Friday, January 27, 2017

Mini Golf Resort (3DS) Review

Happy end of the work week, everyone! We have a moment of history here at SuperPhillip Central. It is the site's first "F" review. Join SPC for this historic moment with this review of Mini Golf Resort for the Nintendo 3DS.

Stick to the real thing.

When I was a kid, and even through my teenage years, my dad and I would play mini golf on occasion together. I have fond memories of going to various courses around the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan area and playing a round with him. As the years have gone by, more and more mini golf places closed down and the desire to play together was lessened as I became an adult. Now, I still try to get my mini golf fun through video games. Many mini golf games have come and gone, and many have disappointed with only one really appealing to me, which was an iOS and Android game. As open-minded as I was to Teyon's Mini Golf Resort, what I ended up with was a massive disappointment of a mini golf game that fails in nearly every category.

Starting off, you're tasked with creating a character from a limited number of options. Regardless of the options you choose, you're going to get a messy mishmash of undesirable polygons. The fact that you only see your character at the start of each hole makes the process seem completely meaningless anyway, as all you get when you putt is a handless putter that floats over the hole as if it were a ghost.

AAA game developers have a recent habit of holding the player's hand, telling them everything they need to know about the game's controls, even as simple as just moving around. That's an annoying issue to be found in a game, but the complete opposite is also quite vexing. Mini Golf Resort thrusts you into a screen with a globe with nothing else to guide you along the way. There is no means to know that the globe is actually the course screen. There is no tutorial to tell you how to actually play the game. And even when you eventually figure all of this out for yourself, what you're left is a pitiful excuse for a mini golf game.

Let's talk controls. You're given a power meter that you can fill to determine how strong your shot will be. Unfortunately, there is no grid to show how far the ball will actually go or where it's going to roll, so you're always forced to guess. You can't even see further down the hole than where your putter is currently positioned, because why make the game intuitive at all? That's just crazy talk!

Then, there are the physics of the game that can be best described as faulty. Many times the ball will bounce off walls in a way that makes no sense, will roll with the heft of a bowling ball instead of a golf ball, and little objects and obstacles in the various holes will cause unexpected results most of the time.

Holes where you have to hit the ball up a ramp to fly over an out-of-bounds area and land on the other side make for some of the most frustrating moments of the game. You'll not only have to hope you'll hit the ball to be centered in front of the ramp, but you'll have to hit the ball hard enough to fly over the OOB area but soft enough to not fly off the course the other way. Again, since everything is all about guessing and hoping for the best, this is just luck whether you do well or not.

Mini Golf Resort is also a horrid looking game. Between the early 2000s era use of gratuitous bloom to the pitiful environments, the game isn't much of a looker. Then, you have the ball sliding across the holes when hit instead of the ball actually rolling, as well as the ball falling through the course when it goes out-of-bounds. What little sound there is consists of super generic and grating music. Even here, Mini Golf Resort fails to excite.

What we have with Mini Golf Resort is a game that has no right to be ported to multiple systems after its initial Nintendo Wii release. It was never good, it was never fun, and it was never worth the asking price. Having the game on Nintendo 3DS with no improvements whatsoever and just a totally poorly conceived shot and physics system makes for a mini golf game that was a form of self-punishment to play. I'll stick with my memories of mini golf with my dad, thank you very much.

[SPC Says: F]

 Review copy provided by Teyon.

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