric obstacles to keep the proceedings interesting, although they are all fairly simple. Aren’t diminutive castles requisite fixtures at miniature golf courses?

                                                 Victory poses all look a bit dorky, but are animated well.
 
Players who have visited the virtual links found on Nintendo’s WiiSports golf course, should feel right at home with the title’s control scheme. Players hold the Wiimote vertical, with the IR sensor pointed at the ground, as if the controller was the handle of a golf club. With the A button pressed, players tilt the Wiimote back to simulate a backswing. To connect with the ball, the player returns to the controller to the six-o’clock position in time with an alternating curve meter. When not holding the A button, the gamer can take a few practice swings to estimate club power. Although this sounds ineffective for a game with such a simple swing mechanic, judging the power of your downswing is easily the most difficult aspect of the game. After playing through the game twice, we still had trouble controlling the intensity of our swings.

Graphically, Fun! Fun! Minigolf offers the player picturesque courses filled with lush foliage, detailed buildings, all capped with dramatic lens flares. However, these elements are little more than eye candy- actual gameplay only takes place only on relatively small strips of virtual Astroturf. Gamers are offered the choice of four golfers, each with signature animation routines.


                                                      The rocks, flowers, trees are fences are all eye candy.

Overall, Fun! Fun! Minigolf is a scenic translation of miniature golf that offers a modicum of actual gameplay. The game presents twenty-seven holes, but without any unlockable characters, items, or additional diversions, there’s no motivation for a second play through. After playing the title, we wish Shin’en had worked on a full-fledged, disk based golf title rather than the reduced effort shown here. With more content, and a dash of complexity, the developers could have given the Hot Shots Golf franchise a run for the money.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

35 comments

  1. Thanks for the review.

    Oh and

    FIRST!

  2. 308 Blocks, what’s that like a third of the Wii’s internal memory?

    Nintendo need to fix the problem now, not in Spring.

  3. Will you review the tower of goo ripoff too?

  4. Wasn’t there a game made by the Hot Shots devs for Wii?

  5. Camelot makers of the original HSG games, made We Love Golf. It’s ok nothing great.

  6. Thanks I was temped to purchase this after your recommendation. Now, I guess I’ll save my wii points.

  7. Fun! Fun! Sounds No Fun! fun!

  8. How much do they want for this game?

  9. 900 points or $9.

  10. It looks very Hot Shots inspired.

  11. Dear Nintendo:

    Please make Mario Wii Golf. Make Wii controls optional. DO this and all is forgiven.

    Love,
    Vance

  12. You guys are xbots and PSfanboys. thats why you hate on all Nintendo games. I’m not readring your site any more.

  13. Did you mean “red ring” or “reading”?

  14. Please keep reading, thought. If your reading skills are on par with your writing, you need it.

    I heard there’s plenty of reading in the new Animal Crossing. Not much else.

  15. I’d bite for $5

  16. Good review, keep em coming.

  17. Decent graphics. Looks widescreen, too.

    I may have to try the game.

  18. Good review. All looks and no play it sounds.

  19. $5 would have been a better price. Damn you greedy Nintendo people!

  20. I never liked the concept on minigolf. Its just not as complex as regular golf.

  21. Great looking environments!

  22. Wiiware has what about two or three good games. Nintendo should get some good ideas on there. I have at least 5 or 6 great ones.

  23. Shin’en and Fun Fun sound Japanese, not German.

  24. Man, I didn’t read the review before I bought this. Well, I got 30 minutes of fun for my 9 bucks.

  25. For some reason, I cannot get the hang of the golf games on the Wii. I was frustrated by Wii Sports Golf because I found the game would not read my motions properly. Overall, I may check this one out but I will have to consider if I can stand another golf game. Does anyone else have this problem?

  26. Me too. Ive tried them all Tiger Woods, Wii Golf, etc. The only one I can play is Super Swing Golf, and even with that I don’t used the motion controls.

    The way the Wii measures your swing speed is horrible inaccurate.

  27. Yep. Same here!

  28. It would have been nice to have unlockable goals for the game but w/ 27 courses it definitely seems like a fun minigolf game.

    thanks for the review.

  29. minigolf is the shit

  30. That girl looks way dorky in the ‘Birdie” pic.

  31. Nice colors. The game looks restful.

  32. thanks for the review, i was THIS close to spending 9 dollars. just by reading the title i was expecting something along the lines of playstation’s “Rugrats Mini Golf” which i loved as a kid. still looking for that perfect mini golf game i guess

  33. Thanks for the review! Keep up the great work. My comment didn’t go through the first time. 🙁

  34. It’s not a ripoff it was made by the same guy