For the longest time, golf games were boring simulations that only the hardest of hardcore fans truly enjoyed. All of that changed with the release of HOT SHOTS GOLF. This over-the-top look at the game of golf simplified things, added tons of personality, and brought new life into links in the videogaming world. Now the series takes its maiden voyage on the Playstation 2.
HOT SHOTS GOLF, and MARIO GOLF like it, make playing the game of golf easy. Everything is presented very clearly and concisely. The game will show you exactly where you are aiming an ideal shot, and then you have a power and accuracy meter that require a little bit of timing to use to perfection. One button press to determine the power, a second to determine the accuracy.
The fact that the game isn't frustrating makes it a lot more interesting to play. You can easily pick up the control and get into the game. Everything is simplified and quick to play. A gamer of any age or experience level can quickly be playing around close to par.
The one-player mode holds the bulk of the gameplay including the stroke and tournament modes. There is also a National Tournament mode where the player can input codes on the HOT SHOTS GOLF 3 website in order to see where they stand in the rankings.
The multiplayer mode allows you to go head-to-head with friends. The modes are fairly simple though, and the multiplayer doesn't add a ton to the game. What sucks is passing a controller around and having to wait on everybody. It's like MARIO PARTY in the fact that it takes you out of the action and that takes away from the multiplayer aspect. The only other reason to keep playing the games is to unlock additional courses and characters.
Even then, HOT SHOTS GOLF 3 gets old fast. The multiplayer gameplay grows stale and can be boring, and the one-player game only takes so long to master, or become bored with. A golf fan might eat it up, but your typical gamer will probably put it down after a few days of extended play.
While the visuals in HOT SHOTS GOLF 3 are clean, and well-done, nothing really impresses. The backgrounds and courses are fairly realistic but the characters (in HOT SHOTS tradition) are wacky and super-deformed with giant heads. The character models and animation are pretty good, and each character oozes with their individual personality. Nevertheless, the game as a whole looks unpolished: looking good, but not great.
The music is a light jazz that has come to be expected from golf games. The music is fine, but the voice acting is terrible and annoying. What makes it worse is that your friends can repeatedly press buttons to taunt you with the in-game voices... after about 10 minutes I wanted to kill myself. The other sound effects are pretty well done, but sometimes they can sound fake.
HOT SHOTS GOLF 3 is by no means a bad game. But unless you're really into golf you'll probably get bored of it quickly. Rent first.