Lately golf, alongside tennis, has been getting a much larger fan base in America--therefore, these sports are seeing more and more videogame titles based on them come out each year. The PS2 has yet to see an exceptional golf title that is both good ol' wholesome fun and challenging with a simulative approach. That is expected to change soon, as the PS2 will soon be graced with the more wacky, arcadish-type golf game, called Hot Shots Golf 3.
In terms of visuals, HSG has a smooth, sleek design thatís simple at heart, but still nicely detailed. Hot Shots Golf stays true to its big-heads, little-bodies deformed approach. The courses are pretty impressive, boasting detailed backgrounds and well presented environmental effects. The environmental visuals excel on both water effects (waterfalls, lakes) and lighting effects (sun which moves in real-time according to the actual day-time movement). Clap Hanz Limited have done a nice job with the impressive visuals while still keeping them simple and goofy-like.
The base of the gameplay is virtually unchanged with the same button-tap swing system. Although, Clap Hanz Limited has implemented new chip and approach shots which lets you aim and shoot in a more advanced way. As you win games and progress through the single-player mode, youíll earn points which can later be traded in towards performance stats. The more performance stats you earn, the better your player will be.
Hot shots Golf currently has six courses, one of them being a bonus course. They all add a nice variety from them -- each having their own unique setting and natural surroundings. The first course is located near Tokyo and is a beginner course great for introducing you to the series. Another course is a canyon-based one which offers all sorts of bumps and drops making it one of the more difficult ones. Then thereís a course that resides next to the coastline which is plagued by plenty of cliffs and bayous, and with help from the wind, makes this one of the most challenging ones. Yet another course is within an old-fashioned village with strong winds and natural water disasters as well. The last full length course (18 holes) is a forest, engulfed in trees, and easily the most difficult 18 holes in the game. The last course (the bonus one, 9 holes) is based in the early 1960ís suburban areas in Japan. This one offers up a simple, quick game, good for beginners.
Hot Shots Golf brings some new things to the table while still staying the same for fans of the series. This silly, crazy-based golfer is scheduled to hit stores in March and should deliver the same fun its predecessors have.
1/28/2002 Joseph Comunale