After being dormant for a number of years, the Everybody’s Golf series is back in a big way! Find out what we thought in our Everybody’s Golf (2017) Review.
|Release Date||August 29, 2017|
|Developer||Clap Hanz/SIE Japan Studio|
I remember back in 1998 when I received a PlayStation 1 on Christmas Day. That console had a demo disc of a random selection of games that I really enjoyed. One of those games was the original Hot Shots Golf (Everybody’s Golf outside of North America). I was never a golf fan growing up, but this was a completely different type of series. It was just over the top, cartoony fun and it had me hooked. I think the demo was only 9 holes and I played that thing over again. Surprisingly, I never played another game in the Hot Shots Golf series until now. Everybody’s Golf on the PS4 (the series is now going by that name in North America for the first time) ended up capturing my attention just as much as the first one did in 1998.
The first thing you’ll do in Everybody’s Golf is to create a new character for yourself. The characters are very reminiscent of Miis on the Wii but more detailed. So I created my Japanese anime character to look as close to the real me as possible. There weren’t a ton of options available, but there are a lot more to unlock so this is something you’ll be tinkering with a lot. I ended up changing my character a bunch of times because of the different things I was unlocking via gameplay.
I was then transported to Golf Island, the in-game hub world in Everybody’s Golf. At first glance, I thought it was kind of weird to have a hub world in a golf game. I mean, what do you really need that for? As I played more of the game, I realized how efficient this hub world turned out to be. It has everything in a concise area. You can still choose most of the options in a start menu, but it’s almost easier to walk up and sign-up for a tournament, jump online, visit the shop, or a few of the other activities. This hub world changes dynamically as you rank up with items to find and new activities to complete which gives you an incentive to keep playing.
A couple of the things I love the most about this series are the crazy personalities of your characters and how beautiful the game world is. Everybody’s Golf continues this trend with some of the most peculiar characters in a golf game including a race car driver, what I think was a mob boss and various others. Everyone has their own funny mannerisms like my character who freezes and falls backward when he loses. The game has a lot of character and that keeps the rounds of golf interesting.
Everybody’s Golf continues with the three-step swing controls. You simply aim your shot and then click once to start the power meter, once to select the amount of power, and once for the accuracy. This system is a breeze and it really adds to the accessibility of the game. Amateurs can still play the game and have fun while experts can play with some of the more advanced parts of the game like using backspin and power shots. Putting also works the same way which makes that process a whole lot easier than it could have been.
One of the things that always surprised me was the ability to pull off crazy shots out of nowhere. I had a chip shot that I got in the cup from 60 yards away that smacked off the pole and went in. Another time I hit a ball that ended up going straight into the water only to skip off the water and land on the fairway. I also hit a ball off a tree and onto the fairway a bunch of times. The game doesn’t punish you as much as it could when you mess up, it always gives you the opportunity to make a comeback. Some people may not like this, but it wasn’t an every time thing. I still had my share of bogeys and drops in the water.
Everybody’s Golf did a great job of continuously rewarding me for making good swings. It does this by giving you extra points for your various stats depending on the things you do. For instance, if you have a perfect swing, your club becomes more powerful. If you hit the green with a long shot, you gain more control with that club. You’re constantly improving your character with every swing. You don’t have to wait until you win a tournament to get better (although the game does increase your stats for a random club by 1 in each category when you do that).
The rewards continue when you play the different bosses in the game. There are 3 bosses for every rank that you have to beat in a variety of game modes. These are pretty fun and can include different hole types such as the Mega Cup which is about double the size, and the Tornado Cup which pulls balls in if they get anywhere close to the hole. The game also introduces you to Match Play in this mode which annoyed me because I couldn’t skip the CPU turn. It switches things up often enough where it didn’t matter as much to me, though. If you defeat these bosses, you end up getting their customization options for your character. It’s a cool way to add more to your closet and I liked that I didn’t have to use my coins to buy more clothes in the store.
Speaking of the store, that exists. It will allow you to buy clothes and other accessories for your character as well as clubs, balls, and different golf items. There wasn’t a ton inside there yet when I looked, but it’s going to be updated constantly so I’m sure we’ll see some cool stuff in there. Other activities around the hub world include driving a golf cart, finding treasures around, doing a quiz with the professor, and fishing. These are nice little diversions from the actual game, but the focal point stays on golf. They’re mini-games and they’re just there to add a little variety to the game. It was a nice change.
The online modes in Everybody’s Golf are going to be what keeps everyone coming back. There are three separate modes that you can play. Open Course allows you to go to a specific course and play a recorded game to try and get in the Daily Rankings for rewards. You’ll see other golfers golfing or goofing around. One guy ended up laying in front of me while I was putting, but luckily, he is invisible until after I make the shot. It’s all in good fun and I enjoyed seeing random people driving golf carts or running down the fairway. Another guy even critiqued my shots as he followed me for 3 or 4 holes. It was fun and I felt a sense of community I didn’t expect in a golf game. Turf War gave me very similar feelings. This mode pits 2 teams of 4 against each other in a game. This is an interesting take on golf and I really liked it. There will also be International Tournaments which I’m really looking forward to. The sky is the limit for the online component of Everybody’s Golf.
Everybody’s Golf was a fantastic experience top to bottom. I don’t have any complaints about the game. It’s a fun golf game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s easy for anyone to pick up and play. I love the online features in this one and I really think that this game is going to grow to something even greater with a passionate community. I’d recommend this game to everyone, I’ve been playing it a ton and I can’t see anyone not having fun with this title.
*A copy of this game was provided by PlayStation to FYIG for review purposes*