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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Clap Hanz
Genre: Sports Action
Players: 1-4 (1-8, 1-50 Online)
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: March 18, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Hot Shots Golf is a prosperous franchise for Calp Hanz and Sony Computer Entertainment across four generations of consoles. With a cartoon/artistic take to the global sport, Hot Shots Golf gave gamers a unique view of the sport, while offering up loads of gameplay value. With Calp Hanzís first title in the next-generation of gaming, they look to capitalize off their well-established formula, while offering gamers that same high replay value that the franchise is known for. So without dragging on, I present to you Hot Shots Golf: Out of BoundsÖ

Seeing that every Hot Shots Golf title has captured the eyes and hearts of countless gamers around the world, its obvious that Clap Hanz wasnít about to change their winning formula to appease a new generation of gamers. Instead, they decided to add in features and enhancements that take the visuals and action to a whole new level. One of these new features is the Advanced Shot mechanic, which allows the player to focus more on their characterís motions, as oppose to gauging your shot by a horizontal meter. This feature also helps to meld the two realms of arcade and real-life into one action pack title. Now Iím not saying the game is like Tiger Woods, but compared to previous titles, the game seems more realistic, while retaining its arcade feel.

While some gamers may continue to use the traditional meter to control their character, using the Advance Shot mechanic will offer a more interactive look and feel to the game. With the Advance Shot mechanic, everything is broken down into three steps, which work in a similar fashion to the traditional meter. The player will press the X button to initiate the golferís swing. As the golfer beings to backswing, you will hit the X button again to set the power. Once the power level has been set, a circle will enclose onto the ball, in which you will press X a third time (in a timely manner) to attempt a perfect shot. If you want to add a little more spice to your drives, you can utilize the D-pad to add some topspin, backspin, hook or slice. All in all, a perfect structure that capitalizes off the traditional setup, while offering up a bit of a challenge. I recommend for those wanting to try out the Advance Shot mechanic, spend some time learning it in and out, as you will have to be on point as you progress through the game, especially if you decide to game online.

The more and more golf matches you win the more outfits you will unlock for your character and the other characters within the game. You will also gain the ability to utilize a caddy, which makes the action on the screen even more entertaining. Personally, the extra outfits are a nice addition to creating a unique look for each character, but their standard outfits say a lot about each character. A create-a-character option or even being able to alter the look of existing character would have been nice to have, but seeing how each character is highly detailed (from their head to toe), it would of put more pressure on Clap Hanz to ensure these features are in-depth, while highly detailed. The courses are also quite beautiful, offering up fantastic backdrops full of trees and great lighting. Overall, Out Of Bounds boast an impressive visual presentation in all areas, which is surely to be appealing to all visually inspired gamers.

Being an arcade sports title, Out Of Bounds has some of the higher replay value you will find within a sports game. As you progress through the game, you will have several opportunities to upgrade your characterís core abilities, golfing equipment (new clubs and balls). But like any in-depth game, there are pros and cons to the new upgrades. Some of the new clubs will offer up greater driving ability, but can suffer in other areas including accuracy. In regards to upgrading your characterís core abilities, after each round of golf, youíll increase their loyalty points. These points can increase certain abilities with your character like greater shot power, which can give you the upper hand within ladder battles on the greens.

Another big selling point for Out Of Bounds is its online play. Upon hopping online, youíll be dropped into a lobby where you can roam around, while also chatting with other online players (via USB keyboard or in-game keypad). While in the lobby, you are represented by a custom avatar on the screen. These avatars can be altered via changing the hairstyles, clothing, and dawning them with various accessories. New accessories will be unlocked as you progressed through the single-player option. But when you are ready to hit the greens, you have a choice between competing with up to 7 other players in a single round of golf. Taking it a step further, you can compete in a 50 player tournament to find out who is the best golfer in the world. While taking part in online action, all gamers will play at the same time, with the game giving you the option to either watch your fellow golfers take a turn, or just watch your player on the course. Since you are playing the holes at the same time, if you finish before everyone else, you must wait for your fellow opponents to finish before hopping to the next whole. The only setback to the online realm would be the lack of voice chat via out lovely Bluetooth headsets, but judging my past experience with annoying gamers, itís not something you will really miss.

Hot Shots Golf: Out Of Bounds is just one of those sports games where you donít have to be a fan of the sport to enjoy. For those gamers looking for an alternative to the realistic Tiger Woods golf games, this is your game. While taking the arcade approach to the sport, this title offers up tons of depth, which will keep gamers coming back for more. While some may think their isnít enough golf courses within the game, with the advent of downloadable content, I see Clap Hanz releasing some new courses and characters within the near future. Overall, Hot Shots Golf: out Of Bounds is the total package PS3 owners have been looking for in a golf game, let alone a game you can play with your family and friends.


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