Let me say this first. My knowledge of golf is possibly enough to stop me from getting killed by a golf ball.
Everybody’s Golf is fun and good for whiling time away, if you like golf. If the idea of spending the entire weekend watching golf while your dad rebukes the commentators sounds like a great idea, go get this game.
If I just described your very own personal hell, read no further.
Most sport video games perplex me. Why not just play the actual game? Golf I can understand as a virtual sport though: the clubs are expensive and playing on the greens requires something called shoes. You also have to walk really far to chase a tiny ball, all while getting sunstroke and possibly killed by an errant golfball or lightning or the hippos and crocs in that water hazard.
So in the comfort of my own home, where the evils of the world (sunlight, heat and long walks) can be blocked out, I load up some quirky fun golf, which even tells me where the ball will end up. While I enjoy being able to see an approximation of where my ball will end up, there is no way to customise the forecast. It only shows the carry distance, not the bounce distance, which can be a major issue if you are very close to a water hazard.
Spin, incorrect strike, wind and potential obstructions to your shot are not included, making the forecast more of a ‘perfect shot in a vacuum’ guide than a reliable preview of where your ball will end up. This means you need to know a bit about golf or, at least, physics. And so my love-hate relationship started.
Fun for when you are on the go, especially those 9 hole events, Everybody’s Golf is great for queues or waiting for the bus, if you don’t mind the weird looks you get every time your in-game character orgasms over the awesomeness of your performance. It really sucks, however, losing on the last hole thanks to a water hazard or some other obstacle driving your score up to nine (or more) above par. Watching your ranking plummet from first to last on the last hole makes the hour you spent playing 18 holes feel like a complete waste of time.
I wish the game spent more time explaining mechanics. Tutorials are lacking, meaning I only worked out what the swing bar was measuring when I messed around with several swing modes. While I understand this is a returning franchise, it doesn’t try very hard to make new players feel welcome. I’m still not sure if I must trigger certain abilities, or if they are passive or automatically activated.
The Stroke system gets monotonous after a while. The repetition of getting the timing close to perfect every single shot, or watching as your ball veers off into the rough, become tedious. The fact that a cute little bunny or tortoise appears to announce that you were wrong doesn’t really mitigate the horror of watching your shot drift off to exactly where you don’t want it to be.
Easy mode helps a lot, once you swallow your pride and admit defeat when the game prompts you to play on easy instead.
Loyalty is a character-based stat that is acquired upon winning and completing 9hole/18 hole events. Increasing loyalty allows your character to learn new moves and use their power shot more often, meaning you have to grind loyalty if you decide to buy a new character.
Unlocking characters, which make for a lot of diversity, seem odd. Most characters have too many flaws to be worth in-game currency to unlock, especially if you have already improved the loyalty stat of your basic character. Why would I want a character that always hits the ball to the left? Or that dislikes playing in certain conditions? No thanks, I will stick with my old faithful schoolgirl – just one of many that characters are far too excitable and energetic.
While I get this is to stick with the anime theme, it gets annoying after a while. I understand they are excitable, but no one ever looks that happy to score par.
Design and presentation: 5.5/10.
Cute oversaturated bright colours and whimsical courses make for an idyllic paradise, full of characters that make Vanille seem normal. Nested menus bog down the system, with certain features being completely inaccessible without returning to the main menu. I would prefer knowing how to do things in certain menus than being able to lift my character using the touch screen and touch pad, thanks.
Ever thought of golf as a grinding RPG? Better your scores or earn more loyalty and cash for unlocks. Then go to the training mode and practice until you perfect your shot, or try out a different stroke mode or other balls. Equip better balls and clubs, and then go earn more loyalty and cash.
Multiple courses and tons of challenges will keep you coming back for more. Stat tracking and replays will have you recording your best performances to show off to anyone who wants to listen to how you are a better digital golfer than they are.
Do you like sports games, or did you enjoy the previous iterations of this series? Everybody’s Golf has found itself a great new home on the PS Vita. Sadly, I think those that fell in love with the series in the beginning have outgrown the bright, colourful and super excitable characters, and I can think of sturdier consoles for children to take out their teething pains on.
I hate golf, with its overpaid people and vast wastage of water to keep greens looking manicured next to deserts full, but I enjoy playing everybody’s golf – even though I derisively mimic that annoying schoolgirl. For the most boring sport on the planet, this is good fun.
Last Updated: May 31, 2012