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Review

Everybody's Golf Review (PS Vita)

Golf Clap.

It might not be the first game title that pops into your head when you think of Sony consoles but Clap Hanz’s big-headed, Japanese-styled golfer has long been a stalwart presence for the company’s consoles. This latest iteration doesn’t change much — it doesn’t have to — but it does have a few tricks up its argyle-patterned sleeve.


Menus are bold and colourful, as you'd expect.
First, let’s address the baffling array of titles this game has for our international readers. In Japan, it’s called Minna no Golf 6 (we’ve tested this version too). In the US, it’s Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational and in Europe it is simply Everybody’s Golf. It’s a new title in the main series, rather than a sequel to previous portable outings, so were a future game to be released on a home console, we’d expect it to be treated as Minna no Golf 7 and whatever convoluted nomenclature that translates to for western releases.

The courses are all new, although some similarities exist between Maple Leaf in this version and the Highland Golf Club in Everybody’s Golf: World Tour (Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds in the US). There’s only so much you can do with grass of varying lengths and bunkers filled with sand though, so similarities are easy to live with. There is a nice spread of difficulties, hazards and quirks across the various courses on offer here and some of the scenery plays an important role in how some holes need to be played.

The hidden depth of the Everybody’s Golf series is here in all of its glory. Those cartoonish stylings belie the surprisingly tactical approach that is often needed for each hole and each course. For example, some holes require you to play around a tall hazard, be it a tree, a windmill or a motel sign. Later in the game, once you’ve unlocked different clubs, balls and strokes, you might be able to simply play over those previously troublesome obstacles, or spin the ball around them. Likewise, the hole lengths are finely tuned so that early in the game you might be well advised to be cautious in your approach play but later on, with better equipment, you’re able to find more economical routes to the green. It really is quite impressively tuned.

Unlockable skills, traits, equipment, characters and costumes are all here too, with upgradable equipment which levels up the more you use it. You can even unlock concept artwork and soundtracks as you earn enough points to pay for them.

The whole style of the game is very definitely Japanese in origin. Characters have big heads, huge almond shaped eyes and costumes that look like they’ve been donated by the wardrobe department of a manga series about teenage pop stars. This is no EA Sports simulation, everything is exaggerated and overblown.


The art style is consistent with the previous entries in the series.
The three-press shot technique is forgiving and the gameplay is simple — at least initially. Later in the game, as you unlock new versions of the swing meter, things can become more tactical but to begin with, it’s just a simple button press to start the swing meter, one to stop it for power and another to determine accurate contact with the ball. That’s perhaps the most striking thing about Everybody’s Golf though, it is so accessible that anyone could easily pick it up and enjoy it. But it grows with you, the difficulty of the courses — and particularly the greens — increasing as you unlock clubs and balls with new traits and abilities.

There’s plenty of content here too, enough to keep you playing for many hours and much, much more if you’re intent on unlocking plenty of different characters to play through the challenges multiple times.

There will also be a “Daily International” tournament where you can pit your skills against the rest of the world in a new one-off competition each day. This element is locked out of the game until the official European launch date (22nd February), as is the online matchmaking and lobbies (said to be coming as part of an update).

Pros:

  • Plenty of game time to progress through the Challenge mode.
  • Lots to unlock and upgrade means you’re constantly rewarded from progress.
  • Has a deceptive amount of depth and finely tuned difficulty.
  • Looks fine, with bags of character.

Cons:

  • Character and equipment options are limited out of the box.
  • Occasional frustrating area of a single hole makes an entire good round wasted.

Everybody’s Golf is potentially the dark horse in the first party launch line up. Many will discount it, particularly in the west, in favour of Uncharted or WipEout. That’s not something we’d necessarily discourage, golf games aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but that’s not to say it isn’t well worth your consideration. It works to a well proven formula and there’s nothing revolutionary about this iteration but this game, on this system is a pretty good match and we’d encourage every new Vita owner to at least take a look at it.

Score: 7/10

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26 Comments
  1. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    I think this is honestly the game I’m most interested in on the vita, it would’ve been modnation had they not done a great job of screwing that up. This is perfect for travelling around on trains etc and I do love a good golf game.

    So, this for out and about, uncharted for when I’m at home, getting more tempted by the vita.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:10.
  2. brewersteve
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    I loved this game on psp and lost many an hour to it (many of them on the loo) so will be picking this up sooner rather than later

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:12.
  3. Tomhlord
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Apr 2009

    This is the game I’m most excited about on Vita. Everybody’s Golf 2 was arguably the best game on PSP (I know, something not GoW on PSP, shock horror…) and this is the game that tempted me to buy a Vita come payday.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:18.
    • Taylor Made
      Member
      Since: Oct 2011

      peace walker was the best psp game :p lol

      Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:44.
  4. spurs78
    Member
    Since: Sep 2010

    I loved this on Ps3 and ps2. Anyone know how many courses there are in this vita version?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:19.
    • colossalblue
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      Five, I think. Unless there’s sneaky ones.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:30.
      • B1ack_Magic
        Member
        Since: Feb 2012

        Only five? How many were there on Everybody’s Golf 2 on psp, I swear there was about 18 on there unless I’m being very silly.

        Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 21:09.
      • colossalblue
        Team TSA: Editor
        Since: Forever

        my mistake, I answered from memory rather than checking and I’ve since been told there’s 6.
        Challenge mode takes you through 9 Out and 9 In and then 18 on each course, it’s really plenty to be getting on with but I could see there possibly being DLC too.

        Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 21:59.
  5. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    Another on the ‘pick up when there’s a lull’ list.
    Presumably the summer, after Gravity Rush and Unit 13 come out, there’s not much else, is there?
    Oh crap, Street Fighter X Tekken, Putty Fighter, Little Big Planet, Resistance etc.
    The monster line-up.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:48.
  6. uncharted86
    Member
    Since: Jan 2012

    Escape Plan review incoming?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 19:58.
    • nofi
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      soon as we can, yep.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 20:07.
      • uncharted86
        Member
        Since: Jan 2012

        Thanks :)

        Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 20:43.
  7. Deathbrin
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Did you mention the AR sky? Bloody real sky?! Does that not count at all or anything?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 20:16.
    • colmshan1990
      Member
      Since: Apr 2009

      So I guess that means I’m not getting blue skies in my game if I buy it then? :P

      Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 20:28.
    • colossalblue
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      There is no AR sky.
      I thought perhaps this was because my Vita is the WiFi model so I double checked to make sure I wasn’t going mad but it’s not there, there are no options for it to be there and the game doesn’t mention it at all – UK review code or Japanese retail code. No mention of it in the manual either.
      So, er… no, not worth mentioning.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 20:52.
      • Deathbrin
        Member
        Since: Aug 2009

        :O What the hell? Surely i saw it in the live demo thing a certain website had?

        Comment posted on 14/02/2012 at 08:30.
      • Deathbrin
        Member
        Since: Aug 2009

        Sorry for bugging you though, no idea what’s going on there :S

        Comment posted on 14/02/2012 at 08:34.
      • Deathbrin
        Member
        Since: Aug 2009
        Comment posted on 14/02/2012 at 08:44.
  8. minerwilly
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    When i buy a Vita at some stage in the future this will be the first game on my list , ive loved every single iteration since the PS1 . Im surprised theres only been one release on PS3 , as popular as the series is in Europe and US its MASSIVE in Japan.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 21:11.
  9. KAMIKAZE-UK
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    I didn’t see anything about trophies, are there any?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 21:55.
  10. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Will get this….

    Comment posted on 13/02/2012 at 21:58.

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