IF YOU SUCK AT GOLF IN REAL LIFE, THEN BE PREPARED TO SUCK AT THE VIDEO GAME VERSION TOO
TITLE: MINNA NO GOLF 6/EVERYBODY’S GOLF 6/HOT SHOTS GOLF: WORLD INVITATIONAL
ORIGINAL PLATFORM: PS VITA
RELEASE: 2011 (JP)/2012 (NA/EU)
DEVELOPER: CLAP HANZ
PUBLISHER: SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT
So you know those days when you wake up and you’re like “Wow, I could really do with some golf right now” but you don’t want to go outside? Or you don’t want to trek down to the golf course where you’re not a member? No, me neither. I never have these thoughts. But if you do, well I have a game for you.
Everybody’s Golf 6, or if you prefer a mouthful, Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational is a game where you play golf. Not like that needed any explaining. Golf is in the title no matter what, and it’s not a misleading title or anything. It is a golf game. But it is pretty fun, and frustrating depending on your skill. And I have no skill at all.
This game is actually the 11th game in a series called みんなのGOLF in Japan. It’s been going for a pretty long time so you can trust that they at least got one golf expert in at one point to make sure that the golf game that they were releasing was actually a golf game, with lots of real golfy aspects. Not that I would be able to tell anyway. But it appears that they got the simulation aspect down pretty well.
- First off, let’s talk about some cool things because we might as well make these posts interesting. One thing I noticed about the whole series is the awesome characters that you can unlock. Some, in particular, include Jak and Daxter from Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank from, well, Ratchet and Clank (at least the game titles are rememberable). Other featured characters that cameo are Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal, Sir Daniel Fortesque from MediEvil and Gex from Gex (again, these game titles). But overall, I think this makes the series more exciting to play, especially if some of your favourite characters are involved.
- Secondly, this game actually had daily tournaments, leaderboards, and more online features, but unfortunately, this got shut down in December 2017. I personally never got to try them out, which is a shame. But seeing as the game was released first in Japan in 2011, it was online for about 6 years, which is a fair amount of time and I bet a lot of users had amiable fun with it. It’s still a shame that the servers went down about a month before I bought it though (oh, the frustration! Now I have no chance to show anybody my lack of golfing ability).
- Oh yeah, and there are animals in the game. You can tap the screen where a cat is sitting and it will meow at you. That’s all I need to say. It’s brilliant.
With all that being said, the game is very good for it being a sports title and all. It has beautiful over the top graphics and scenery, controls you can get used to (eventually) and plenty of stuff to learn and conquer (there is definitely a learning curve, believe me). There are challenges to motivate you and plenty of items to unlock in the shop. Honestly, you can unlock clubs, balls, artwork, soundtracks, little pieces to dress up your own miniature character in the lobby and golfers to play as. The only downfall is that the online features are discontinued, as I mentioned before, meaning that it is impossible to platinum the game (not that it’s easy, to begin with).
The game itself was very well received and was one of the best selling Vita games at the time of its release. Whether that’s because Japan loves golf or not, who knows, but critics described the title as excellent and enjoyable, and I can totally agree.
As I mentioned before though, there is certainly a learning curve, and you will suck. I’m sorry for not being a motivational coach, but you will. I managed to make a golf ball land in a tree though, which I think beats a hole in one any day. It’s quite funny though, as there is a woman shouting encouragement and (more likely) panic at you. You can get quite anxious at points, so if you’re playing for a long time, please, have a bath or something to calm your nerves.
To be honest, though, I haven’t played the previous games. I’ve read that this game isn’t really much different from them, however, so I guess if you enjoyed the previous titles, this game will still be fun for you.
So, a little bit about the game series itself. The first title was actually developed in 1997 by Camelot Software (who have developed a lot of Mario sports titles) and was released on the PS1. Even this original game, despite not being a ‘proper golf simulator’ apparently, received great reviews and was praised for its vivid graphics and balance between simple and complex gameplay.
Since Clap Hanz started developing the games, another 11 have been released, including spinoffs. One, in particular, Everybody’s Tennis stands out to me. I’d love for another chance to play a game that reminds me of the times I played Wii Sports, and the tennis in particular. I gave many people bruises swinging that Wii remote around (not on purpose, of course). Plus, since it’s remastered for PS4, I feel like you can’t pass up some of that HD fun, and I don’t think I’ll end up bruising anyone with that controller.
Of course, I’m aiming to collect the rest of the games in the series too, since they all appear to be fairly cheap. I mean, I bought Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational in the US for 5 dollars, and this is a Vita game we’re talking about, and they don’t usually come cheap.
Overall, there is a nice selection of the games to choose from, both on console and on portables. I yet to play one on a console, but I bet I’d be just as bad.
So, all in all, definitely a sports game I’d recommend, even if you’re not a huge fan of golf. Looking at the reception of the series, it appears that Everybody’s Golf 3 has one of the highest ratings, so perhaps check that one out if you just want to have a go. But with each game having wacky characters, bright scenery, complex yet fun mechanics and lots of experience to gain, I feel like you can’t go wrong. And hey, maybe you won’t suck at video game golf after all, although I can’t promise you’ll get any better at real golf. Just please, don’t try some of the stuff in this game on a genuine golf course, and you’ll be fine.
7/10 GOLF BALLS
Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!