Everybody's Golf ReviewCain Dornan
The golfing genre has received a varied sort of games in the past. A large majority of the first emergence of games based on the sport often took on an easy pick-up-and-play approach, allowing for a vast variety of gamers to quickly and leisurely delve into the world of hitting a tiny ball down an insanely long piece of grass, complete with various obstructions added, into a small hole that you can barely, if at all, see. Naturally, golfing fanatics have wanted to see their favourite sport receiving quality, ultra-realistic titles that virtually put you onto the freshly cut greens. Others, on the other hand, prefer to play an enjoyable, refreshing experience that delves them into a different world, rather than trying to remain in the real world that simulation sport titles offer. One such game that offers a refreshing, non-serious approach is Clap Hanzs Everybody Golf; a refreshing, cartoony yet appropriately realistic title that correctly balances real and imaginary elements to create an enjoyable experience that almost anyone can enjoy. Similar to the recent Everybodys Golf on the Playstation Portable, Everybodys Golf on the Playstation 2 is a bigger, more complete version, offering the same pleasing gameplay that appeared in its handheld counterpart while adding an assortment of additions that further warrant the purchase of the game.
Everybodys Golf consists of both single player and multiplayer modes. The single player mode offers a range of different modes, each varying in their event style. There is the Tournament mode, which allows you to participate in a 18-hole event that pits you against a fair collection of other imaginary, cartoon character. Successfully placing first in a tournament will yield further tournaments to participate in, in addition to unlocking an assortment of items and earning points that can be used to purchase new items, which I will cover more in-depth later in this review. The VS Mode allows you to put your skills against a single opponent in a 9-hole event, with whoever manages to get the ball into the hole with the least number of strokes becoming the winner. If you manage to beat your opponent, you will then unlock him or her for play. Finally, the Mini Game mode allows you to test your skills on either small 3-Par courses or to participate in enjoyable mini-golf events, which require you to hit a golf ball through an assortment of obstructions to reach the hole.
On the multiplayer side, there is the Stroke Play, which is essentially a competition that involves using the least number of strokes to complete all holes. The Match Play is simply a competition that involves winning the most number of holes than your competitors. There is also the Mini Game mode, which is basically the same as its single player brother except with the inclusion of two players.
Other inclusions is the Shop mode, which allows you to purchase new golf clubs, better golf balls or various other golf-related items. To purchase such items, you need to obtain points, which can be earned by playing through the certain single player modes and showing good golfing skills, such as hitting a good, accurate hit or by getting the ball into the hole from a distance. The Data mode allows you to view your characters statistics, what items you have and any videos that you have recorded of superb hits.
Maintaining the games overall simplistic nature is the games controls, which are performed in a fashion that has been used in countless golfing games in the past. Essentially, Everybodys Golf works on a three-click swing system that requires you to click the button to begin a marker moving along a horizontal bar. You then need to press the button again once it reaches the desired power of the hit, and then tap the button a third game to determine the accuracy of your hit. Selecting the location for where you wish to hit the ball is as simple as moving a marker to the desired location, with the major factor determining exactly where the ball will land relying on the third click of the swing system. Since a similar system is used in a vast majority of todays golf games, veterans of the sport will be at home instantly, while those who have never used the system learning it quickly.
Everybodys Golf offers pleasing, cartoonish visuals that successfully portray the sport of golf in a relaxing, non-serious manner. Although the environments are certainly more cartoonish than realistic, the scenery presentation is quite pleasing, offering crisp and clean environments that never look blurry or rushed. The games visual presentation is carried onto the sound aspects, which offers a mixture of light-hearted music and decent voice acting by both the playable characters and your interesting caddies.
While the game will not appeal to gamers who like everything to be as realistic as possible, Everybodys Golf is an enjoyable alternative to the realistic golfing titles, such as Tiger Woods, and provides an easy pick-up-and-play approach that allows non-gamers to quickly begin enjoying Clap Hanzs refreshing title.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.