Everybody's Golf (PlayStation 4) Review

By Sam Turner 01.10.2017

Review for Everybody

Playing Everybody's Golf feels wrong in that something just isn't quite right. Sure, the title is a joyous work of bountiful sport, but there's a niggling itch that is difficult to put a finger on. It's a game that on the surface works like any other and shouldn't be such an uncomfortable experience. However, after spending several hours sprinting around the verdant greens with the most enthusiastic fans spewing endless adoration, the realisation finally dawns. Everybody's Golf is a game that has fallen from the stars, a game from a parallel universe. It shouldn't exist in the manner that it does, but we should all be ever so grateful that it does.

Here's an opening Everybody's Golf fact: Everybody's Golf was the first game to be released on a PlayStation console (according to Wikipedia). How true this is might never be known, but what is true is that this is a franchise that has been around for twenty wholesome years. For the best part of two decades, Sony has somehow gotten away with convincing Clap Hanz to make a first party Nintendo experience exclusively for their home console.

It feels wrong to suggest such nefarious plagiarism, but Everybody's Golf is the epitome of the wholesome, encouraging and playful Nintendo experience. On the surface, everything is inviting, engaging and a delight to play, but pick away at the primary coloured scab and what is underneath is a technically rich game with tonnes of depth and character.

Screenshot for Everybody's Golf on PlayStation 4

Golf Island is the new hub world in which every other tectonic delight of Everybody's Golf bashes up against. From here, the player can enter tournaments, take on some much nuanced head-to-head encounters, or jump into the painfully addictive online play. Later in the game, Golf Island also becomes a locale that is gateway to more than golf, as fishing, swimming and karting soon become other distractions to delight. This is not to say that Clap Hanz thinks that the tiny dotted balls will hold your attention for long enough. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Golf Island is a playground to try and stop the player getting too obsessed with the green stuff.

What is most satisfying about Everybody's Golf is that amongst all these colourful diversions there is a solid and deep golf game to be had. Gone are the swinging analogue sticks of the modern golf simulations, and also absent is the need to physically start throwing the controller around. Instead, Everybody's Golf utilises a simple three-touch system. One touch initiates the swing, another sets the power, and if you get the third touch in the strike zone, then the ball will fly.

The beauty of this design is that it is an inviting system that can be easily explained to the young, but only mastered by the dedicated. Players who want to grab the driver by the horns will easily be able to slip on layers to the mechanics to enhance their play. The d-pad adds spin, fades or draws - crucial to conquer if you want the low, low scores. Compensating for wind and undulations of the wild and varied courses is also a must for any fledging golfing genius. All of which take time and patience to control, and is the most satisfying experience once achieved.

Screenshot for Everybody's Golf on PlayStation 4

Everything is here that has been in many golfing simulators before it, but the difference between Everybody's Golf and the myriad of celebrity led games is that Everybody's Golf is a title with more joyous enthusiasm than a dog in a ball pit.

Every part of Everybody's Golf is built around encouraging the player to play more. Every tickle of the ball boosts experience, the aforementioned audience that follows the player round the course shouts endless notes of inspiration no matter how bad your game is going. Though this might sound sickeningly sweet and condescending, because it's part of such a complex and detailed set of mechanics, the constant praise means you're riding on the shoulders of the game and not in the side car.

For those that are familiar with Everybody's Golf, they will be very much at home here with this latest edition. All aspects of the previous versions return, including the playful tornado and mega cups - mechanics that spread the joy as the player is cheered to play riskier shots in the hope that their ball gets sucked up from a chip on the fairway rather than a putt from the green. Everybody's Golfconstantly takes extra lengths to urge the player to have as much fun as possible; for example, when the tornado cups and mega cups are in play, experience can be lost if the hole is closed using a boring putter rather than a thrilling wedge.

Screenshot for Everybody's Golf on PlayStation 4

There is also a significant new addition to Everybody's Golf, which has turned the game from a straight up tournament sim into an MMO-style daily thrill ride. From the standard PVP competition to a hole-to-hole territorial struggle, there is a lot to keep every taste catered to. Add to this that each day a random course is given a 'Bonus,' meaning that if you can log on every day and submit a 9-hole round, then 24 hours later your inbox will be filled with a shower of gifts. It's a simple thread, but many a jumper will be ruined once players start pulling it on.

Like no other game before it have players been at the centre of everything that happens. Every action is its own reward. Praise, joy, and gifts are heaped on each and every stroke. Even if the ball is headed straight out of bounds or for a dreaded bunker, the player is never allowed to despair. To achieve that balance and direction is a marvel of design.

Screenshot for Everybody's Golf on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

How it has been allowed for Everybody's Golf to exist on PlayStation is beyond anyone's comprehension, but may Sony continue to get away with this tomfoolery for another twenty years because it's simply a pleasure to have Everybody's Golf on PS4. Accessible for all ages, play styles and ability, this is a game that is the closest thing a player is going to get to being gently hugged whilst holding a DualShock.

Developer

Clap Hanz

Publisher

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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