Everybody's Golf – Sony
Everybody's Golf from Sony takes a more light-hearted approach to PS2 golf with its cast of crazy characters in comparison with the realism offered by the undisputed daddy of console golf games EA's annual offering from the Tiger Woods series.
Does Everybody's Golf challenge the leaderboard or is it below par? Let's find out…….
As with most sports games there is no real story; you simply pick a character and make your way through the various game modes unlocking other characters and courses as you go.
The character models in the game are cartoon-style and look like colourful extracts from a Manga cartoon. The characters are crisp and the animation is smooth throughout. Don't expect to be blown away by graphics in the game but they fit the cartoon style and are more than adequate.
In-game sounds all do an OK job but the character voices and background music does grate on you after a few rounds. Each character has 3 or 4 sayings for each occasion and these tend to be repeated at some point on every hole. Background music is a bit too chirpy for me and while it does fit the game's cartoon approach I was thankful that the game gives the option to turn this off. One of the fun things when playing a mate is that you can control your golfer saying's when your friend is taking a shot. There is nothing better than screaming 'miss it!' or 'rubbish' just before they putt on a crucial matchplay hole. All in all the sound in the game is OK but by no means a selling point of the game.
For me this is where the game falls down – after playing Tiger Woods which uses the analogue stick to control your swing, Everybody's Golf takes a step back to the method that has been used on pretty much every golf game since the Megadrive. You simply click X to start the power bar, hit X to set the power then X again to set the impact – this determines whether you get a clean hit or end up hooking or slicing the ball. You can also impart spin onto the ball mid-flight but I generally found that you got a better result without bothering. While the controls are straightforward and add to the 'pick up and play' element of the game I feel that so much more could have been done with the controls to make the game more involving. For a game that takes a cartoony approach there are no crazy power shots or banana like hooks to make use of. Each character does have a set amount of power shots to use each round but all these seem to do is add an extra 10yds to your shot if you catch it cleanly. After playing a few rounds of the game I realised it was pretty difficult to hit a bad shot, while this is reassuring for the younger players new to this type of game, the control method didn't really offer much of a challenge. Putting is even easier as you only have to read the green and set the power and after a bit of practice you are draining putts from all angles.
The game offers a tournament mode where you play through the various imaginary courses with the aim of finishing top of the leader board. Playing through this allows you to unlock other courses and build up points so you can buy better equipment and tips. The tournament mode can be quite time consuming and can be a bit tedious as you are really only playing against a scorecard. The first few tournaments are very easy and you will probably romp home miles in the lead.
Another mode to look out for is versus mode where you travel the globe and play match-play against the 20+ computer characters. The characters range from little kids and old men to ninja assassins. Every time you beat a computer opponent you unlock them and they become available to use. Again the first few levels of this game are ridiculously easy and you have to beat a fair few opponents for the challenge to kick in.
There are 12 courses which have been designed specially for the game. All look and play nicely but I can't help feeling that many of them are just too bland. As with the control method I feel that the game could have offered so much more with some really crazy and difficult courses. Even Tiger Woods the more serious 'simulator' golf game has 3 or 4 madcap course with hidden shortcuts, huge distances to drive and island fairways with nothing either side. All of this ups the challenge and fun in the game especially when taking on a friend.
The training mode is also pretty bog standard and just lets you play any of the unlocked courses but with a mulligan option – another missed opportunity in my opinion, as again Tiger Woods games offered specific training courses where you could play target practice, bullseye and longest drive challenges – all of this just adds to the re-playability of the game.
Although I have made quite a few negative comments about Everybody's Golf it is by no means a bad game. It is nicely presented, looks great and is really easy to pick up and play. For me though the game just doesn't come close to the Tiger Woods series not only in terms of control, challenge and lifespan but also in the fun department an area which should be the game's selling point.
For me the game just misses the cut…………….....
5 out of 10