Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Review
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Box Art
System: PS Vita
Dev: Clap Hanz
Pub: Sony
Release: February 15, 2012
Players: 1-30 (Online)
Screen Resolution: 480p Mild suggestive themes

Now, golf is a sport that requires patience, and the same could easily be said of Hot Shots Golf. Even with all the unique character personalities and micromanagement—choose a club, choose a ball, line up your shot, study the course layout, etc.—playing the tournaments can get a bit tedious. The eighteen-hole tournaments especially can begin to feel like they are dragging on (the nine-holers aren't so bad). And, as I mentioned earlier, unlocking things can start to feel like a grind. To make matters worse, you can be ranking in first place for seventeen holes, then completely screw up the last hole to wind up down at the bottom of the ladder and have to completely start the full tournament from scratch. (This is actually what happened during my first Daily International Tournament. I got stuck in a particularly nasty sand trap on the final hole, and finally got out of it to end up with my ball in the pond.) But such is the game of golf.

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Screenshot

On the audio side of things, World Invitational sounds like a golf game. The music is generally pretty low-key, though it does get a little more intense during the putting sequences to keep you on edge. (I admit, the background music for the Harvest Hills Golf Course is not for me, but it's actually pretty appropriate for the course.) More subtle, though, are the sound effects, which are great and make each swing feel satisfying. There is some brief voiceover work, as each character has his or her own personality, but it's definitely not enough to make or break the game. Personally, I found some of the accents a little odd, but this never bothered me much.

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All in all, Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational doesn't break from the traditional Hot Shots format except with the addition of touch controls. And even then, I'm sure there are a lot of players who will completely ignore the touch features. But it delivers an enjoyable, somewhat arcadey golf game, and that's really all we need from this particular franchise.

By
Josh Wirtanen
Editor / News Director
@joshuajwirtanen
Date: February 20, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
The courses are gorgeous and detailed, and the characters have a distinctive cartoony look.
4.0
Control
The traditional controls are great here. The new touch-based controls have a couple neat practical uses.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
An appropriate soundtrack. It's the spot-on ball sounds, though, that make each swing satisfying.
4.4
Play Value
There's a staggering amount of content here, between the amount of various courses and bonus content.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Enjoy the over-the-top characters, costumes and comedic golf action and stay connected with your friends' latest scores to stay on top of the leaderboard.
  • Innovative touch panel controls provide access all the info for the next shot with this new touch-sensitive interface.
  • Look down the fairway and golf course in real time to set up the perfect shot.
  • Master the PS Vita's motion-sensing abilities to add extra power onto shots.
  • Enjoy support for up to eight player wirelessly, or join a game on PlayStation Network where dozens of players can compete on individual holes.

  • Screenshots / Images
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