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Apr 19, 2008

Review: Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
SCEI, Clap Hanz
Available now for PS3

With spring finally arriving for us in Ontario, Golfers are now pulling their clubs from the garage and heading out to the course for a good round of 18 holes. I, on the other hand, was spending my gorgeous first week of spring on the couch, playing a virtual round of 18 holes with Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds. No stranger to the Hot Shots Golf series, I was reluctant to play the game again, after my bad run in with Hot Shots Golf 3. I was a Tiger Woods Golf fan and after trying HSG for only a round or two, I was put off by the lack of character choice and difficult controls.

The series seems to have come along since that game though, because I found the new swing systems must easier to handle this time around. The new system has players pushing a button three times on a meter to start the swing, determine the power behind the swing, and the club’s impact point on the ball which will also determine direction of the ball. The advanced system has no meter system, but instead a ghost club appears on screen to show the player the perfect spot for max power and a ring system that shows the perfect impact spot based on the moment a ring closes over the ball. I found the advanced system is much easier for putting based on its length reference point versus the meter system on the traditional system.

Players can choose from training, challenge, online and multiplayer modes. Challenge modes have you playing in tournaments to unlock new equipment, outfits, caddies, courses and golfers. While playing any mode except for training, you can increase your golfer's stats and their golfing skills, which are automatically recorded after the completion of each round. I didn't like that you couldn't make your own golfer and even when you could unlocked new ones, you could transfer your raised stats from your current golfer to the newer one.

Online games were setup in virtual lobby where you could talk to other character's avatars, setup up games, and enter tournaments. I found I was locked out of every tournament though when I tried to enter, but you can create individual online games with the people walking around in the lobby by talking to them and asking for a game.

The golf courses have been updated to more realistic looking environments, but the characters remain colourful and animated though, much like a Japanese cartoon. The music in the game was very dull and made me feel like I was stuck in an elevator for an hour. The characters each have a unique number of cute sayings and all of them have a different personality and background. I couldn't figure out why the American kid looked and sounded like an Australian though?

I'm happy to see that Hot Shots Golf has changed since the last time I played it, so much in fact, I'm actually getting my friends to play and would definitely tell other people to get their friends and family to play with them. It's easy to pick up and play on the traditional controls mode, and once you learn the advance controls, even a serious golfer will enjoy it. So set your tee time with Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds and still get in a round of 19 holes on those rainy days.

Rating 7 out of 10
Buy it!


Ry-Tron said...

Thinkin' of picking this up if I can find it cheap at Game Center around Bloor... how's the online matchmaking with people in your friend list work for ya? If you've tried, that is... didn't mention anything of the sort in the review. Also need it so my wife can sit and play with me, stopping her from making fun of me whenever I pull out all the gear for Eye of Judgment.

Faith said...

Hey Ry-Tron

to be honest, I haven't add anyone to my friend's list yet, so I didn't have the opinion to try that.

Ry-Tron said...

Well I added ya recently, though, the request has no response. There was an important question that went with it as well!
I'll be looking for this game come next pay day.

Johnny Wadd said...

Yea my favorite is the "19th hole".