I won’t talk your ear off about a golf game, but just know that I’m excited. I’m a huge fan of the franchise and I definitely let Sony know that tonight as I saw a demo of the upcoming Vita version of Hot Shots Golf.
The short story is that it’s still Hot Shots Golf. But know that it’s so high-res that it’s almost unbelievable. I asked why it looks so good. A developer told me that some of the models use up to four times the polygons that the PS3 version does. Some of the textures in the game are up to ten times the quality of those in the PS3 version. That’s crazy. It is a really, really good looking game. The screenshots do not do it justice.
On the technology front, the developers have implemented lots of Vita-specific controls. Touching the screen lets you set the landing point for your ball. Swiping around the tee lets you scuff leaves out of the way. This is the first HSG game that lets you move your golfer around the tee, and it’s done by sliding back and forth on the touchscreen. Flicking your finger across the back touchpad lets you switch camera views.
There’s some really cool features that they’re still working on. I saw a demo of an augmented reality mode that uses the rear camera to make your setting the world in which your current golf course is set in. I also really liked how they used the gyro sensor in shots. If you make an accurate, full-powered swing, and manage to flick the Vita forward while doing it, you’ll get some extra power behind your shot.
As for gameplay, this plays a lot like the PS3 version. With the new ways to interface with the game, it’s actually better in may respects.
The final game will have online multiplayer, with support for 50 players. I was told that the interface and online gaming back end will be a lot like the PS3 Hot Shots Golf. That would be fantastic.
I was told — almost promised — that the Vita version of Hot Shots Golf will be available at system launch.