Type of Media: Video Game (PS3)Hot Shots Golf : Out Of Bounds
Time Spent: Viewing/Interactive: 11 hours, 30 minutes
Purpose of Media: Entertainment/Video Games
Description: Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (aka Everybody's Golf 5 / Everybody's Golf: World Tour) is a golfing game developed by Clap Hanz, part of the popular Hot Shots Golf/ Everybody's Golf franchise series.A PlayStation 3 exclusive,Out of Bounds features improved High Definition graphics and a new "advanced shots" physics mechanic for more accurate and defined gameplay. The Hot Shots Golf series is known for its casual approach to the game of golf with its cartoony style of the characters and overall graphics of the game. The game has 6 diverse courses, 15 unique characters of varying difficulty levels (beginner,intermediate, and advanced), and 7 caddies to choose from. The downloadable content (DLC) available from the PlayStation Store adds one more course and 4 additional playable characters, including Kratos from the God of War series and Sackboy from the Little Big Planet series. Single player includes 3 game modes: Challenge Mode, which is the "story mode" of the game where the player can compete in tournaments against computer players to unlock various items such as clubs, golfing balls, characters/courses, and caddies; Stroke Mode, which is essentially free play where the player can play courses alone; and Training Mode, which allows the players to freely adjust settings to allow them to experiment. The game offers online multiplayer that allows up to 50 player tournaments.
Critic Review/ My Opinion:
(Sources:http://www.joystiq.com/2008/03/17/ps3-fanboy-review-hot-shots-golf-out-of-bonds/ , http://www.destructoid.com/destructoid-review-hot-shots-golf-out-of-bounds-81057.phtml)
Majed Athab, a reviewer from Joystiq.com, states that the new shift from the traditional shots to advanced shots "makes the golfing experience feel more authentic; it's more about actually swinging the club and getting the feel of a swing, rather than monitoring a gauge like in the traditional style. While the first few tries with the advance shot feel awkward, it's not too long before it becomes second nature to play with." I agree as I felt that the advanced shots felt more natural and visceral compared to the traditional shots. The advanced shots feel more like actually nailing the hit when you hit the ball dead center, and is a lot more fun than watching a power gauge move up and down as you try to stop it near a designated area. While Athab comments in regard to the challenge mode that "it becomes slightly more of an irritation knowing that you're unrewarded for coming in second," I found this to be alright as this presents more of a challenge as the game would progress too quickly if coming in second every time was an acceptable playstyle. What I did find as strikingly odd is that for some odd reason, I felt that the computer players that you play against during these tournaments scale off how well you are doing in the course, and almost always end up messing up the later courses. For example, there will always be 2 or 3 computer players who manage to scorea birdie or eagle on the first couple courses, yet these same players will play poorly in the later courses and get bogeys and double bogeys in the last few courses, almost seemly losing on purpose. Since there is no way to view your opponents shots as you finish courses, there is no way to tell how the game is calculating these scores for your opponents. Despite this, the game offers plenty of content and variety. As Dale North, Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief,and specialist in Japanese gaming puts it, "this version of Hot Shots Golf is deeper than it looks. You'll fight through wind and weather conditions and fight out of hazards. You'll learn how important spin and impact are, and you'll need every advantage you can acquire to beat the final tournaments.
Out of Bounds is Hot Shots Golf perfected. You'll find that this one game can provide both a relaxing afternoon of 18 holes and a fevered 50-person tournament. Newcomers will find this game to be easily accessible, while series veterans will find plenty of new challenges. Everything that made the previous games so great is included, and the addition of online multiplayer and a new swing system take things to a new level. Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds is insanely fun and endlessly addictive, and makes for one of the best PS3 titles yet."
Gameplay: The new and intuitive advanced shots brings a whole new level of gameplay to the series as taking shots feels more satisfactory than ever. Stays true to the old Hot Shots formula and adds more to it.
Story: Lacks a narrative story however Challenge Mode offers up enough levels to keep you occupied and coming back for more as you unlock more and more content, equipment, and characters.
Sound: Not the most memerable or large selection of songs, however has decent enough voice acting and fits the overall cartoony tone of the game.
Graphics: A step up for the series - does not fully utilize the PlayStation's HD capabilities but provides enough for a visually appealing game.
Multiplayer: Tournaments that offer up to 50 players at once provides intense online play and variety as features unlocked in single player transfer to multiplayer games. Offline multiplayer includes up to four players.
Value: Priced roughly around $25, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds offers hours of enjoyment with plenty of content to unlock in single player and hours of fun competition in online multiplayer or offline with friends. Definately a PlayStation 3 exlcusive not to be missed by golf fans and non-golf fans alike.
Final Score: 8/10