I don't like golf.
To me, golf is approximately as interesting as a 2 year old issue of Spots Illustrated leering, a lecherous and dog-eared leer at you from a waiting room end table. Like sure, the happenings of Hockey 2 years ago might distract me for a few minutes, but that's about it. I absolutely will not be seeking it out in any setting but desperation.
Not to mention the fact that Golf doesn't even want me there.
Golf is magical in that regard, it's the one sport that would seem to barely qualify for inclusion as a "sport" yet can somehow come across as exclusionary to people who have never even played the goddamn game.
Let me also take a moment to say that I don't think that I've ever met an interesting golfer. It's as though the sport is populated with old people and holier-than-thou wet blankets that had had absolutely enough of being repeatedly told how there simply just isn't enough water on the planet earth to cover the tears requiste for the level of boring they've foisted upon God's green earth and in turn started themselves a little club where they could all hang out and be boring together while awaiting the second bullet point of interest in the list of their life, smack dab behind being born: their death.
So in case I haven't made myself crystal clear: golf fucking sucks.
Now, with golf's suckitude firmly established, what does my screed against the game and its players have to do with the game Golf Story?
I mean, beyond the fact that like golf's in the title of the game.
And it's a game about golf.
And possibly isn't a game for someone that dispises golf.
Well that's it right there. Golf Story absolutely features golf in the title it absolutely is a golf game and it's absolutely a game for both golf lovers and golf haters like me.
Even though I am no fan of the sport, I gotta say Golf Story fucking rules ya'll. Well, except the absolute piss taker of a final showdown, but that little speed bump aside, I absolutely adore the game and from a cursory poke around the old internet, it looks like my opinion is pretty much in line with everyone else with even a modicum of good sense or taste. The real question is why the game seems able to pull in non-golfers to a new series in a way that other similarly, for lack of a better term, "low impact" (i.e. not a simulator) such as Everybody's Golf doesn't and as far as I can tell it all comes down to the story.
The game's unnamed protagonist, whom moving forward I will refer to as Mr. Huge Cock Ball Smasher or Mr. HCBS for short (give me a blank canvas game designers and I will paint), has separated from his wife I presume because she's fed up with getting junk mail addressed to Mrs. Huge Cock Ball Smasher - Williams (very progressive), and has elected to utilize his newfound freedom to persue his long shelved dream of becoming a professional golfer.
Immediately, people start just taking shits all over Mr. HCBS dreams of playing professional golf for various reasons such as his supposed lack of natural ability, the realistic potential of anyone becoming a professional sports man and the gall of Mr. HCBS to believe that he might be better at golf than any of the absolutely pleasent individuals who pepper the game's real estate in thinly veiled jealousy over both Mr. HCBS's huge cock and ball smashing abilities.
Basically, every time Mr. HCBS trys to show the game world at large the extent of his huge cock as well as his ball smashing abilities, an NPC throws a vicious verbal beat downon our hero Mr. HCBS. The attitude of the various NPC's and their apparent inability to even acknowledge Mr. HCBS in the majority of situations of course lend themselves to humorous situations stemming from one of comedy's oldest friends dramatic irony, sure, but what it really does is it creates a psychological effect for the player that is dependent on their own personal feelings about the sport.
Now remember at the begining of this here blog post when I aired out all my nasty little feelers towards dumb ol' golf? That's basically the level of discourse you're getting in Golf Story and I'm guessing you probably felt something along the lines of "You know what? Yeah, for sure, this dude is smart as shit, golf is lame as fuck dude!" Or perhaps it went more like, "Fuck this idiot, lets see what dumb shit he says in this stupid fucking post. When I'm done dunking on this dude in the comments he'll know not to mess with smart, handsome and charismatic golfers such as moi!"
Either way, it pulled you in because you either thought I was right and wanted to see just how right I was when I was busy agreeing with your feelings or you were pissed and wanted to find something to use to prove me wrong. Well, Golf Story's story is doing the exact same thing, it doesn't care what response it illicits as long as it gets some sort of reaction. Because either you're thinking, "It's kinda strange that this golf game seems to like, HATE golf... Maybe we're more on the same page than I thought and I should see what this is all about." Or you like golf and are thinking, "Fucking Blood Gator (real thing in the game) be damned, my superior knowledge of the greatest game devised by mankind will be my secret weapon in showing these pleebs what's up." Either way, you're roped in.
What Golf Story does that most video games don't seem to, is that is considers the baggage that players might be bringing into the game, sticks a gigantic middle finger in their face and forces them to react. The game doesn't tell the most riverting story in the world, but it forces an interaction that is different than branching dialoge trees or multiple endings by engaging the player completely outside the confines of the actual game itself.
It might not be the most complicated or poignant method of story telling but I can tell you that I wasn't gritting my teeth at 2 a.m. to keep myself from screaming "FUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOU" after yet another shanked drive because of the deep characterization of the coach character. No, by that point, I'd battled snow, blood gators and been caught in the cross fire of a heated rap battle and had come out the otherside with a newfound appreciation for golf and I wanted to make sure that Mr. HCBS's bitch ex-wife knew that Mr. HCBS was a winner and could shut her skank mouth when it came to Mr. HCBS and his dumb little hobby.
Also, I can promise you I'd have been a lot more likely to beat Super Mario World the first time around as a kid if the whole time Toad would have occasionally popped in just to let Mario know, "Ey, yo, I don't know if you know or not, but Sonic was saying platforming totally sucks and that your mom's sooooo fuckin' fat."