Everybody’s Golf! It’s that familiar shout as you start up the game that gets you every time. It may not be the Tiger Woods of our generation, but I tell you what, for a fun, arcade-like game of golf, it’s every bit as good.
Having always been developed by Sony Japan, Everybody’s Golf has the countries influence running throughout be it the characters accents, looks or the general feel of the presentation. This however is one game that feels universal in its appeal. It’s so simple, yet so addictive, thanks to its wonderful controls and its easy on the eye presentation. Everybody’s Golf translates perfectly to the Vita, whether you want just a quick round or to head online and take on the world.
When you start the game up you will notice a large selection of options for you to choose from which include the Single Player mode, Multiplayer mode and more. The Single Player mode is split up into three main sections, Challenge Mode, Stroke and Training. The Challenge Mode is split into various tournaments, some of which will see you playing nine holes and other having you play 18. As you play each round your aim is to gain a gold star; by coming in first place. Doing so will allow you to progress to the main goal which is to unlock a challenge against a myster golfer. Defeat them and you will them be able to use that golfer from then on, as well as being able to unlock the next set of challenges; which increase in difficulty.
As you win each round you will earn points, not only allowing your golfer to gain in rank but also earning you points, which you can then spend in the shop on new golfers, equipment and clothing. All of which comes in handy when you are trying to stick out in the multiplayer modes. Loyalty points are also added if you stick to the same golfer.
The golf itself is addictive as ever. You start out with just two ways to take a shot, none of which involve the touchscreen, however as you progress you will unlock even more ways to hit the ball, meaning that the game constantly evolves the way you play. Personally, I quite like the controls which are unlocked at the beginning. You simply start the meter swinging upwards and then hit the button as it reaches the line on the way back down. Missing the mark does see your shot take a diversion and, of course, there is wind direction and distance to take into account. In general, it’s pretty simply and not too taxing if you are sitting on a train at 8am in the morning with sleep under your eyes.
One of the best parts of Everybody’s Golf has always been the design of the courses. There is certainly enough of a challenge in each of them to keep you interested and although they may start off easy enough, you’ll soon be cursing the water hazards and sand bunkers that your ball keeps landing in every time you think your ahead of the pack. Thankfully, there are a few tricks to allow you to plan your shot. One such feature allows you to use the gyroscope, you to use the Vita to look around your surroundings. You can also use the face buttons to get a birds eye view of the entire course, which comes in handy when planning a route around the hazards.
All this planning comes into good use, when you are about to take your shot. This is largely thanks to the ability to change clubs and therefore the distance you will drive the ball – should you want to go long or short to avoid falling in the drink. Your golfer also has the ability to overdrive the ball, using a power drive, although this is limited in its use.
Although courses start out fairly straight forward, soon you will find all sorts of hazards in your path. At the beginning, you may have to negotiate a few sand bunkers and some small water hazards, later on however, you will be trying to work your way around windmills, large lakes, animals and even roads which are full of cars driving past. Things do get complicated when you are on those courses, although providing you plan your shot, things should go your way.
Once you have mastered the Single Player the game is certainly far from over, thanks to the inclusion of the fantastic Multiplayer modes. One of the first parts of the Multiplayer you will notice even before you start the game is the Daily International Tournaments. This is because there is a link to it on the start screen, allowing you to jump straight in and take on the world. Although, we have been unable to test this at the moment, we do know that to take part in the tournament you simply connect to the net, play your best and then upload your score.
As with the PS3 game, Everybody’s Golf on PS Vita allows you to entry an online lobby in order to arrange Multiplayer games. Unfortunately, the patch to be able to access this was again not available at the time of writing, however if this function is anywhere near as good as the PS3 version then we can imagine this will be very popular indeed.
While having online Multiplayer is a massive bonus for the Vita version of the game, local Multiplayer is also included, allowing you the ability to create a room in AdHoc mode and take on friends using the same internet connection. Here you can select the course, game type and also customise the rules, before heading onto the course and having some fun. Rather than having a room to wander around in, the AdHoc mode simply shows eight boxes and gives you the option to change course settings and begin the game.
Overall, Everybody’s Golf is everything you’d expect from this series. It’s addictive, colourful and comes packed with a whole load of options, which it has to be said, will keep you occupied for a long time. Tiger Woods maybe the king of golf, but for those who like to take things a little less seriously, Everybody’s Golf is the real king.
Rating: ExcellentReview Policy(version tested: PS Vita)
You can order your copy of Everybody’s Golf here.