Golf. A pastime where you smack dimpled balls with clubs of various heft. How hard can it be? It turns out that it isn’t as simple as it sounds. But what about in virtual reality with Everybody’s Golf VR?
Guess what? It can still be hard, but it can also be surprisingly good fun.
The latest iteration of non-VR Everybody’s Golf is arguably the best video game version of golf that caters for everybody (hmm, we guess that’s in its title), ranging from the golf novice through to those who actually wear funny pants and schlep bags of clubs about vast green spaces that real estate agents would kill to be able to subdivide and flog. Which is an anagram of golf. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
Rather than just tack a dodgy VR mode onto a game that was specifically tailored to 2D, Japanese developer Clap Hanz were given a brief to come up with a full VR experience, but based on the same pick-up-and-play mentality of the standard Everybody’s Golf. For the most part they’ve succeeded, admirably.
It may not be brimming with content, but three courses equals 54 holes. Maybe not enough to fill the Albert Hall, but certainly a lot for what is currently an A$39 game. Plus, one of the courses has dinosaurs!
When you’re first thrust onto the green, you have little choice of anything. Get allocated a caddy, play three holes, see how you do, unlock something, rinse and repeat. Everything being locked away isn’t as irritating as it sounds, however, for gameplay – which approximates actual golf stick thwacking rather well – is alarmingly addictive.
You choose your weapon from DualShock or, if you have one, a PlayStation Move stick. You also select whether to play sitting down or standing up. This is where we discovered the weakness of Everybody’s Golf VR – you need space. Quite a bit of space. If you have a one-bedder with limited play area, for example, you’ll need to stay plopped rather sedately upon your tuchus, as you may encounter arguments between the headset not being tracked and your virtual club of choice going AWOL. Either that or we just got into the motion of it too much – but hey, if you’re gonna play golf you want to swing (yeah, baby), right?
Being more technical about it, such errors can result in frustrating sitautions when trying to hit a teensy white virtual ball. Swings can miss or, even more irritatingly, can connect when you don’t mean them to, as the tracking jumps in space – say hello to another over-par hole. Even more frustrating is when your caddy then drops a comment such as, “Perhaps more practice is in order?” You may try to virtually club her. We can report that there’s no trophy for that – although there is one for glaring at her…
Speaking of the caddy, your first is just the beginning of the unlocks. Costumes, scene breaks, ball types, club types, hole types, game lengths and more are gradually accessible. The more you play, the more you can play. It actually adds great incentive to keep at it. Again, dinosaur course!
Other than any issues caused by limited play space, Everybody’s Golf VR is a hoot, and a superb example of what putting that extra bit of effort into a VR title can accomplish. What else could we give it but a fore?
Everybody’s Golf VR is available now for PS4 with PlayStation VR.