World Invitational: Is the Hot Shots crew swingin' or shankin'?
Ever since premiering on the original PlayStation, the Hot Shots Golf series, or as it's known in Europe and Australia as Everybody's Golf, has served players with a brightly and bouncy golf game for players of all ages to approach. However, under that cute and charming facade lies a quasi-realistic golfing experience for players. This is both a blessing and a curse at the same time, as Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, the latest game in the long-running series, shows. Does Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational score a birdie, a bogey, or just sticks with a safe par?
The meat that makes up the solo experience of Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, outside of stroke play and practice, is the Challenge mode. If you've played a more recent Hot Shots Golf game, you will feel right at home to this mode, although it has a change or two. There are various tiers of tournaments to tackle. These are spread across the game's six courses, have players participating in 9 or 18 hole events, and sometimes have specialized rules like adding a stroke to your score if you land in a bunker or take too long to set up your shot. The goal here of all events, regardless of any special rules, is getting first place and earning a star. Only by earning the necessary amount of stars allows you to take on that tier's versus character in Match Play. When that character is defeated, you are allowed to move on to the next tier of challenges, and are able to unlock the shamed character you so aptly conquered on the links.
|A perfect impact with the ball is exactly|
what you want for your tee off.
I must say though that this setup for Challenge mode that has been used in Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (PS3) and the PSP spin-offs (Open Tee 1 and 2 is starting to get long in the tooth. I'd love to see a total renovation of the formula. Perhaps Clap Hanz could take some inspiration from another one of their titles, the PSP's Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip, and create a story-like mode where players could earn new costume pieces and gear from beating opponents in the story. That's just one idea anyway.
|Take on the AI in Match Play.|
|The courses at the start lead you into a false|
sense of security, and then BAM!
You're cursing the golf gods!
World Invitational has several unique swing systems that players can utilize, although only two are available from the start. The first is your standard three tap system that uses a gauge to determine power and accuracy. The other is a combination of the gauge to set power and a circle that encloses on a mock version of a golf ball to set accuracy.
|You have no idea how hard it is to take|
a screenshot and hit the ball well.
|Sometimes when I want to drive, I don't|
go to a car-- I go to the links.
Outside of playing by your lonesome, you can take to the links with friends via Ad Hoc play, and you can hop online to challenge foes from around the world. There's daily tournaments that put you against the pack, attempting to post a respectable score online and hit the top of the ranks. There's an element of pressure on you, as you can only enter a tournament once, so make sure your skills are up to snuff, and your aim is true.
|His expression tells this tale perfectly.|
|You're supposed to be going for the green jacket;|
not a navy one, you silly billy.
[SPC Says: 7.5/10]