Hot Shots Golf 3
By: Matt C. on March 31, 2002
When most people think about golf, they think of Tiger Woods, Happy Gilmore, or the word "boredom". When I think about golf, I think of Hot Shots Golf. I've always been a fan of the Hot Shots Golf series, so needless to say, I was really excited about getting my hands on the latest edition of the game.
As you probably already know, the reason that separates Hot Shots Golf 3 from the competition is the simple and easy to get into gameplay. Just line up your shot and use the swing meter to hit the ball. However, if you want to truly master the game, you'll want to change your clubs accordingly for each shot, check the wind direction and speed, and use back or forward spin when necessary. Thats the beauty about Hot Shots 3 - it's for both newbie and veteran golf gamers.
Although the swing meter hasn't really changed all that much, a few tweaks have been made to the game engine. When putting, for example, nifty moving dots on the green inform you of slopes and such - making putting easier than finding donuts at a bakery.
Other new additions include being able to "buy" new equipment, such as balls and clubs, which affect your character's attributes. Aside for equipment, you can also purchase new caddies and outfits - even a radar which tells you how fast you swung your club head. Kinda pointless, but it's a nice novelty.
One of my favorite new features in HSG3 is the National Tournament mode. Simply obtain your password from SCEA's Website, enter it into the game, play a challenging 18-hole round of golf, and upload your new password to see how you rank against other players around the nation. The best part is that contestants are eligible to win prizes.
Visually, HSG3 is a very beautiful game. Courses are detailed and are well designed. Some holes have you hitting across massive canyons or lakes (which obviously makes things much more interesting), while others are more realistic and relaxed. Obstacles, such as sand-traps, ponds, castles, houses, and trees are strategically placed on each hole - which helps keep them from becoming boring.
The only thing I don't like about Hot Shots Golf 3 are the lame American characters. Out of all 15 playable golfers, I only like one or two of them. The same goes for the caddies as well. I would have preferred the anime characters from the Japanese version, but apparently many Americans still aren't familiar with anime, so SCEA want back and redesigned the whole cast. It's disappointing, but I can live with it.
Character models aside, Hot Shots Golf 3 is by far the best golf game around. Due to the nature of the sport, creating an entertaining golf game can be quite difficult, but Clap Hanz managed to get the formula down yet again.