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July 7 2008
Everybody's Golf 2 - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
26/6/2008SonySonyClap Hanz
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating

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That's pretty close to the hole...
In Japan it's known as Minna no Golf. In America it's called Hot Shots Golf. In Europe and Australia it's Everybody's Golf. No matter where you are though there's no denying that this is a brilliant series. Sure the graphics are cute, with anime styled characters running around the courses, but when each version of the game manages to shift millions of units (Everybody's Golf has sold almost 1.4 million units to date) any sequel is bound to generate interest. Now, we have Everybody's Golf 2 available for the PSP, and Sony will be hoping for more big numbers, both critically and commercially.

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Selecting the single player mode.
So, this is golf. There's not too much we can say here that you probably can't already guess. You select your character, hit the course, and try to get the little white ball into the little white hole in as few strokes as possible... Hmm, sounds a bit sexual really. Anyway Everybody's Golf 2 includes several single player game modes including Challenges, Stroke Play and Mini-Game. All of these modes assist you in unlocking new characters, abilities or items which can then improve your characters stats and abilities. While Challenges and Stroke Play are pretty standard fare the Mini-Game is basically a game to see how many 'hole in ones' you can get. Fortunatley each hole is places inside a large depression, so you only need to hit the general area. Each shot has several targets, with the smaller ones bieng worth more points.

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Hey look, it's a nice shot!?
Everybody's Golf 2 includes twelve courses to play on. Throughout the game you will play on the front or back nine holes, or the full 18-hole course, and there are even mirrored versions available as well. That's a lot of courses and setups to get used to, but then you can throw in longer tees, and different wind conditions and the number of courses, and their variations, is quite varied. In terms of the actual courses they aren't based on real locations so it allows the developers to take some liberties to ensure they are quite entertaining with a variety of locations including desert courses, forest courses, mountainous courses and water surrounded courses.

Characters can be fully customised with 320 different options at your disposal. These are unlocked by completing challenges and certainly add a 'whacky' look to your character - Eskimo suits, dive suits and bicycle shorts are only a couple of the options. The more you unlock the more skills your character will achieve. Retaining the same caddie will also assist in upskilling you character. It is also possible to upgrade your clubs and golf balls to execute more accurate shots, longer drives, tighter approaches and perfect putts.

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Effects are pretty nice.
As with the PS3 game online multi-player is where the game could really shine, and indeed the games we played online were entertaining with few issues. The trouble though was finding other players online - there's certainly not as many people playing this game as they are for the PS3 version. Locally up to 8-players will be supported via Ad Hoc modes and will allow you to compete in head-to-head or tournament play while the Infrastructure mode allows up to 16-players to compete at once. Unfortunately unlike the PS3 version there is no lobby system, and no easy way to contact and organize games with your friends. Still, even with these issues it won't be hard to sap quite a few hours from your life with these modes.

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Watching a replay of your shot.
There really isn't too much to complain about with this game. As with the recently released Playstation 3 version we find the game way too easy with almost no problems completing any of the challenges until the hardest levels are reached. I really wish Clap Hanz could have added in some difficulty levels. Beyond that, yar, there's not much to complain about. A little loading here and there, but it's not much, and, ermm, that's about it. I guess a slight disappointment is that the new Advanced Swing Method that was put into the PS3 game didn't make an appearance here. Another slight annoyance is that despite unlocking new characters, there isn't a lot of incentive to change to a new golfer as you don't have the same caddie loyalty.

Graphically Everybody's Golf 2 is a step up from the original game with brighter colours, more detail to the courses and characters and a bit more spit and polish. Menus are clean and clear to read while the game retains a silky smooth frame rate when you're zooming in and out from the intended target for your shot.

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There are a tonne of unlockable items.
Audio in this series has never been a strong point, and this game is no exception. We have some cutsey music, some ambient sounds such as bird, the swoosh of the club, and the occasional scream in glee or pain depending how well you hit the ball. There's not much else too it. It's functional but uninspiring. Characters in the game all look pretty wonderful too, each unique, and each with their own personalities.

Despite what some people would say the PSP isn't a dead system. It's sales figures in Japan this year have been exceptional and we can see a resurgence of developer interest as a result. Everybody's Golf 2 is exactly what the system needs and with a retail price of only $AU49.95 it's fantastic value too. Add this to your shopping cart today, it's a blast.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSBright and colourful Clap Hanz have got to grips with the PSP.
SOUNDMusic, voices and effects are present but far from exceptional.
GAMEPLAYThis series has always been about the gameplay, and this version won't disappoint.
VALUE12 courses, quite a few characters, good multi-player for under $50. A little too easy though.
OVERALLEverybody's Golf 2 isn't a true simulation of the sport, but is very entertaining and that's why we play games. Not only is there a tonne to do in single player, but plenty of multi-player modes too. Superb.

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