Hot Shots Golf: World International Vita Review
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Clap Hanz Limited
Release Date: February 14, 2012 (NA)
System: PS Vita
Since The original Playstation we’ve been treated to numerous iterations of Hot Shots Golf on every Playstation console. With the launch of the Vita the trend continued and what Clap Hanz Limited delivered was a polished title that incorporates just about everything we’ve seen from them before. This is a review Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational for the PS Vita.
Immediately noticeable is that along with buttons, you can now make all of your selections by touching the screen. Not that big of a deal now that the Vita has been around for a year but at launch it was quite an impressive feature.
During gameplay you’ll soon find other features that are only possible on the Vita. Using the rear and front touchscreens you can use two fingers to pick up your player and place them where you’d like on the tee. (It is almost impossible to get a screenshot of this by yourself, they should’ve made it a trophy.)
The Vita’s rear camera has been implemented during gameplay so that now you can replace the background with whatever your camera sees. This in conjunction with a number of camera views gives you a degree of control that’s new and unique to this version of Hot Shots. You can even move the Vita in all directions to admire your surroundings in 360 degrees.
Rounding out the newest features are the ability to use both touchscreen to analyze info for your next shot and motion control to add power to your shots. With all that has been added, you’ll be pleased to know that none of it is forced on the user. You can enjoy a traditional Hot Shots Golf experience if that’s what you’re looking for.
On the Links
Never has the game looked as good as it does on the Vitas bright OLED screen. The courses are alive with activity and there are new details you’ll notice as you unlock new courses. As you progress you will unlock a number of shot methods, you’ll still have the option of the original linear bar but that is unlocked last.
As you’d expect in an arcade game, gameplay is forgiving but that is not to say that this is a title strictly for kids. Wind, terrain, the choice of clubs and balls when considered greatly effect your success on the links.
Modes of Play
There are a number of single and multiplayer modes but nothing strays too far away from…golf. Online, players populate lobbies in which their avatars can congregate and kick around a soccer ball, chat about matches, or just run around and act a fool.
What I find disappointing is the change in format regarding the Daily International Tournaments. Early on there used to be three tournaments that the community could enter every day at their leisure. The following day you could then see how you compare to everyone else that entered. Those are gone! Now whenever I check the tournaments I’m greeted to a sign telling me when the next tournament is being held. I’m yet to see how these new tournaments work but already they’ve made it not as fun to come back everyday to see the new challenges.
Daily Tournaments aside, playing against other players is a painless experience as far as golf goes. So long as you take your shots promptly you can on the other participants doing the same. Their connections have no real affect on your experience.
Hot Shots Shop
Just made a hole-in-one? You wont go unrewarded! With all you do on the courses you accumulate points which you then use to buy courses, music, characters, concept art and so on from the in-game shop.
There’s also a Japanese style vending machine in which you use points to randomly unlock items for your avatar. This is accompanied by a percentage so you can keep racking up points until you collect everything.
Swing and a Miss or Hole-in-One?
I’ll say again that the old Daily Tournament format was a reason to come back and play everyday. Still, at the discounted price and with everything else intact, this is a worthy entry in the Hot Shots universe.
+ Beautiful visuals
+ Touch interface
+ Online features
– Changed Daily Tournament format