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Showing 1-10 of 119 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 150 reviews
on February 28, 2012
There's nothing like unwinding with a game of virtual golf, and there's nothing like having it on a portable device so you can fling the handheld at your cat when you miss the winning putt because this game, this game, urg, it makes me so damn mad!

And then I'll play another round.

Hot Shots courts you initially with its whimsical charm, easy-breezy graphics, and pick up and play accessibility; however, once you slip the ring on, forget about it. It starts demanding impossibilities; it wants you to wear clothes that are unreasonably expensive, it wants you to buy the newest clubs, even though you don't need them -- I don't need them, why do you want me to buy them?? And before you know it, you're buying pictures of people you don't even care about; music you can't listen to because it's been disabled, and time spent you'll never get back ... you'll never get any of this time back.

Hot Shots doesn't care.

In short, do you like addictive games? Are you the person that needs to own every outfit, even if you don't play the character? Do you like mastering gameplay mechanics that are affected by variables outside of your control? Me too! You'll love Hot Shots golf, even if you don't like watching golf, or playing Tiger Woods. It's more Golden Tee and Neo Turf Masters, which is a good thing.

They're seven ranks to climb, match play, training, and my favorite, online play, where you can doll up your avatar with goofy nonsense no one should care about, or hop right into the daily tournament and see how you fair against the world's top players. If you're anything like me, the answer is poorly.

Anyway, you want to buy a new game for your beautiful Vita, don't you? I know you do. That's why you're reading this, justifying the purchase. Do it.
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on February 26, 2012
For a little perspective, the first iteration I played of Hot Shots Golf was `Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee,' and since then I have gone back and played a few of the PS One Classics and have purchased every version of the game since. I feel this is important for you to know where I am coming from so you know where I am coming from and if my likes are similar to your own.

For my money, up until this version of Hot Shots Golf, I have to say that Open Tee 2 was probably my favorite, because it was the largest and had the greatest level of customization and the largest number of different courses to play. This game is an arcade-realism golf game, and the series has never come too close to taking itself too seriously. A great deal of the fun is found in absurd challenges and often silly visual customization.

GRAPHICS *****
Now I have heard a lot of people say that looking at a Vita is like looking at a PS3 in the palm of your hand. While this is not exactly true, this game does look between 80 and 90% as beautiful as the PS3 version (which was stunningly the only PS3 version so far). The characters are beautifully rendered and their outfit/costumes have a good deal of detail to them and beautiful textures. This game has pretty, soft lighting and decent shadows. If would have to really look for something to complain about. The game is pretty and it runs like a dream.

CONTROLS *****
The controls in this game are pretty basic, as they always have been, but however you want to arrange it or look at it, I can say "Remember the control style from that other Hot Shots game that you liked; its in here." The designers do a good job making sure you have everything that you liked from the other games, not that I ever thought it made too much of a difference. I think the navigation, club selection, etc was always done in a pretty intuitive fashion, so there isn't really much to say on this other than the game handles well and predictably.

SIZE/SCOPE/DESIGN ****
There are almost a dozen characters in the game and almost half a dozen courses. As far as the scope of content that is given to you in this game, it is actually towards the lower end for most Hot Shots Golf games. I have to believe this is, in part, so they can sell you more stuff through DLC--a subject a lot of gamers have mixed feelings about, myself included. That said, the gameplay that is included is going to give you quite a lot of replayability. The courses all have their typical mirror/long-tee variants, and there are lots of things to do. The challenges will likely take you well over 100 hours to complete, and none of the courses that were included in this version were the type that just annoyed the heck out of me--typically there would be 1 or 2 courses I did not enjoy in previous versions--and there is enough content here that I can't say they are holding back the full product just so they can nickle-and-dime you to death on the PSN. Long and short of it, the size of this game is certainly acceptable, nice even, but I feel like there should have been just a little more.

VITA-ISMS *****
Whenever a new system comes out and people start making games for it, I personally worry that the new toys are going to get in the way of the fun factor. As a simple example, I like the 6-AXIS controller in theory, but most of the time, I really don't want to tilt my controller this way and that way for things I feel like I should be able to just do by pressing, possibly repeatedly, or holding a button. For instance, turning valves in Killzone 2 did not enhance my enjoyment of that game, although shooting arrows Matrix-style in Heavenly Sword was neat. I would characterize myself as an often 'stoic' gamer. I don't want to wave my hands around if I don't have to. Just let me stare at the screen like a marbles statue, and if I want to do that stuff, I will load up something on the Playstation Move.

What does Hot Shots Golf do with the Vita's gyroscopes, accellerometers, and touch screens? Surprisingly very little or nothing that will annoy anyone. I would say in almost every case, the controls they added for the Vita actually enhance your experience. Dragging your finger across the back will put a pointer out on the course. A line will measure back to your ball placement and give you the yardage to that point, and another line will extend towards the hole and give your yardage to the pin. Very neat. Rubbing your finger along the front face doesn't usually do much other than make your character wave at you or rustle trees. You can pinch the character--using front and back touch pads--lift them and drop them left or right in tee box. This is actually really nice because sometimes that few feet right or left changes the way you would want to play your tee shot and it is a first for the series. As far as the motion sensing, you can use this to give the ball a push when using a power-stroke and it might add a few yards to your drive.

ONLINE
Last but not least, Hot Shots Golf can be played online. They have a lobby system and a few different types of games, including daily online tournaments. Its pretty neat, and a little different than it was before. I can't say this is much of a draw for me, so I won't judge how well I think they did with its implementation, but it does add hours of potential fun for people who want to see how their skills match up to people all over the world. The only thing really worth adding is that if you don't buy this game first hand, you will need to buy an online pass that is $9.99 from the PSN.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
I have to say that I can't stop playing this game. For me, Hot Shots Golf is a perfect on-the-go sort of game. It is not overly complicated, and it has good stop-and-go functionality with the Vita system, as well as being the type of game that you really only need about 10 minutes to play something. The game is beautifully rendered and has all the functionality that you would hope for in a Hot Shots Golf game. With the added functionality of the Vita controls, I have to say this is probably my favorite rendition of the game yet and I would encourage anyone who is at least a passing fan of golf to take a look at this game.
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on July 16, 2012
I've always been a fan of the Hot Shots Golf series, and this game doesn't disappoint. It's one of my favorite games on the PS Vita so far, and I've definitely gotten more than my money's worth.

If you're unfamiliar with the Hot Shots Golf series, it's been around for more than a decade. Unlike the Tiger Woods series of golf games, Hot Shots Golf goes for a deliberately cartoony, over-the-top visual presentation. Don't let initial impressions fool you, though - the underlying gameplay is deep and can be very challenging. This game still sticks with the old-fashioned three button press system for hitting golf shots (push once to start swing, push again to set power, push once more to hit accurately), with the usual additions of allowing you to impart spin and extra power. The single-player part of the game primarily consists of a series of 40-something 9 or 18 hole events across the game's 6 different courses. A good portion of the events have modified rules to keep things interesting (maybe you get extra strokes if you hit in bunkers, maybe it's windy and rainy, etc.), and all the events have an optional bonus objective which usually is considerably more challenging than just winning the event.

The game starts easy enough, but near the end both the courses and the scores you need to shoot on those courses become very challenging. Some of the optional objectives are even harder. If you read mainstream reviews of this game, many critics have negative opinions about the game's difficulty, but I think a lot of those critiques are off-base. The difficulty ramps up slowly, so you have plenty of time to master the more advanced techniques you need to finish the latter stages of the game. If you are skilled, you can win all events without luck - just like in real golf - although luck at certain key moments doesn't hurt. There's certainly no luck involved in hitting good shots: if you have good timing, the ball goes where you ask it to go. Most importantly, the game provides all the tools necessary to help you improve and overcome the most difficult courses. There's a practice mode which allows you to play any hole an indefinite number of times with any conditions you like, so if certain holes (or even certain shots on certain holes) are giving you a lot of trouble, just experiment and practice to your heart's content until you figure out how to best approach that hole. Good shot selection becomes as important as execution by the end of the game, so don't be surprised if you have to experiment with different shot shapes and clubs to figure out how to play the hard courses (especially the final course) in a reasonable manner. Every time I failed to win a tournament, there was always something I could improve on.

I wouldn't say that any of the touch-screen or gyroscopic capabilities of the PS Vita add anything useful to the gameplay, but they don't detract from the game either. The graphics are fantastic, and the audio is, for the most part, well done. Each character only has a small number of catchphrases, so it can get a bit repetitive to hear them saying the same things over and over, but that's just a minor quibble. A 9 hole round only takes about 10 minutes to play, so you can get a quick session in while on a car (if you're not driving!) or during a lunch break. In any case, if you need to stop playing immediately, you can always put the PS Vita to sleep in the middle of the round and then wake up the PS Vita later.

Considering how few courses there are, the game lasts for a surprisingly long time. If you want to 100% complete the single-player and unlock all of the items in the game's shop (there's equipment, music selections, art, additional outfits for characters, etc.), expect to put in at least 40 hours. The game does a good job of constantly providing you with rewards, so you always feel a sense of progression, even if you're having difficulty winning events. There's also a multi-player component, although it basically consists of playing a round by yourself and then posting your scores to a global server. You can also play with friends locally, although I never had the opportunity to try this feature out. Then again, in real life golf is ultimately a solo game, so it's not too surprising that the multiplayer is a lot like the single player.

Are there any negatives to the game? There are a few minor improvements which I think would make the game more enjoyable. It'd be nice if there were more courses - 6 isn't really very many, although fortunately none of them are similar to each other. And if you've played a lot of Hot Shots Golf in the past, don't expect anything dramatically new here. Nevertheless, on balance, Hot Shots Golf is a lot of fun. It's a polished, deep, challenging game with a good amount of content. If you enjoy playing golf in video games, definitely give this game a try.
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on November 12, 2016
This is still one of the best PS Vita games out there in it's library. Yes it's a golf game but a very well made golf game at that.

Many unlockables include new characters, golf courses, golf clubs, accessories, etc. There's a lot to earn that'll keep you playing.

Graphics are charming and fit the PS Vita perfectly especially on the OLED screen. Music is very calming so you don't get easily distracted while aiming.

Controls are responsive but the gameplay... Good God the gameplay can be "Dark Souls" frustrating. Factors that can make you miss your mark includes weather, aim, precision, club of choice and sometimes you still get a Bogey.

Let's just say if you're a regular raging gamer who easily loses his temper, then you might want to invest in a protective shell for your PS Vita. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational may induce such rage that will send your beloved handheld device flying higher than a "NICE SHOT" into a hole in... A wall.
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on January 1, 2014
NUTSHELL: As beautiful as the game is (probably the best yet), the frustration might outweigh the fun for non-fans, and the Hot Shots faithful will have to put up with a lot to get what good there is in this installment.

I've played Hot Shots since the PS2 games, so I'm not a novice to the game. There's never a shortage of frustration in these games when you get to the more difficult stages, but this one seems to have more than its share. That is in part due to the shortage of content, and seems clearly designed for mobile market, not consoles. Significantly fewer characters and courses than past installments made for consoles.

UNLOCKABLE CONTENT is relatively limited compared to past games, with essentially two outfits in a selection of very similar colors for everyone. Still, there are some unique and great combinations to be found, just would have wished for more (again, a little more like Pangya did it.)

"Easy" mode is poorly conceived and executed. All it does is reduce the difficulty of the opponents, and even that is often not to such a great degree. In tournaments, that's not much of an issue, as those tend to be easier anyway. But enough of the character versus matches or certain rule restrictions can get frustrating. Better would have been to make some of the mechanics easier, i.e. a boost in selected or all stats (something the deep content PSP golf game from South Korea, Pangya, did well). The mode will make some of the "crowns" more accessible, but still will not be "easy" for many players.

The COURSE DESIGN has always gotten steadily more difficult in a very forced kind of way through the series, and they follow suit here, making it some of the most frustrating golf yet. Presumably to try to get courses to challenge the best players out there, they've made some annoying choices in course design that makes some holes just plain no fun. With online play so common now, there shouldn't be a need to try and make the offline/single-player experience SO challenging.

On the plus side, after having put in many enjoyable hours on Open Tee 2 on PSP (as well as previous Hot Shots games), the GRAPHICS are impressive, not only in quality, but in certain presentation styles and much more natural lighting. Definitely a beauty of a game. This was where I was underwhelmed with Open Tee as compared to Pangya. Open Tee had prettier courses, but Pangya had much better looking and more interesting characters.

Also welcome is much more choice in shot style, with four different meter styles to choose from, including the classic bar gauge.

The CHARACTERS for Wold Inv'l are just as stereotypical (bordering on offensive) as the series seems stuck in portraying as ever, the caddies worse than the golfers. A few of the voices are pleasant enough, if not really entertaining, but too many are either irritating (most of the caddies) or just inexplicable (Xiao Ling's quite un-Chinese non-accent). Notable exceptions are the Aussie(ish) Grace, Native American caddie Langundo; all other caddies are too annoying, and only a few other golfers are at least endurable.

PLUSES:
+ Probably the most beautiful Hot Shots yet
+ Should be some golfers and courses for just about anyone to enjoy
+ Classic Hot Shots style play and presentation
+ Best variety of shot mechanic style of any arcade golfer game
+ Some (even if not enough) nice outfits and costumes

MINUSES:
- Light on content
- Course design continues to get more unnecessarily challenging, as does some AI and rule restrictions
- Might only be one or two golfers/caddies and two or three courses that many players will *really* enjoy
- "Easy" mode not as helpful as it should be
- Character design still so stereotypical that some might almost call it racist
- Stereotypes aside, the voice choice and acting is still mostly not as enjoyable as it has been in the past
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on August 27, 2013
I have several other games but almost never take this game out of the card slot. It's great because you can pick it up and resume where you left off. I don't play online, but I'm sure that's a great part of the game as well. I also like that they continue to update the game (significantly) even though it's been out for a while. I'm actually convinced (with no proof, of course) that playing this has helped my 'real world' golf game a decent amount. Because in this game, you absolutely must take wind speed and direction into account, just like I should have been doing all along in 'real' golf. I am not claiming you can learn how to play golf from this game -- only that if you already play, it helps keep your mind 'in the game'.
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on July 13, 2015
I like this game since I don't have to feel like I need to block off a large chunk of time to play it. I can just pick up my Vita and play a game for 15-20 min if I want. Sometimes the lobby 'host' will say something like "you must be tired". Whether it's just random or an intentional aspect of the game, I haven't really tried to find out. I just know when I hear that statement I know I probably should put it down for a little bit and do something else. :-)
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on August 14, 2013
This game isn't about wowing with graphics or realism. It's about FUN, and leveling up your character. The controls are the same as they have been on previous versions (It might take newbies a little to get used to scanning around the golf course and over hills), and this is great. You can jump right in and start having fun and leveling up your players and equipment. The graphics look excellent by the franchises standards (Cartoon-esque) and this adds to the fun animations that the players express.
This is a fun and easy Golf game for those who want to have fun and want golf on the Vita (Tigerwoods?).
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on April 18, 2012
I'm stuck on the Gold rank vs. challenge. This is probably the best HSG game to date including the PS3 version. It has more options for power gauge input and the graphics are just amazing for the hand held. The physics? hmmm I'm still having trouble with reading the games physics this time, it seems that almost every slight mishit goes bunkerville which enrages me... lol, but it depends on my mood. The games has all the challenges a virtual golfer could ever demand. The real golf mode is very cool and makes you think like an actual golfer.

Great game, my first Vita game purchased and well worth it. I'm still unlocking courses, but so far they are beautiful and challenging!!!
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on September 19, 2016
Cool golf game with integrated motion sensing. Some characters and costumes are a bit crazy. Multiplayer seemed to work well.
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