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Old 04-13-2008, 10:28 PM   #1447
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,149
Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
Playstation 3

Horrible box art makes the game look less fun.

I have always been a huge fan of Hot Shots Golf. Always, even though the only other Hot Shots Golf game I've played was part 3 on the PS2. It served up weird characters and fairly easy gameplay. The graphics weren't too shabby for their time, either. They've since gone on to make Hot Shots games for the PS2 (again) and for the PSP. Now they bring it to the PS3 as Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (even though it is technically Hot Shots Golf 5) and I'm here to tell you about it, so bow to my will.

Animals wander the Safari course. Sometimes you can even hit them with the ball
and they will run away. It'd be great if a zebra came up and crapped on the ball.

Graphics: 8/10
Presented in 720p like most other games of this generation, Hot Shots 5 delivers for the most part. Courses look really nice and contain lots of extra little details. They won't slice your eyeballs up with razor sharpness or insane animation, but it does what it needs to do. I popped in Hot Shots 3 on the PS2 midway through playing this, and to my surprise the PS2 version didn't really look much worse. Sure, it only run in 4:3 480i and there was lots of shimmering when things moved, but the overall models and courses didn't go through leaps and bounds of improvement here. Then there is the problem with the PS3 shadows. See the pic below for a more thorough description.

Look at that crappy shadow. Just look at it! This happens a lot in PS3 games.
The PS3 is extremely weak when handling shadows.

Sound: 3/5
The music is by Kenny G's less talented brother, how good can it be? In fact it sounds like Kenny's bro on a very bad day, as if he mellowed out even more and strived for the ultimate in repetition. The music is dreadful, and only the mountain course which takes nearly an eternity to unlock is worth listening to... and even it gets a bit tiresome around the second or third time you play the course. Fortunately the music can be shut off. Then there is the crowd, horribly acted and always saying the same exact thing again and again with the worst possible fake accents you can imagine. You can turn the crowd off, but the option screen calls them "The Gallery" for some unknown reason. WTF? Because of this, you may not know that they can be turned off. Let's not forget about the caddies... all of them are annoying and keep babbling when you are trying to concentrate when setting up for a difficult putt. They cannot be shut off, unfortunately. The ambient sounds are OK but nothing special. This game is best played with your stereo turned off or perhaps set to another source, as the sound in this game is bad. Custom soundtracks are not supported.

I find the greens pretty hard to read, with a bunch of dots moving all over the place at
different speeds. I'm not sure what the little musical symbols by the character's head means.

Gameplay: 7/10
The game plays like the other Hot Shots games, which is good. It can be kind of addictive at times and you keep wanting to play "just one more". But they just had to try and add something new in the form of the "Advanced Shot" technique. Unfortunately they decided that this technique would suck ass, and they succeeded in making sure that it does in a big way. Basically you're still pressing the button three times to take your shot just as you do the traditional way, but instead you watch your golfer's backswing and press when you think it is time, and then press again as the club hits the ball. This is very hard to judge power on and thus it is really hard to get good shots with unless you are lucky. Fortunately the traditional shot is also available and from what I've seen online, most people still use the traditional method. Developer Clap Hanz definitely wants you to use the Advance Shot technique as they give it more power and cripple the traditional method with less powerful shots. Gay. Having lots of control over your shots is important because except for the first two courses, each course seems to have the wind set on "high" at all times. When it's not set on "high", it's set on "extreme". Oh, and it always blows towards the water. You have a wide selection of characters here once you unlock them, but you are penalized if you want to use another character due to the whole "Loyalty" concept. The more you use a character, the more powerful they become, making it undesirable to ever try anyone else since it takes forever and a day to build up loyalty. It also makes it less fun to play multiplayer at a friend's house since you can't use your character since their version won't be as powered up as the one on your PS3. Each character can choose their clubs, balls and costumes... all of which have to be earned.

I am the chip-in king! Chip-ins are easier than putts in this game.
And yes, this shot went in.

This game features online play, and it's kind of noteworthy. You gather in a large room full of other online players all wandering around with their own Miis. You can chat with a keyboard, but it restricts you to like 12 characters total, so it takes a week just to type out a full sentence. Voice chat is not supported. From here you can choose or create a game to play with up to 8 players. On the course everyone plays at the same time, no turns are taken. That makes the rounds go much faster, thankfully. It is kind of funny to wait a few seconds before teeing just to see 7 other balls flying into the distance all at once. It can also be funny on the green as multiple balls all approach the hole. Players can't interfere with one another, like bouncing their ball off of another player's, for instance. You'll likely be stuck to the earlier courses as they can't be played unless everyone has played them in single player mode, and they can take forever to unlock. The game gets ridiculously hard in the later courses, doing crazy things like penalizing you two strokes for touching the rough, etc. Once I hit the ball right outside of the green, which was the rough, so I got +2. But the green was like 9 feet higher than where my ball was. There was no way to hit it to the green, it just kept rolling back down again and again as I couldn't get the ball high enough in such a short amount of distance. +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 all on top of my already dreadful score as a result. Oh how wonderful! I had to give up, there was literally no other way.

The course designs can kind of suck. Who puts a freakin' town in the middle of a golf course?
I bet the town's name is O.B. City. You'll find many examples similar to this on just about every course.

Wrap up:
If you enjoy playing golf during hurricanes with extreme obstacles blocking your path along with lakes that can't be missed, then this is the game for you. Still, it does have a certain quality to it that just begs to be played.
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