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Jeremy Jastrzab
25 Apr, 2008

Everybody's Golf: World Tour Review

PS3 Review | It took a World Tour before it arrived.
It’s no secret that games are often released much later in PAL territories than other parts of the world, nor is it uncommon for them to be released under another name. Such has often been the case with Sony’s casual golf title that is prefixed with Hot Shots in the US and Everybody’s in Europe and Australia. Originally released early last year, Mina no Golf 5 was the highest PS3 selling game in Japan for 2007. Not too quick on the uptake, it has taken a year for Sony to not only get what is now known as Everybody’s Golf: World Tour to PAL territories but to the US as well.

As the Japanese title eludes, this PS3 title is the fifth in a long running series that has stretched back to the Playstation, and whose development origins have close resemblance to Mario Golf way back on the Nintendo 64. A lot of golf games have disappeared from the gaming horizon since the days where Everybody’s Golf and Mario Golf were competing, with EA’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour being the only real option around. Where as Tiger has long forsaken power bars and meters, Everybody’s Golf: World Tour sticks with the traditional setup, but has provided a new option as well.

Everybody’s Golf has been very well regarded for a long time for it’s easy-to-pick-up nature and has stood out from the crowd with it’s zany exaggerated style. Everybody’s Golf: World Tour continues on with the established formula, but adds a new shot option and online play to the mix things up. Still, while the game does feel like an early generation PS3 title (which it effectively is), we were disappointed that more options weren’t added during the time that it took to get the game to our part of the world.

Everybody's Gold is here... Eventually.

Everybody's Gold is here... Eventually.
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In Everybody’s Golf: World Tour, you have a choice between Advanced and Traditional shots. The traditional shots have a power bar at the bottom of the screen, where you select the club that you want to use, then press the button to start the swing. Once you have the desired power, you press the button again and then a third time to control for accuracy. You’ve also got the option to ‘power-up’ your shot but that makes it more difficult to hit it accurately, and you have to take into account factors such as the wind, slope and skill of your character.

The Advanced shots take away the bar for a more intuitive approach. Basically, starting the shot will have the player raise their club and you’ll see an outline of which position will give you 100% power. Once you have your power, a circle appears around the ball and it gets smaller. You need to press the button when you think that you’ve got a good impact on the ball. Basically, Advanced shots are more accurate, but at first can be hard to gauge the power, so you might ‘under-hit’ a lot of shots at the start. Both Advanced and Traditional shots allow you to add spin by pressing the appropriate direction on the d-pad at the same time as the impact of the shot.

As you play through Everybody’s Golf: World Tour and the challenges within the game, you’ll unlock more characters and equipment. You unlock characters by going through a number of challenges, accumulating enough points and then beating them in a one-on-one match play. Challenges are meant to throw a few spanners into the works, but conditions such as “advanced shots only”, “random holes” and “big cup” don’t really mix things up that much. However, the game is able to make up for this somewhat by a demand on precision, and reading aspects such as the wind. It almost drags you into playing for the better characters so that you can have better control over your destiny on harder courses. It’s a game that is extremely easy to learn, yet beckons you to master the minor intricacies.

We'd like to see something like this more often.

We'd like to see something like this more often.
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The other major addition to Everybody’s Golf: World Tour is that of an online mode. So long as you have either a wireless or LAN connection to the Internet and a PSN sign-on, the online mode is really easy to get into. After setting up your details, preferences and scuba and sombrero wearing avatar (or any other zany clothing combination), you then choose a lobby to loiter in. From there you can schedule a tournament or join one that hasn’t begun yet. Online play ran flawlessly and you had a time limit to complete holes, to make sure you didn’t take too long. It would have been nice if you didn’t have to wait the last 30 seconds even when everyone finished though.

Everybody’s Golf: World Tour is a rare game that doesn’t really have any noticeable or game-breaking flaws. Sure enough, not everyone is going to like the style of the game, but it certainly has a level of charm and personality to it. If you’re after a serious game of golf, then you aren’t going to find it here. However, if you can see the bright side of a stereotypical Japanese guy tripping over his own golf club or the pout of a spoilt British ‘princess’ when she gets a bogey, as well as some solid golf, then this game has something for you.

If there really is a flaw with the game, it’s the lack of content and modes. With only six courses, and one unlocked at the start, you’ll spend a lot of time on the one and only course at the start. It can get really boring and off-putting, which is compounded by a lack of mode variety or lack of real differential from the challenges. Apart from strokeplay, matchplay and practice options, the game doesn’t really even try to do anything different, as you would have expected from an arcade style golf game. It’s disappointing, because the game doesn’t really have any tricks outside of its zany characters. As much as you may want to like it, replaying the one course so many times with mediocre players can really drag after a while.

No wonder there are massive potholes all over the course.

No wonder there are massive potholes all over the course.
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In terms of visuals, the game is still a very pretty one. It was never a technical marvel, but with stylised visuals and bright colours, it is able to get away with being a year old. After all, it didn’t have any major technical flaws. Still, the distinction between PS2 and PS3 title doesn’t look as vast with this game. That, and things such as victory or failure animations come in at about one per character. In terms of sound, the direction that the game has taken over the Japanese game is disappointing. The accents and voices are stereotyped to the point of tastelessness and the voice samples are way too repetitive, especially when you’re on the green. The music direction has been subdued with rather sombre tunes and the atmosphere is lacking on crucial moments.

Everybody’s Golf: World Tour is quaint, quirky and charming, but it also manages to play a rock-solid round of golf, even if it's a year late. It’s very easy to learn but takes a lot of time and practice to truly master. While earning the ‘better’ players is certainly endearing, the aspect of the game that lets it down is the lack of mode and course variety. The new Advanced shots and online play are great additions but they’re not enough to really keep in your PS3 for a really long time, nor do they excuse the fact that this game would’ve been really well received if released in the post PS3 launch lull, just as it was in Japan. It’s not quite for everyone, as the title may suggests, but those who warm to the concept will be treated to some great arcade golf, so it’s a shame that there isn’t more of it.
The Score
Despite being a year late, Everybody’s Golf: World Tour brings something little less serious but still quite enjoyable to the club house.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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1 Comment
5 years ago
Good review - I agree with the score too - I would have given it a 7.

Its a really good golf game but its just so barebones. I expected to have more multiplayer options especially for a game that handles four players. Also more clothing options on characters like the PSP games and of course more courses would have been ideal.

Also once again the career mode is just a bunch of events that make you play the same courses over and over again is kind of lame. I wish there were more courses on the different difficulty levels rather than each course being a subsequently harder level. I don't like the fact that there's only one simple course and one medium course and wish there were more variety. I hope the DLC courses don't mean progessively harder courses too.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  27/03/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $99.95 AU
Publisher:
  Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre:
  Sports
Year Made:
  2008

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