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Clap Hanz



E (Everyone)



August 2004


- Fun for beginners and pros

- Bright explosive colors

- Relaxed approach to golf



- Repetitive voice cues

- Lack of detail

- Overly simplistic controls

- No real story mode



Review: Hot Shots Golf 3 (PS2)

Review: Mario Golf - Toadstool Tour (GC)

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 (PS2)



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Hot Shots Golf Fore!

Score: 8.6 / 10


I usually don't like cartoony takes on real sports but in this case I can make an exception. Some people may disagree with me on this, but generally golf isn't the most exciting sport. Not to say it is a bad sport, because several times I've been drawn to watching tournaments to see if Weir will win another Major or if Singh can take the #1 ranking from Tiger. However golf doesn't have that mainstream appeal - it just doesn't reach all demographics. Hot Shots Golf Fore! (HSGF) breaches that gap by offering a more relaxed approach to golf.


hot shots golf fore review          hot shots golf fore review


HSGF isn't the only game this year to put an animated spin on golf.  Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour was the first. As a Gamecube exclusive though, these two games are not in direct competition. In fact, out of all the respectable golf games out there, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is the only one on the PS2. But Tiger Woods is a golf sim based on a sport that you may not like.  HSGF, on the other hand, is not the kind of golf you'll see at your local country club. Featuring a myriad of abnormal characters and simpler mechanics, I just found it easier to get into.





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The game features a very simple shot mechanic. You tap the button to get the slider moving, tap it again to gauge your distance and then time your final tap to determine the direction. (Will the ball draw left, right or go straight down the center?) You can also choose the impact point on the ball during the swing, but you only have four simple choices: top, bottom, left and right. Additionally you can choose two powerful shots that carry the ball several yards further than your  normal 


maximum. (Be warned - taking the powerful stroke adds draw to your shots so you hit a lot more hazards.) Putting is a challenge due to the ridiculous slope on several greens. Slope is indicated by moving dots (Faster the movement, bigger the slope). It is a real eyesore to see all those rows of moving dots on the screen at one time.


The graphics are not great but fine enough. This game could have easily come out last year with these visuals. Although it boasts bright, exuberant, and vibrant colors, detail is scarce. I'm not expecting Tiger Woods 2005 detail but a little more effort would have gone a long way. The sound also can be very annoying. During each shot your caddy makes a comment based on your shot. Another comment is also made when you sink your putt. The comments are so limited though, that in nine holes youíve probably heard them all. The caddies do redeem themselves with their hilarious antics, like face planting when chasing a shot.


hot shots golf fore review          hot shots golf fore review


The one area where HSGF absolutely shines is gameplay. Simply put, HSGF is fun. Whether you pick it up for a quick 10 minute session or you sit down for an hour long marathon, you will have fun. It is simple enough that you play like a pro from the beginning and complex enough that improvement does not hinder enjoyment. One of my most memorable moments of this game was erasing the memory of two horrid bogeys with a beautiful eagle chip. The rush sinking shots like that is hard to explain but it is so gratifying. Several times, when I sat down to play the game for 'review purposes', I was really only playing for fun. The formula hasn't changed from the previous Hot Shots Golf but I guess the saying 'If it ain't broke, don't fix ití applies.


The online mode is also well represented. You can play 18 holes with up to three more players or play in a huge tournament (up to 50 players) It's not a revolutionary online mode but it's a huge step forward from HSG3. With more online improvement, HSG wonít be a one-trick pony anymore.


It's really a simple choice. If you are a fan of golf, go get Tiger Woods 2005. If you are a fan of sports in general, Hot Shots Golf Fore! should give you hours of amusement. Personally I had fun playing this game and I will continue to play it for fun. There is plenty or room for improvement but Hot Shots Golf Fore! gets my approval.


- Stefan Shetty

(October 16, 2004)

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