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Pro-Putt Domo - DSiWare Review

Game Info
Pro-Putt Domo

DSiWare | Nintendo | 1 Player | Out Now (North America) | 200 Nintendo Points
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8th December 2009; By KnucklesSonic8

Quite some time ago, Nintendo announced that they had plans to release a series of DSiWare titles based on Domo - the petite meat-loving Japanese character. Priced at 200 points a pop, each of the five titles were originally part of a Game Boy Advance game from a few years back, but Nintendo saw fit to extract some of the the mini-games and release them as new games on the DSiWare service. Nintendo clearly felt that they'd see a greater audience with these, but how did they turn out? Are they worth the price of admission?

Pro-Putt Domo is the very first mini-golf game to grace the DSiWare platform. From a conceptual standpoint, mini-golf is a perfect fit for DSiWare and thankfully, Pro-Putt Domo does a good job at providing enough content to be worth the inexpensive price tag. The game features three basic game modes - Small Classic, Big Open and Lesson Mode. At the start, only Small Classic is available and after meeting specific requirements, the other two get unlocked, so there is a bit of motivation in that regard. As with other games in the genre, each stage has a par requirement which dictates the maximum amount of strokes allowed to complete a hole without incurring a penalty. Players engage in a tournament-like setting where players must try to stay ahead of the CPU's on the leaderboards in hopes of obtaining 1st place at the very end. Generally, players will have little trouble meeting the par requirement; instead, they will find themselves more concerned with trying to get into 1st place and obtain a certain number of coins in order to unlock the other modes.
It's because of these collectable coins that Pro-Putt Domo differs from other mini-golf games. Each stage has a series of coins that the player can collect and because a certain amount of coins are needed in order to unlock the other modes, this makes the game a bit more challenging. In other mini-golf games, most would usually zip through each stage as fast as possible, but in Pro-Putt Domo, players must take coin-collecting in consideration as they aim for good stroke tallies.
    Domo also has a hunger meter represented by bowls of meat and potatoes. If players continue getting bad stroke tallies on the holes, the meter will decrease; if it runs out completely, this will result in a Disqualification. However, if you do well and manage to come in 1st place at the end of a course, the game will record your high-score on the Main Menu (namely, the total number of strokes and the number of coins you collected). Strangely, if you come in any place other than 1st, then your high-score will not get recorded at all. Rather than having a separate menu for Rankings, only the best score is displayed for each mode on the Main Menu. It would've been nice if players could enter in multiple scores with their names so they could compare stats with friends. Additionally, the game would've also benefited from a multiplayer mode of some sort and this seems like a very odd omission as well (even if the original game didn't include it).
    Controls are very simple. Although touch-screen control would've worked well here, the game works just as well by controlling with the D-Pad. After setting the direction using the D-Pad, you press and hold A to charge up your swing, then, watch the golf ball go as you release the A button. Using the L and R Buttons, you can adjust the camera angles, allowing you to see the entire hole (a bit at a time) or get a better view of the hole. So simple, absolutely anyone could understand!

The stages themselves feature both soft and rough textures with varying elements to fit in with the rest of the game's presentation. Littered throughout the levels, you'll find logs, water traps, sand traps, and even mushrooms which not only spruce up the environments, but also affect gameplay in one way or another. The game also has some nice music accompanying gameplay and while you'll hear all of the game's music in a few minutes, it doesn't get too annoying.

    Despite some minor complaints that could have made for a stronger release, it was a great move for Nintendo to bring Pro-Putt Domo to the DSiWare service. It contains a good amount of content, and a decent amount of replay value at such a budget price. If you haven't already done so, give Pro-Putt Domo a whirl next time you have 200 points lying around. We can only hope that other developers will follow suit and work towards even stronger titles for the platform now that Pro-Putt Domo has set the standard for future mini-golf titles to come.

22/30 - Good

Gameplay 8/10  - Very easy to control, plays out well with a nice level of challenge, nothing really to find fault with
Presentation 7/10 - Good detail in environments, features some nice music, easy presentation that works well
Enjoyment 4/5 - Can be fun despite the lack of multiplayer, high-score gives something to come back for
Extra Content 3/5 -  Could've used multiplayer, modes provide a good level of content for the points

Pro-Putt Domo
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