Friday, January 27, 2012

Hot Shots Golf

Hot Shots
Hot Shots Golf 3
by Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform:   PlayStation2
4.6 out of 5 stars(58)

Buy new: $19.99 $4.76
138 used & new from $0.01

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Hot Shots Golf 3 certainly isn't the most revolutionary addition to this popular series, but it does a good job of retaining the classic gameplay while updating the series to take advantage of the PlayStation2's more powerful hardware. The courses are beautiful, the animation is excellent as always, and the way the ball reacts to the wind, course elements, and irons and woods is realistic. When you screw up, there's never any doubt that it's your fault, not some flaw in the physics engine. Best of all, once a course is loaded, there's never any waiting around after a shot for a position update. The game is butter smooth.

Perhaps the best thing about the game is its immediate accessibility. Players of any skill level can immediately grasp (if not master) the swing meter, where one button press starts the backswing, another determines power, and a third determines accuracy. It's all about rhythm and timing, and pressing on the directional pad during the backswing lets expert players control topspin to finesse their shots, fight a strong wind, or guide the ball through some nearby trees.

As players advance through the tournament and other modes, they gain experience in addition to points for purchasing new equipment and other game enhancements. New clubs, balls, and other items significantly impact the way the game plays. New characters and courses open up as the game progresses, so there's always something new to unlock or master. If any complaint can be leveled at the game, it's that perhaps the designers didn't take the over-the-top theme far enough. Those looking for a strict simulation without the wacky characters and fancy special effects might want to look at Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002. On the other hand, that game's special effects are too sparse to attract people looking for a pure arcade experience, and the character designs are uninspired. Regardless, the game lurking underneath Hot Shots Golf 3's fantasy façade should appeal to any golf fanatic, and the varied course designs combined with plentiful equipment choices guarantee a great deal of replayability. --T. Byrl Baker


  • Once loaded, shots, replays, and course repositioning are instantaneous
  • Beautiful and varied courses with especially good water effects
  • Plenty of equipment, characters, and other items to unlock
  • Graphics are good, but probably don't tap the entire potential of PS2
  • Could use more and better special effects to add drama to the proceedings

In Hot Shots Golf 3, you get all the fun and action of a great golf game, combined with the comedy and slapstick of a crazy video game! Earn points as you compete and trade them in for new equipment and new characters

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