HOT SHOTS GOLF / Sony / PlayStation
 
 
Camelot was known exclusively for the Shining Force series prior to this game, so a casual golf game was kind of out of left field for them as a first independent venture. This first entry would do really well, though, leading to a long-running series and eventually also spinning off into the Mario Golf games.
 


When it came out, it was still fairly early in the PS1 lifespan and the only other golf games on the console were more complex sims, so an easy-to-learn casual title with cartoony graphics was refreshing and a nice "in" for gamers who otherwise wouldn't bother with a golf title. The simplicity ultimately bites the game in the butt, however, as it gets repetitive really quickly.
 


As would become a pattern in the series, you only start out with a couple characters and have to unlock most of the roster. Each player has power and accuracy ratings as well as a distinct type of shot. There's a bunch of different courses, you can play tournaments, and there's even an 18-hole mini-golf course to practice putting on (though it doesn't have any nifty obstacles).

Aside from aiming, actual golf action is limited to the reliable "three-press" system. You also have to account for wind and rolling terrain, and you can optionally put spin on the ball to stop it from rolling. The courses are pretty straightforward, and the main challenge simply comes from not knowing exactly how much power to use when on/near the green, which you basically just have to feel out by playing a few matches and experimenting.



It's definitely solid for a simplified golf title, just one of those games whose sequels surpassed it in all ways. The timing on the three-press meter seems a little slippery here, so I'd just move on to one of the later entries.
 
 
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