The Next Person to Descibe a Sports Game “Realistic” Will Receive a Grand Trout Slap

I read a review about a golf game, where the author described the game as “realistic” attempt on golf.

I gave the paper this look:


And after that I started ranting in my mind how that golf game isn’t realistic. Anyone who has played real golf will agree with me.

Here’s some points that I went through in my mind:

#1 – Pain is in the body of the golfer
Let’s take a human back pain and then add pain-in-parts-you-didn’t-know-that-existed-in-your-body. I’ve tried golf once (for few hours). The next day, my “side” (don’t know English term) was hurting like hell. I couldn’t twist my body. And this happened when I was in such shape that I could run half-a-marathon. I’ve yet to see golf game do this.

#2 – “Yeh, but Wii has that if you do it properly!” I can hear you thinking
Well, Watson, there’s more into it.

Golf, by default, is a bloody frustrating game where you can achieve 20% accuracy (and by accuracy I mean the ability to actually hit the ball so that it flies to some direction) after few hours of training – if you have 10 years baseball experience background like I do.

Most of the time it’s frustrating. You try to swing and most likely it results in:

  • Flying pile of grass
  • Almost missed swing (combine with the previous + add 10 cm ball movement)
  • Missed swing (leaving ball where it was)
  • Ball that goes to left, bouncing very low – and touching ground almost all the time.

Only on rare occasions, you will actually hear the most rewarding sound (the sound of your club hitting the ball) and see how the ball flies far away (and far away it indeed flies!).

And that’s the only reason why you keep swinging the damn club for several hours… the reason that at some point you might actually hit the golf ball. (And that’s the reason why I actually enjoyed golf a lot). Classic game design element here: “randomizing reward”.

In “realistic” golf games you just press couple of buttons or wave some short stick controlled in your hand and then the ball flies most likely to the direction you wanted.

I’ve yet to see a single golf game that would be realistic, and unless the game will feature (1) real golf club, (2) real golf ball, (3) enuf space, I doubt that I will never will.

(And don’t even get me started talking about “realistic UFC fighting game”…)

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Have you ever tried those full surronding arcade racing games? Probably the most realistic experience you’d get from just about any game. (Except for maybe like, DDR)

  2. So when you go and slap someone with a trout – fun expression, I’ve not heard it before – do post a video – because you know a lot more people are going to say that about their games. And now I’m going to insist you go ahead and slap them!

  3. Lumooja: okay, that’s one exception. But BESIDES that.

    Fabio: I most certainly think that high realism does not equal (automagically) fun. Another blog post about that would be nice.

    I actually saw one reviewer saying how UFC 10 is “realistic” game…. hilarious! :D (It’s a cool & fun game but it’s very far from being “realistic”)

  4. ok, you already get away wii from this post, but maybe the funniest thing is not always a real simulator (but I like to play car game simulator).

    Anyway, wii sports maybe is not the most real thing, but it has a lot of variables (wind direction and strong, terrain, etc, etc.)

    How much real a game should be to be fun? Could be another post.

  5. Have you tried ‘Golf?’

    It’s about as realistic as I’ve played. You control the swing with your mouse, and while it’s easy, it’s still not that easy.

    You even have to chase the ball in your buggy, no teleporting here.

    It’s a bit silly though, and makes fun of itself. Plus the graphics are plain.

  6. It seems that the International Olypmpic Comitee has a different opinion:
    “Chess is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee, and is led by the FIDE.” (Wikipedia quote).
    So expect the chess to be included in the Olympics in a few years :)

  7. Just to be nitpicky, chess is a sport (as stated on the wikipedia page). And it can have a realistic simulation on a computer.
    As for the other sports games, you are right :)

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