Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 03/11/02 | Genre: Sports
The original Hot Shots Golf changed the way I thought about golf games. It was so much fun, I really wondered if I was playing a golf game. However, the sequel was not quite as polished as the original and after going back to the drawing board, Sony brings gamers back to golfing excellence with Hot Shots Golf 3.
To begin with, players will see a dramatic difference in the graphics. The game world is very lifelike, with nice looking greens, fairways, and even sand traps. Likewise, the players are very nice looking--although they are more like Saturday morning cartoon characters than Tiger Woods. You can even see the little dimple holes in the golf balls!
Controlling Hot Shots Golf 3 is very similar to past titles in the series. You hit X to swing, hit X again to judge the power, and finally hit X again to get the accuracy of the shot. Watch out! If you don't hit your accuracy meter very close, your ball may fly to an undesired location and force you to hit a tough shot.
In the latest version, you can now put spin on the ball. To do this, you need to hit the D-Pad in the desired direction before hitting X and finishing your shot. You can put forward spin on the ball, backspin, or hit with a left or right curve. After mastering this skill, you will be able to hit those tough shots with a little more confidence as you strive to birdie every hole.
Hot Shots Golf 3 includes many new characters, including seven caddies who will offer advice and tell you what they think your last shot. In addition, there are many different golfers to choose from. However, you only start off with a few caddies and three golfers. The rest must be unlocked by playing the game. Unfortunately, this can be difficult as the computer can be very tough to beat...
HSG3 includes Single Player Golf, Multiplayer Golf (probably the best mode in the game), Stroke Play, Tournament Mode, VS Mode (to unlock new golfers), Training, and National Tournaments. National Tournaments is a new mode that allows you to play against other players across the nation. You enter via a web site and must provide a valid e-mail address and Date of birth to complete your registration. After this, you can show off your stuff and compete with the best of the best!
The real charm of this game is again in the multiplayer modes. Nothing beats the fun of rounding up four people in front of a TV four a round of 18 holes. You can choose to play on 1, 2, 3, or 4 different controllers--so there is no excuse if you only have one or two controllers available.
Despite a few annoying sound effects, Hot Shots Golf 3 is perfect. However, I predict an online version of HSG coming in the near future... If you haven't already picked up this title, do yourself a favor. This is the best golfing game on any system and it is only available for the Playstation 2.