Everybody’s Golf is a golf simulator that takes you inside the world of golfing. I’ve never played a golfing simulator before so this got me curious. I never thought I’d be having this much fun for something as simple as this game. Let’s see how this game goes.

Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4
Developer: Clap Hanz, SIE Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Price: $39.99
This review is based on a review copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Everybody’s Golf used to be known as Hot Shots Golf in the US but for some reason they decided to change the name. It’s possible they just wanted to bring some new life into the genre and make it into a whole new series altogether. But for those who were familiar with Hot Shots Golf would have no problem getting used to this game.

As soon as you start the game, it gets you to this elaborate introduction about the game, the owners and the people you will start to work with. You will then be asked to name your character and customize your character as well. It took me awhile to get settled on a look since there were a lot of customizations (a problem all of us face when asked to customize your character)

Once I was satisfied with my character I was then introduced to my caddy who I find not helpful at all. And is sometimes just there to annoy you for no reason. The basic goal of the game is to git gud. No seriously, you have to undergo a series of tournaments to be able to challenge AI players who are said to be the reigning champions of the golf club.

You will start in the Eagle City Golf Club. A lush and beautiful golf club area right in the middle of a bustling city. It seems similar to Hollywood as you can see Hollywood-like sign in the distant mountains. An occassional private plane drives by and a hot air derby floats quietly in the background. I like the level of detail they put in each of the golf club areas. It really feels like a golfer’s paradise.

Each area has the standard 18 holes but when you join tournaments they sometimes break it up into two parts. They call it the 9(IN) and the 9(OUT). IN being the first 9 holes and the OUT the last 9 holes. There are also tournaments that offer the whole 18 holes but it’s usually offered later in the game when you’ve ranked up well enough.

A 9-hole tournament pits you against 15 other characters vying for that precious top spot. During tournaments, you don’t really have to wait for all 15 characters to tee up, you can all go simultaneously which makes the game fast paced and easy to get into. The 18-hole tournament on the other hand, pits you against 25 other characters.

Playing in tournaments has its perks aside from getting experience points to rank up your character. You can get customization items that you can adorn your character with. I also like how you can customize your characters anytime. It doesn’t restrict you with what you began with. You can even change your appearance on the fly. I like the creative freedom that they give you especially when you unlock interesting customizations that you’d want on your character.

You can also get new golf clubs and golf balls as well. There are a few golf clubs and golf balls you can use to help you master some golfing techniques. There are golf balls that can help you get out of a bunker or a golf ball that has a better backspin for you to withstand against a strong wind moving towards you. There are also golf clubs that can help you drive the ball farther into the course or a golf club with better handling control.

Now each time you get a +3 higher score than your opponents in the tournament, they get added to your Home area and they also show up on your other tournaments to help cheer you on. Encountering them in your Home area allows you to copy off their customization and make it your own. You have to use Gold though which is the currency for the game. You can get Gold through winning a tournament or finding them randomly in the open golf course areas online.

Speaking of the online mode, there are two ways for you to enjoy online gameplay. One is the open online golf course where you can compete for daily scores against players worldwide. There is a featured course everyday where you can try out for the highest score which will then be saved online and ranked against other players. Whoever gets the high score for the day will get rewards that will be delivered to your inbox the next day.

The second online feature is the Turf War. Turf War is basically a battle between two teams and who can secure the most holes. You do this by getting a par above in each hole to score points for your team. If your team scores more than the other team for a given hole you secure that hole up until the other team bests your score. After a preset amount of time whoever has secured the most holes wins the Turf War. I find this really interesting and it somehow tests your capability to earn those points the fastest. I never thought playing golf would be this intense and I can say that it was really fun and innovative.

If you don’t have internet though have no fear! You can still enjoy the game in its single player mode or go head to head with your friends in an offline couch mode. You don’t even need to have a second controller to do this. You just take turns on using the controller whenever its your turn to play.

Another interesting thing about the single player game is the chance to compete against top tier characters. Each time you level up your character by gaining tournament experience points, you then have an opportunity to challenge one of the top tier AI. At level 1 they may seem easy but the higher you go up the ladder the more skilled the enemies are. These VS battles have a different playstyle compared to the tournaments. It can either be a match play, a match play with points match or a tournament play.

A match play is done by ensuring that you win the hole. You and opponent take turns taking a shot and whoever has the highest score for that hole wins a point. It takes 3 points to win the battle so if your opponents are easy it can end in just 3 holes. A match play with points match is a trickier version of the match play where if you and the opponent somehow ties in a round, the winner will be determined by the points you get in that round. You get plus points during the tee off or when you make an incredible shot at the hole. You get minus points for landing your golf ball in the bunker or in the water hazard. A tournament play on the other hand is just like the regular tournament except you’re just competing against that one opponent.

Beating VS characters is crucial if you want to maximize your Everybody’s Golf experience as it unlocks several other activities in the game. An example is being able to use the golf cart or have access to the game’s fishing minigame. I can say these features makes the game more alive and interesting as it helps you take a break from the monotonous golfing.

Everybody’s Golf is a game that can eat up your time if you enjoy golf. It’s just so interesting and fascinating that I didn’t even notice that I’ve been playing the game for so long. I would recommend this game if you need a game to just relax and have a chill experience.

8.5
Great
Everybody's Golf - Review
Score Definition
When the issues of a game are rolled and stomped by its greatness, then it’s something to invest on if you have some spare.
Pros
Beautiful and challenging landscapes
Customization
Minigames and golfkarting
Cons
Minigames need to be unlocked
Can get monotonous