| The Good
Easy and fun to pick up
Lots of perks to unlock/purchase
Tournament Mode will keep you going for some time
| The Bad
Audio portion is limited
You have to really screw up to do poorly
Hot Shots Golf 3 is the first PS2 sequel to the fun,
arcadish golf games from the Playstation. You can play as
one of a number of goofy-looking golfers (three to start off
with and more to unlock) in a variety of modes, including
Stroke Play, Tournament Mode, Vs Mode and the Short Course.
Finish a round of golf to earn points based on your play.
Those points can be used to buy various items, including new
clubs, wallpapers for the menus and even new caddies and golfers
that you'll need to unlock. Perform well in the Tournament
Mode to unlock new courses and win similar items that can
buy in the shop.
Visually, the game is built and laid out with a simple, yet
effective design. None of the character models nor courses
are going to wow you with their "uber-detail", but
they extremely effective in not getting in the way of the
rather enjoyable gameplay. Course design is based on more
realistic golf courses and each course looks pretty good.
While playing the game, you won't notice much that will take
you out of the "golfing mode". The character models
for the golfers and caddies are goofy, but effective. The
crowd seems to be the least polished, but since you see very
little of them in any up-close fashion, it doesn't matter
The gameplay mechanics are established around golfing basics.
To be successful, you'll need to pay attention to the crossbreeze
and the layout of the course and their effects on your shots.
To swing, players hit the X button to start the swing, hit
X to set the swing intensity and hit X a third time for accuracy.
Picking up the mechanics of the basic swing takes very little
time and after a few courses, you should be able to fare well
on the course. Putting, on the other hand, takes some time
to fully grasp as you have to contend with the curves and
slopes of the green while trying not to hit the ball too hard
or too soft. If you have any concept of golf, the gameplay
will be easy to learn in no time.
The audio portion of the game is adequate, but I would have
to say that it may been the weakest part of the game. Caddy
and crowd commentary gets repetitive quickly. After the third
or fourth course, you'll be tired of the chatter and be looking
for the mute button. The music is mostly The Price Is Right
bubble-gum pop that doesn't really add much. The ambient sound
effects are nice, but the whole audio package just tends to
The only real flaw I found with the gameplay is that the
game seems fairly forgiving with mistakes. Unless you royally
screw-up your golf swing, you're going to land on the green
more than often. After a few hours with the game, most of
the mechanics will become second nature. Only the putting
portion of the game may provide some learning.
On the whole, Hot Shots Golf 3 is a great game that
is fun to play. Casual fans of golfing will want to give this
game some serious time as it's easy to pick up and run with.
More hardcore, sim-type players may find it too easy. Personally,
it was the best time I'd had with a set of virtual clubs in
a long time.