Cursed to Golf | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Cursed to Golf | Review | Switch

Cursed to Golf has been on my radar for some time. Although I’m not super into golf or rogue-likes, this concept of sidescrolling 2D golf in a fantasy setting just seemed interesting. It has been a bit of a wait, but Chuhai Labs’ “golflike" is finally here. This game is great, but, you may be wondering if the Switch version is worth picking up. Buckle up because that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about. 

Cursed to Golf puts you into the role of a hot-shot golfer who is on the verge of winning a major championship. Just as our hero is about to sink the game winning shot, a bolt of lighting strikes and sends him to Golf Purgatory, seemingly with no way out. Here, he meets a seemingly bored, giant ghost named The Scotsman. This jovial ghoul lets you in on a secret - there is a way out of Golf Purgatory. All you have to do is simply go through 18 holes of golf. Of course, it’s not quite that easy.

Cursed to Golf is easy to get into, but difficult to master. For shots, you have three different clubs - a driver, an iron and a wedge. Just in case you’re not familiar which golf clubs are used for what (welcome to the club), you’ll quickly find that the driver is used for longer shots, the iron for medium range, and the wedge for closer shots/digging yourself out of things like bunkers. Early on in the game, you gain the ability to add front or back spin to the ball. This is a game changer as it can give you the extra distance you need to make a shot or keep you and your ball out of tough situations. The ball physics also feel very realistic, adding a sense of familiarity into this fantastical setting.
The B button allows you to take a look at and scroll around the course. While in this “look” mode, you can press A to get a look at the entire course. You do not, however, have the ability to do this while preparing to make or making your shots. I got used to it pretty quickly, but I could see how some people might not like this. You are able to use the right stick to slide the camera slightly forward or backward to give you a bit of a better look while lining up your shots. 

Numerous power-ups in the form of Ace Cards are at your disposal. These do a variety of things to improve your golf game or advance your way along the courses. Adding more shots to more wacky things like a rocket powered ball all come into play. It’s up to you to decide how to best make use of these to navigate the 70 hand crafted stages on your way back to the land of the living. This is a nice addition that adds new layers of strategy as you progress further into the game. Not only that, but these also come in handy for the handful of boss fights that you’ll come across on your way to ascension. 
When you’re not teeing off on the course, you’ll have the ability to travel around an overworld map in your trusty golf cart. Outside of moving to the next courses, you can collect cards, cash, take on special “cursed” courses and visit the local shop, Eterni-Tee. The shop has numerous Ace Cards for sale, outfits that can be changed at will and a special binder that can be used to save Cards for future use.

Each stage starts you with a set number of shots. This can be increased by taking out idols scattered throughout the stages. Silver ones net you an additional two shots while gold ones give you four. You will absolutely need these to increase your chances to reach the cup as the stages can be relatively long. Other things, like teleporters, TNT, graves and more will help or hinder your progress. Overall, the controls and general feel of the game are top notch and most importantly, fun. 

Graphics, Audio & Performance
Cursed to Golf is a fantastic looking game - even on the Switch. The main character sports some really nice animation that you might not notice while you’re playing. A lot of care went into the look of our hero getting ready for a shot, his swing, and even an added extra bounce in his step afterward. On top of that, the stages themselves are full of detail. Swaying trees in the background, constantly moving water, ghosts whirling around, statues crumbling after being destroyed by the ball - these are things that you might not pay much attention to while playing, but the inclusion of these small details is a nice touch. The soundtrack is also very well done and full of a number of catchy tunes. Bravo to the team at Chuhai Labs for crafting such a vibrant, beautiful game that also kills it on the audio front. 

The Switch version runs at a consistent framerate most of the time, as well. There were a few bugs with the game at launch - things that unfortunately made progress to the end of the game impossible. Even with that said, the dev did get a patch out (version 1.0.2) to fix most of these while another is just waiting the approval process from Nintendo to go live. This kind of thing is unfortunate, but once these are fixed, there really isn't anything else I can think of to complain about with the game. In the meantime, take this into consideration before you pick up the Switch version. 

I’m still working my way out of Golf Purgatory but have really been enjoying my time there. Cursed to Golf is both a great looking and great playing game. The controls are especially tight and the mechanics are fair. Any mistakes that are made on the golf course are your own doing, which I can respect. Cursed to Golf is not for the faint of heart as it is a brutally challenging game. Nonetheless, Chuhai Labs has created something special that should not be overlooked, even on the Switch. 

*review code provided by publisher*

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