Everybody's Golf: World Tour PlayStation 3
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Clap Hanz
Release Date: Out Now
Everybody’s Golf: World Tour has taken its sweet time arriving on the PlayStation 3 here in Europe. I hugely enjoyed the Everybody’s Golf game that appeared on the PlayStation for a variety of reasons. Not only was the game an entertaining and ultimately challenging single-player experience but it was also a good online and offline multiplayer experience. My family and I spent more time playing the Mini-Golf in Everybody’s Golf than any other multiplayer experience on the PlayStation 2. Needless to say then, I’ve been awaiting the release of World Tour for a long time. With the game finally here and having sunk many hours into it already it’s fair to say that it’s another fine addition to the series. There are however some aspects that do disappoint.
In case you’re one of the few people who have never played any of the games in the series, an explanation of what the Everybody’s Golf games are like is in order. Looking at the screenshots and seeing those pictures of the cute bobble-headed golfers you’d be forgiven for thinking that Everybody’s Golf is a pure arcade golf experience. This isn’t exactly true however. Sure there’s no Tiger Woods here and the golfers are all fictional (some of the golfers have been present in earlier games in the series) but there’s a degree of realism here that may surprise you and the AI opponents you come up against in the latter stages of the game really do require a high degree of accuracy on your part if you are to be victorious. In fact it’s as much a simulation of golf as the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series is. The series has always employed a triple button press golf swing and it does so in World Tour but this time there’s another swing, called Advanced Shots, which requires a series of well timed button presses without the aid of a swing meter. You do however have a variety of visual signals that help you time your button presses. Both swing types work well although I found myself sticking with the tried and tested method simply because I felt more comfortable with it.
The single-player modes on offer in World Tour are Challenge Mode, Stroke and Training. In Challenge Mode you’ll play your way through the various tournaments which are categorised into different ranks. As you win tournaments you’ll begin to fill up your VS Challenge Qualifier meter. Once you’ve filled this meter you’ll be able to play a round against a specific character and if you beat them you’ll unlock them for future use. Initially there are only two golfers who are available but as you progress through the game you’ll unlock an additional thirteen and for this reason alone it’s worth playing through the Challenge Mode. You’ll also unlock additional courses by playing through the Challenge Mode too. Stroke allows you to play a single round of golf and Training allows you to brush up on your skills with the ability to jump from hole to hole and retake shots etc. The multiplayer options are essentially stroke play and match play for up to two players and online play which allow you to play in online tournaments amongst other things. The online multiplayer is just as enjoyable as the single-player portion of the game which is good to see.
What’s on offer here is certainly appealing but you could argue that what’s on offer isn’t enough. There are only six courses (the PlayStation 2 version of Everybody’s Golf had 12 courses) meaning you’ll be playing on the same ones over and over again in the Challenge Mode and this is a little disappointing. You still can’t create your own custom golfer and have to play as one of the characters in the game. You do get to play as who you want at any time but the game, like the PlayStation 2 version of Everybody’s Golf, has a reward system (giving you extra costumes and performance enhancements) that encourages you to play with your chosen golfer as much as you can. Probably the biggest disappointment has to be the exclusion of Mini-Golf. Had the Mini-Golf been included in World Tour, it would have been an instant hit in my household. Without a Mini-Golf mode I’ve been unable to get any kind of offline multiplayer action, which is extremely disappointing. It would have also been great to play Mini-Golf online but sadly it’s not to be.
You can’t really argue with the overall presentation of World Tour. Sure the game still has a classic arcade golf game look to it but the visual quality has been ramped up significantly over the previous games in the series. The courses all look great and as I’ve already mentioned it’s a shame there aren’t more of them. The characters are still anime-style bobble-heads but they still look impressive. The game does have some speech that isn’t subtitled but on the whole the game is fine for deaf gamers. Golfer and caddie comments are not subtitled but this isn’t much of a concern. Those splendid little captions that the series has had which appear when the audience applauds you and when your ball snags a tree are still present. All of the important information in the game is presented visually and the tutorial messages are all in text and can be read at your own leisure.
Despite its shortcomings, Everybody’s Golf: World Tour is still an essential purchase for anyone who has enjoyed previous games in the series and for those who enjoy quality golf games. The game could have really done with at least twice the number of courses and the decision not to include the Mini-Golf is a shocking one. That said however, the single-player and online multiplayer elements are still strong enough to make this a game well worth the asking price. Let’s hope that we see a fully featured Everybody’s Golf title for the PlayStation 3 at some point in the future because as good as World Tour is, it’s not quite as good as it could have been.