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May 11, 2008
Everybody's Golf World Tour - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
27/3/2008SonySonyClap Hanz1-42-50
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Everybody's Golf, prepare to swing folks.
Everybody's Golf: World Tour (or Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds as it is known in America) was one of my most wanted games on PS3. Released in July 2007 in Japan it has been a long wait for the game to be released out here, but it has been worth it with developers Clap Hanz delivering the goods yet again. Not only is the game now presented in high definition, but it is the online gameplay with promises to be the most entertaining aspect. As you can imagine there is no story as such, so let's get stuck straight into the gameplay and features and see what we have...

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The six courses really do look great.
As one can imagine there is no storyline in Everybody's Golf: World Tour. The game contains a series of golf courses, with different characters, and different tournaments to enter. The better you do, the more options you unlock and the better your character gets. The game includes six courses to master, with new courses being unlocked as you progress higher into the rankings. The game also includes 15 characters to unlock which, yet again, occurs as you progress further through the challenges. The game includes two control methods, the original Everybody's Golf system which has a horizontal bar, while a new Advanced Shot system sees a circle move in on the ball, the close, and smaller the circle when you hit the button the better your shot. The Advanced method offers a bit more control and power, and mastering it is well worthwhile.

Multi-player is certainly a key component in this game, and indeed it's not unfair to say that playing this game in multi-player, online or off, will keep it in your PS3 for a much longer period then playing it offline. Offline Everybody's Golf supports up to four players at once which is certainly an entertaining way to spend an evening around the lounge room.

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The effects on good shots are great!
When you head online though you enter a lobby system which contains dozens of rooms, although it's rare to find more then a couple of rooms with people in them. After entering the lobby you can run around like an idiot, talk to people, or book entries into tournaments. Initially it seemed that I was locked out of most tournaments, and indeed you are until you unlock many characters in the single player game. The game sets up tournaments every 15 minutes which may or may not have special conditions such as only being able to use certain characters, prizes being enabled, and selecting the courses. You appear on the courses alone and between each hole return to the scoreboard where you can chat where everyone else finishes. The great thing about this mode is that up to 50 people can compete at once (hence why you can't see everyone playing the tournament) and your results even go towards your characters rankings.

Perhaps more exciting then the official tournaments are the matches which you can set up yourself and which supports up to 8-players simultaneously. These tournaments allow you to see each of the players on the course as you're playing so you can instantly see the best shots and worst misses. When setting up this mode you can select the course, the holes and any restrictions of special features of the game.

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Playing online with several friends.
We do have some disappointments with this game. Firstly the inclusion of only six courses is somewhat disappointing, although we believe an additional course will be made available for download in future. Sure, courses can be mirrored and the location variety is good, but it is disappointing that such a major release doesn't include more courses. Will there ever be some released online for download? It has been hinted at, but nothing has been released. Another major importance is that Everybody's Golf: World Tour requires an installation of around 5GB which is one of the largest we've seen on the PS3 to date. Even more surprising is that despite this large installation there is still loading at times. It's only a matter of 10 seconds or so, but is still there and rather disappointing.

Presented in 720p the graphics in Everybody's Golf World Tour really are quite gorgeous. The anime styled characters look great and are wonderfully animated. While we would have loved to see some more varied animations when the characters complete the holes (they only have a couple of variations) they only happen for a few seconds. The menus are bright and colourful while the courses are quite varied in their look according to their locations. It was great to see some incidental touches, such as the wildlife that scatters when your ball nearly hits them.

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Characters really do look wonderful.
Audio in the game is the one area which didn't really impress too much. The music is cutesy, but hardly exciting - then again you don't expect it to be. The effects are solid enough with some ambient sounds and nice clunks as you hit the balls. But the real issue lies with the speech which is very repetitive. It seems each of the characters, caddies included, only have a couple of phrases and it will only take a couple of holes before the start repeating themselves, particularly if you hit similar nice, or poor, shots. Overall it's not a disaster, but Clap Hanz certainly aren't using the massive storage space of the Blu-Ray disc as one would hope.

Everybody's Golf World Tour has provided us with some of the biggest thrills and entertainment on the Playstation 3. Even if you have a remote interest in golf this game should appeal to you. Solid online gameplay is a big bonus, and there's a tonne of content to unlock although a couple more courses wouldn't have gone astray. This is the best in the series to date, and we canít fail to give it a very strong recommendation. Fantastic.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSYes they are cute graphics, but they also look quite superb.
SOUNDThe music becomes a little tiresome, and speech repetitive, but overall solid.
GAMEPLAYDifficulty could have been more balanced, a few other niggles, but overall a solid game.
VALUEOnline gameplay could keep you playing for months, more courses would have been nice.
OVERALLEverybody's Golf World Tour may not have the detailed realism of EA's Tiger Woods but it has some great online modes, and brilliant gameplay. This is a brilliant title, and an essential purchase for all golf, and even non-golf, fans around the globe. Superb.

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