I’m the type that doesn’t want to hear a word more than I have to when an interesting new game starts getting mentioned. Sure, I might watch a trailer or two, and I can’t help but see the stray tweet here and there, but once I decide I am all for trying out the new game, I do my best to avoid anything that might spoil the feeling of discovering it myself for the first time. (If you’re the same way, off with you. Go play this marvelous, weird creation yourself and come back once you’ve finished.)
Golf Story was very much that type of game for me. It was just such a weird concept. Was it a simple sports game? Just an RPG, but you got to watch them golf? Did you only get golf clubs as your weapons, and that’s where the golf and RPG elements came in?! What the fuck was it? Why was it so cute? I NEEDED TO KNOW MORE. But I made it a point not to read much of anything, downloaded it as soon as I could, and here I am after playing a few hours, happy to report that this game is all of the things. (Except no beating guys up with golf clubs . . . yet.) It’s an adorable RPG, but it’s also an incredibly fun sports game that includes adventure, exploration, gorgeous, unique environments to explore, and charming characters to meet.
This isn’t a full review since I haven’t come close to completing it, but here is a super quick look at some of my thoughts on the game thus far.
So Much to Do!
Firstly, yes, I am hitting that caveman guy in the face in the screenshot above (with ball, not club). And yes, I was rewarded for doing so. This game is awesome.
Kidding aside, I’m having a blast being rewarded for looking around, talking to different characters, and teeing up in random places. And I mean really random places. I was expecting most of this game to take place in suburbia, replete with country club golf courses and stuffy old men. While there are some stuffy old men, there are also far more interesting locations and characters, and I can’t wait to see what else the game has in store.
The important thing to note here is that the game isn’t necessarily just the sport. That’s at the heart of the game, but play doesn’t revolve around golf course after golf course. There are lots of fun little mini quests to fill your time, and while you might tee up or use your ever evolving golf-related skills to complete them, Golf Story has never felt like you’re just playing game after game of a single sport, which has been a welcome aspect of gameplay for me.
You know the writing is good when you’re all smiles throughout the game. I’m hoping this show of good writing will lend itself to being a solid story. Either way, the exchanges have already gotten me invested in some of the characters, which is an aspect of games that I can be pretty picky about. They’re an interesting bunch, and a group I find I actually care about (or in some cases despise, but that’s a good thing to have, too).
If I’m Nitpicking . . .
This isn’t really that bad, so bear with me on this one, but I do wish the game provided more information on what some of the controls meant. Some players might not be fans or know much about the sport, so while you might learn how to use certain controls, you might not really get why you’re using them, which may hinder how you do if difficulty depends on that knowledge later in the game. While I do love that I wasn’t forced through endless explanations and tutorials, I would have appreciated some optional tutorials giving more in-depth knowledge on the controls. (As of now, all you can do is view the controls with – .)
It would be especially useful if the game provided more information on how I should be applying the points I’m awarded when I level up. I haven’t seen any tips on how to use these or any explanation of how it affects the different categories I use them on. Luckily, in the age of the Internet, this shouldn’t be a problem once players better versed in the ways of golf have shared these much-needed tips online. I just wish they were easily accessible in the game.
Again, this is a short one! But I want to get back to playing Golf Story. Yes, it’s that good. And don’t be totally put off by that negative I mentioned above. I don’t mean to say you have to know golf to enjoy the game – not by any means. I don’t know much at all about the sport, but I’m enjoying the hell out of this game. There is always the chance I’ll need to better understand why I’m doing what I’m doing with the controls later on, but if that’s the case, I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out.
And hey, to be fair, Golf Story has taught me some things about golf. For example, I never knew geese and molerats were such a big part of the sport before now. Amazing.
Now, back to smacking my balls into unsuspecting people’s faces.
+Great balance of sports and RPG elements
-A few unexplained aspects of some controls/the sport