Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
This is the latest installment in Clap Hanz arcade style golf franchise. I have played past releases of this series and found them to be well made and generally a solid value. This most recent offering is no different. This is the first foray into HD and Clap Hanz doesn't disappoint. The courses (as usual for the Hot Shots franchise) are somewhat limited in number (5 I believe not including add-on content) but nothing short of amazing in detail and quality. The gameplay is improved over past releases by now offering a new shot mode that is closer to that of games like Tiger Woods. Being a fan of the franchise I prefer the plain old meter style, but the advanced offers a bonus in distance if you can master it. The game has plenty of challenges and unlockables to keep you playing, and will take much longer to complete than the FPS style games which seem to only have 12 hour lifespans. This is complemented by a new loyalty system which lets you boost a characters abilities by earning the equivalent of XP. An ambitious player can tack on quite a bit of gameplay getting all the characters (9 or so in all if I remember correctly) up to level 11. Perhaps the best feature of this new release is the fact that it features online support. Players are invited online to face off against their peers in official scheduled (roughly every 15 minutes there is a new batch of rounds starting) and player initiated rounds. This adds essentially endless replay value to the game for a player who is hooked on Hot Shots. The online community is little sparse, but not to the extent of several other FPS games where you can never find a game. My only gripe in the online is that the scheduled rounds often have limitations (only certain characters, courses, or minimum level requirement) such that a newb will struggle to find a game they can join, so expect to do a bit of unlocking before you really sample the online offerings. There is also downloadable content, from the humdrum skins and additions to your character customization wardrobe to new courses (2 I believe). I may be a bit based, but I have always enjoyed the Hot Shots franchise and this game doesn't disappoint. The easy to learn arcade style shooting systems make the game very accessible (I used to play head to head with my parents who can't master even simple games), but don't let tat fool you into thinking it's a cake walk. The physics and environments are done masterfully. The game represents golf just as it is, the better you get at it, the more complex and challenging the game becomes. This is accented all the more by the increasingly difficult courses players unlock. It's hard to convey appropriately without demonstrating, but the combination of wind effects, multiple approaches to each hole (clap hanz likes to incorporate little hidden approaches, and maybe some creative playing) sometimes requiring a higher level character to reach, arcade style "power shots" which add a little extra reach, and "super spin" that can help dodge obstacles or seek out the cup makes the game as complex as you want it. Beginners will comfortably play a course striving for par, and more experienced players will find better and better ways to lower their score. All in all the new release doesn't disappoint. This is one of those games you rarely see traded in due to its great replay value.
Not Just for Kids
There are other review sites that are better to use, but I'll offer this: don't write this off as a kids game because of the artwork. Hot Shots Golf, by Claphanz, has a very good reputation for excellent presentation and gameplay.
It does have an arcade feel, which would easily turn off those of the EA Sports Tiger Woods variety (which I also play and enjoy). But, it's deep enough to make for competition. With the Advanced Shot feature (over the traditional setup), there's a little more emphasis on timing, which is important in golf. Too fast or too slow, and your shot is mediocre. Of course, the traditional setup is there, but once you use Advanced, you'll wonder why they didn't have this earlier.
I'm not impressed by the fact that you can't quite customize your characters, or even create one. The characters that are in the game are unique, but I'd really liked to have made my own, with some semblance to me. It can feel like you're directing someone more than playing yourself. Also, there aren't enough courses (though now, there's downloadable content, including courses).
Overall, I'd rate this a 9. Use it as a "pick up and play" and as a fun party sports game.
Great Golf Series On the PS3 - finally
If you're a Hot Shots Golf series fan, then you probably don't need to read this - just go buy it. I've played versions of this series on the PS1, PS2, DS, and PSP. And now it's on the PS3 and looking better than ever. You get all the usual things that make this series great - cute characters, lots of unlockables, and well refined swing system. What you get in this new game (aka Hot Shots Golf 5) is an additional swing mechanism called "advanced swing." This swing demands that you follow your character's actual swing and hit the X button to begin the swing; again when the swing is at its desired power position (place in club's backswing); and then once more at the point of impact (a circle decreases in size around the ball). It's not as intuitive as say Tiger Woods swing system but its different from the traditional Hot Shots three clicks along the bar. The other important addition is online play. After downloading a couple of large software updates, you get to create a little online character that wanders around and joins tournaments and such. It's very well implemented and adds a lot of depth to the overall game. And online play is free! Beyond all that, the game looks and sounds great on the PS3.
Another great game by Clap Hands!!
Hot Shots Golf Out of Bounds is an absolutely outstanding golf game! I am the owner of HS 2,3, & Fore, and the Hot Shots games just keep getting better! I really like the difficulty of the game and how much more realistic the gameplay is compared to other golf games (I also own Tiger Woods 06 and 09). Don't let the cartoony characters fool you!! They just have different character attributes that makes you be able to play with a player that suits your style of play. The new advanced shot techniqued make the gameplay even more difficult than before as now you have to try and adjust the strength of your shot without using the power bar at the bottom of the screen to show you how far the flag is. I have found Tiger Woods' analog joystick technique unrealistic when making short shots, and when swinging from uneven terrean it doesn't affect the flight path of the ball either. Every shot attempt in HS OoB must be made as close to perfect as possible or the quality of your shots are really affected.
Online play has vastly improved from HS Fore as well. I REALLY like how when you are playing in a game with several other players, you get to see where each players ball travels each hole and green. I can see their drives land, where there putts go, and it gives updates after every hole who had the longest drive, or closest to the pin as well as quite a bit more information about those players that you are playing against.
I would **STRONGLY** recommend this game for those people who are trying to find a golf game that tests the players abilities and skill.
A very nice game to have other than all the FPS games
I have really liked this game. Prior to this I have never had any golfing game before, I'm more of a football, FPS, RPG and action adventure type gamer. I bought this game basically just to have some party type games for my family and when friends visit too but I ended up playing this game more than any other games I have currently, if you looked past the cutesy anime style characters this game is really technically sound and really challenges you with all the special rules that may have been included in a challenge/cup/tournament. My family and friends also like this alot for those party games. Online mode is not shabby either a very well structured lobby is available way better than COD4, COD4 might need to learn from this game on how a good lobby stucture should be.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.