Look, I'm pretty good at videogame golf. I'm a seasoned veteran when it comes to Korean golf MMO Pangya, but I'm not half bad at Hot Shots Golf either. I've been an avid player of the series for 15 years now, so I'd like to think I'm pretty skilled at it. In fact, I've spent so much time with the latest in the series, Hot Shots Golf World Invitational on the PlayStation Vita, that I invite competition with confidence. But when I took on a Sony booth attendant at a 9-hole match of the PS3 version of this game today at Tokyo Game Show, I lost miserably.
I'm not sure if her adorable looks and sweet voice caught me off guard or something, but I was not at the top of my game today. I had no good excuse, as Minna no Golf 6 for the PS3 plays exactly like last year's Vita original, with the exact same button and stick mapping copied to the DualShock controller. Timing and controls are a perfect match, which should of had me feeling right at home. Instead, I was right in the bunkers.
Minna no Golf 6 on the PS3 looks a bit better than the Vita version, but it's more of a par shot than an eagle. They've bumped up the resolution to 1080p, and that's easy to appreciate, but while my lovely opponent was putting in birdies, I noticed that some background scenery objects look to have pretty low polygon counts, with closeups on things like mountains and fences looking a bit rough. Still, the game looks nice overall, with player models and UI objects seeing the biggest benefit from the visual upgrade.
The Everybody's Golf mode lets you hand off a controller in matches for up to four players. Her handing off a still-warm controller threw my game off slightly, while her giggles at my imprecise swings really threw a wrench in the works. But the main point that really had me off was how she was probably hustling me. Her first couple of swings were widely off from the targets and greens, and she laughed these off as if to say 'oh well' or something. After she saw my confident turns she swooped in with near-perfect swings, knocking in a couple of birdies. One very long successful putt had me shooting her the 'really?' look. She just smiled and giggled.
If I had a chance to play her again, I'd try out the game's new cross-play feature, which lets Vita and PS3 owners take each other on. Maybe I'd have more luck using a Vita. Maybe not.
Hot Shots Golf 6 will be released in Japan on November 22. It also brings PS Move support and all of the Vita's available DLC to the release. Cute booth girls not included.
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