There’s nothing more tranquil than hitting the links for a quick round of golf. The sound of sand, water, and cheerful music fill the air, that’s if you’re not too busy digging your tiny golf ball out of those hazards, Everybody’s Golf provides that same tranquillity from the comfort of your own home, come rain or shine you can now play golf whatever the weather. Everybody’s Golf is what most people know as “Hot Shots Golf”. Developer Clap Hanz has unified the name for good reason. Now with online functionality and daily challenges Everybody’s Golf for PS4 is the complete package for well, everybody.
It may not come as a shock to many that Everybody’s Golf is in fact a virtual golfing game, but it is also so much more than that. Thankfully it’s the same great quality we can expect from an Everybody’s Golf game. Golfing is handled with a 3-click system and it works very well. You’ll be rewarded with perfect shots that have extra distance and accuracy. Hitting well timed and placed shots will also level up your clubs. Something a little different this time around, is that progress is tied to clubs. Hit a huge drive and that will add power to your 1-wood, get a perfect backspin with your sand wedge and your spin will increase. Each club’s power, control, spin, and “back door” attributes can be increase each time they are used. The better you play, the more these stats will increase. I’ve yet to max out any of these attributes except the “back door” stat. The “back door” stat will increase your ability to nail those long putts and chip-ins, it was easy for me to max it out with my putter, but the same can’t be said for any other club
Levelling up is not the only way to add to your stats. Club sets and balls can also aid you in struggling areas. Some clubs will allow you to hit further and others can solidify your short game, same goes for balls, however unlike clubs they are a one-time use item. Pairing different club sets and balls can help you up your game, but you’ll still have to grind to get better level gear.
While it may seem a bit grind-y to get all the courses I think Clap Hanz did a great job diversifying how you’ll play. Gimmicky items such as Tornado Cups have been added, by using these you can create a vacuum on the cup which can result in some really fantastic shots. Mirror courses also make the same holes feel a bit fresh and force you to learn how to master the spin shots.
The grind to get better gear can seem a bit repetitive. There are five courses, but it takes some time to get that far. As you play you will also collect coins, which can be used to purchase fashion items and even balls. Fashion items have no impact on how your character plays, but there is a surprising amount of options that can make your character feel unique. After each round you’ll also collect a few random fashion items as well. It was nice to always be unlocking things, even though it was just another pair of shoes.
The character creator is also new to Everybody’s Golf. Unlike previous entries you’ll create a golfer from scratch. There is a lot of room for customization and the right person could easily come up with some excellent celebrity clones. The custom characters are fun, but I found the old stylized characters from previous games to be a bit more unique. Each character plays the same, which makes it a little harder for casual players to jump in and play a round or two.
Completing the single player tournaments will also grant you more options to customize your character. You’ll still encounter “story” characters as you progress through the single player and after defeating them you’ll earn the right to “cosplay” as them. Some characters will even grant you additional abilities. These abilities usually tie to a side activity in Everybody’s Golf. Riding a golf cart and the fishing mini game are only available after defeating the correct opponent.
Online is now a big portion of Everybody’s Golf and I believe a big reason why Sony and Clap Hanz have unified the name. Joining an online game is easy and provides a solid experience different than the single player component. You are free to explore any course online and meet up with fellow golfers. Goodies, such as coins and other collectibles are spread along each course. Like most games with an online component it helps to have levelled up before you go online, though otherwise many of the side activities won’t be available.
There are also small bonuses for completing online courses. Once a “course of the day” is completed you’ll unlock a reward, which is sent to your inbox the next day. It’s a little odd, but I get that they are trying to get players to log on and complete the daily course.
The other online mode is turf war. Up to ten players on each side will compete against each other to “claim” holes. Perform well on a hole and the points will rack up. The goal is to capture more holes than the opposing team. It’s a fun hectic game that has you “speed golfing”. I threw caution to the wind and just tried to get through holes as quick as possible to give my team an advantage.
Everybody’s Golf is the golf game I’ve been waiting for. It’s the perfect game to de-stress to after a long day at work. There are no high stakes or gunshots, just a tiny ball to whack around. You can even pass a controller around for some local play if friends want to get in on the occasion. It doesn’t offer a large amount of modes, but the small distractions add enough diversity to keep the game feeling fresh.
The freedom given to the player is a welcome change and the open online courses feel like a weird social experiment. I loved being able to magically pop into a golf cart and drive like a mad man through a peaceful country club. There are a lot of weird disconnects that give Everybody’s Golf a ton of charm resulting in the best entry in the series to date.
- THE GOOD
- Golfing feels great
- Online courses are weird and charming
- $40 price tag
- THE BAD
- Can feel a bit grind-y
- Not all side activities are unlocked right away
Everybody’s Golf for PS4 takes the long standing franchise to new heights. Challenging and satisfying it carves out a great space for when shooting things gets tiresome. The online is wacky and the character creator matches the zany, but charming cast of characters. Everybody’s Golf truly live up to its name and there is something here for everyone.