PangYa (meaning Bang! in Korean) is an anime-style golfing MMO that takes a special approach in golf simulation. While almost all golf-themed titles such as Golfstar, Shot Online and World Golf Tour seek to simulate this sport in a realist way, PangYa takes the path less trodden by rendering gameplay in an animated style.
Before anything is revealed, the anime style can immediately win you over or drive you away. The bright palette, adorable interface design, cartoony characters and fantastic landscapes as courses unmistakably signal out an overall light-hearted ambience. And when you explore a little bit in the shop, you get a more confirmed idea about its casual style from those cool outfits and some weirdly outrageous clubs.
Based on the anime style, you expect to see a long line of playable avatars, only to find one provided for each gender. And customization is as limited in the character creation, leaving much space for purchased items to fill in. With 3000 pangs, in-game currency, to start out with, you can afford no more than an inexpensive outfit at first. To win more by playing, you can try out those more expensive pieces that can boost stats instead of being purely cosmetic.
Tutorial goes before matches, in which basics are taught by playing-a-hole practice. Adjustment of the camera, selection of clubs, mechanics of hitting a ball and bunkers are all covered in the tutorial, so it’s suggestible to give it a quick check, though it’s optional. Game is lobby-based, with several modes available. The standard Versus accommodates up to four layers and provides a series of different courses with diversified themes. In this mode, the host can set the number of holes to play, from the minimum of 3 to the full 18, and start the competition when there is at least one opponent in the turn-based match. Another mode is Tournament which involves up to 30 players in real time competition and tracks each one’s performance in a ranking system to determine the final winner. In tournaments, there are also three available sub-modes, Regular tournament with special rewards, Team tournament with 12-30 players pit in Blue vs. Red, and Guild Tourney with battles between rival guilds. Besides, there are also risky Battle mode where players gamble with pang in matches, special Shuffle Course mode with each hole from a different course, asynchronous Ghost mode allowing one player against another’s ghost recording in an 18 hole game, and Family mode for family members to compete on the same computer. Moreover, there is one more mode known as Lounges or Player Squares, in which players don’t compete in matches but socialize or trade items in courses. With so many modes available, it can cater to different players’ needs and play style.
PangYa just celebrated its third anniversary in last April. In fact, PangYa was previously published by OGPlanet in NA under the name of Albatross18, and then taken over by SG Interactive to publish worldwide with its original name. It has been updated regularly since the global re-launch, with the 6th season just around the corner. With its special fantasy setting and anime style, it’s even more appealing to casual gamers than serious golfers. It’s not a bad game to have a few good swings in the fantastic courses impossible in real life.