Clap Hanz in defense of button controlled golf

By Spencer . September 21, 2007 . 7:10pm


It seems like every other cutesy golf game is jumping on the motion control bandwagon. We already have Wii Sports Golf and Super Swing Golf. This year Capcom announced We Love Golf and Tecmo has a sequel to Super Swing Golf. It’s not like the Sixaxis controller can’t be a home for a motion controlled golf game. Motion controlled bowling is coming out on the Playstation 3 this year. So why did Clap Hanz, the creators of Hot Shots Golf 5 stick to traditional button controls?


During a meeting with the President of Clap Hanz, Masashi Muramori and Keisuke Futami from the Hot Shots Golf 5 team I got to ask them if motion controlled golf was really the wave of the future.


I’m wondering what you think of the motion controlled golf games like in Wii Sports or We Love Golf from Camelot?


MM: I’ve played all of them. To be honest what I felt about those games is it’s great that they tried doing that. It brought back the shot to actual golf. It has an analog feel to it, which is more like actual golf. But at the same time you couldn’t hit it (the ball) where you wanted to, which was frustrating.


Do you think you would ever make one [a motion controlled golf game] with the Sixaxis controller?


[Laughs.] Technically speaking it’s possible. But we chose not to and we probably won’t in the future. Golf is already a difficult sport. When you actually incorporate that into the gameplay it just makes it a difficult game to play. That’s where the frustration is in actual golf and we don’t feel there is any advantage in expressing that in a game so we stuck with using buttons.


What about a motion controlled Tennis game? Like Minna no Tennis 2?


I went out and bought a Wii when it came out in Japan and I tried out all of the games. When I’m making a game I want to make a game where you play for hours and hours. If you did this with for example Wii Sports, you would tire very quickly. I can’t play that long. As a tendency I feel that gamers in general aren’t the most in shape people in the world. Because a lot of people play long hours and I don’t see people swinging away for endless hours. That is something I thought of before incorporating new technologies. Probably in the future too, we’ll probably stick to button control.


Keisuke Futami chimes in: People play for hours and hours online [in Minna no Golf 5]. I can’t see that people doing that on the TV. A lot of people play at night and I can’t imagine that.



Speaking of the online mode I remember some of the characters had clipping errors in the lobby where they could walk into walls and hide into invisible rooms. Do you plan to patch that for the North American game?


Obviously, that wasn’t intentional. It’s very much part of the game in terms of the lobby. A lot of players have enjoyed looking for places where they can get into the wall. It also helps with conversation because you see someone do that and you ask “how do you do that?” It’s a difficult decision, but we have to see how it turns out. So maybe we might not fix it.


Are you planning to add anything new for the North American version?


I can’t get at the details. We’re still working on it.




Will we be able to play with Japanese and European gamers online when Hot Shots Golf 5 comes out?


Because text chat is the main thing online we’re planning to keep Japan as Japan, North America as North America and Europe as Europe. Maybe we can put the US and Europe together.

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  • thaKingRocka

    i tried the demo for hot shots 5, and i much preferred the traditional button timing approach over the analog stick control. i also preferred the hot shots analog control over the wii sports golf control. it’s good to know i’m not just an old dog. he’s totally right about the length of play. i played metroid prime 1 for hours on end, but with 3, i find myself wanting to take a break after an hour, maybe an hour and a half. it may be healthier, but it’s not the way i really wanted to play the latest metroid installment.

  • RandomPerson

    Wow. So let’s summarize:
    1. Gamers are fat and lazy so they don’t want motion control.
    2. Motion control is too realistic and real golf is too hard so motion control is too hard… basically gamers are idiots and can only handle moving their thumbs.
    3. With analog control, you can’t point an arrow to the fairway and say “I want to hit it there”, and when you can’t do that… golf just isn’t fun.

    I think that says something about the games he develops and why I’ve never been a fan of Hot Shots Golf. It’s golf made for idiots… and apparently by idiots.

  • Pedro Silva

    They’re doing their work, just like the Locco Rocco guys said eyetoy was better than Wiimote at one point in time. I’d just like them to be more honest sometimes.

    Despite that he has some points, fact is there’s no such thing as perfect controls on a motion sensing golf game game yet… But it’s just more immersive, well… it’s kinda like with tennis, I’d never buy a tennis game normally, but on the Wii, give me virtua tennis (or in alternative the Top Spin) well done and I’ll bite, they’re really expanding the market in that sense.

  • Angelous

    Man, its taking quite a while to get this out in the US. Is ther a better release date that “TBA 2008”? Anyways, the button controlled gold doesn’t bother me. Although, I do prefer the analog swing method in Tiger Woods, Hot Shots / Everybody’s golf just feels right with the botton controlled swinging. I think if the controls were changed to analog, the series would loose it’s charm.

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