Game Title: Hot Shots Golf World Invitational
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 1.1 GB
NA Compatibility: Digital Download | Retail
EU Compatibility: Digital Download | Retail
PSTV Support: No
Do you love Golf in video games as much as I do? I highly doubt it. I’ve spent many hours in GTA Online just playing Online Golf by myself. I love Golf in GTA V/Online, and in other places, too. Mario Golf? I’m there. Sure, I’m no pro at it, but I love to play Golf in real life, and I love to play Golf in video games. It’s a surprise I’ve never written reviews here based on Golf Games. There is that Mario Golf game for 3DS, but I just haven’t gotten around to its price tag (Seriously, I just checked Amazon and the retail is $43).
PlayStation gamers have always had sports games in the form of all of those big AAA titles like MLB The Show and Madden, but there’s been an incredibly cute sports series on PlayStation console for generations called Hot Shots, and those have gotten a lot of Golf-based games as well. It’s only natural that I dive into the golfing world with it.
An early PS Vita title, here is my review of Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational!
Due to this game having no story, this section shall remain blank
World Invitational is a sports game that simulates golfing. Throughout your journey, you’ll be going through various golf courses and tournaments, aiming for the best score as well as unlocking new characters, outfits, club types, and ball types to customize the game from your character’s looks to how the game is played.
To play the game, you basically go between Single Player, Multiplayer, and Online Multiplayer. Single Player offers three game modes: Challenge for tackling tournaments, Stroke for tackling a custom course of your choosing, and Training to tackle a course of your choosing for the purpose of practicing until you fully understand the system of the game. Then, Multiplayer and Online allows you to choose a course and set custom rules, but with other players instead of just you or you and the game’s AI.
Games of golf are simple enough to set up, being on specific courses and setting whether you want to 9 or 18 holes. Though do note that all of the lengths in Challenge Mode are set lengths. There will be a lot of 18-hole tournaments, so prepare to lose a lot of time in that. Otherwise, you go in and start by choosing a character, club set, and ball set. Each character has stats with different strengths and the same goes for club and ball sets. There are a lot of factors, like Power, Controlling Shots, Impact Shots, Ball Spin, etc and each character and set have their own strengths with all of those stats.
This amount of depth also comes into the actual gameplay. In GTA Online Golf, you pretty much only have to worry about what club you use and the wind/weather. You have to worry about that here as well, but you also have to take all of those stats into account as well as weather, what’s around the course, and other factors. This is not a simple golf game. Rather, the system is quite in-depth.
The biggest moving point of the game is being able to unlock new characters and features. When you go through Challenge Mode, every rank ends in a “Boss Fight” with a character. Beat the character and you can unlock and use them. I personally love how adorable Isabelle is, whom is the first unlockable character in Challenge Mode. Though the biggest thing for enhancing the game is going further to unlock new clubs and ball sets so you can experiment to find out what stats you prefer to be on top as you play.
All of this comes together quite well. Lots of times, Golf is just a mini-game as a part of a larger game, but with the amount of depth here, it really shines as an entire game around the sport. And speaking of depth, if you go through all of Challenge Mode, which is essentially the main campaign of these games, you’ll be spending at least 6 hours of your time golfing, golfing, and golfing some more. Not a bad turnaround especially since I bought this when it was on sale for under $10.
If you’re hoping for golf on the big screen, you’ll need to look for another game, because World Invitational is not PSTV Compatible. Of course, if you’re still on 3.60, you can use a certain homebrew to temporarily disable the whitelist and manage. But, I don’t go in-depth about that sort of thing. That’s more for Hack Informer to go into. The point? It’s not compatible with the PSTV.
Controlling the game is pretty simple, but the game does kind of throw you under the bus and not explanation what those controls are. It’s one of those games where you have to just hit buttons until you know what to do.
Speaking of what to do, let me tell you. You use the Analog Sticks to move the camera around as you aim your shot. The D-Pad also moves the camera angle, but it actually moves where you’re aiming. The L and R triggers are used to move how far you intend to hit the golf ball. Then we get into something a bit trickier. The Face Buttons.
First off, if you are using a Japanese system, like I do, the X and Circle button controls are swapped. If you’re on a western unit, X is used for hitting the ball and Circle can move the camera. If on a Japanese unit, X is for camera and Circle is for hitting the ball. Triangle is also used to move the camera to explore the course. Finally, Square can toggle the “Power” shots that can get you more distance.
Visually, the game is adorable with its anime-style visuals that the series has always been known for. Every character is their own way of cute and the style of the game brings that cuteness out that much further. As far as the in-game graphics go, it looks pretty nice for a Vita title. Sure, there’s the occasional jagged edge, but it’s nothing to get excited about. It’s colorful, adorable, and pretty smooth for the most part.
It performs well, too. Frame-rate is smooth and clean, and there are no exceptionally long loading sequences. I really can’t complain about anything here.
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational is pretty much THE golf experience for PS Vita gamers. The game does throw you under the bus as far as how the controls work, but everything else about the game is great, from the cute presentation to the surprisingly-deep gameplay system.