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Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Let's Golf 3D (3DS eShop)

That old guy in the middle is just creepy
Here we go again. Another platform, another avenue for Gameloft infest with its gimmicky tripe. Hot on the heels of its DSiWare support, which threw terrible and unnecessary camera integration into each and every game, Gameloft has kicked off its 3DS shovelware campaign with pointless and poorly implemented 3D effects.

Let’s not make the mistake of calling Let’s Golf a good game. It’s going to sell plenty of copies because it’s the first 3D downloadable game (not including classics) on the 3DS, but it’s a very, very bad game.

Let’s start with the 3D, since that’s the most obvious difference between this game, and other versions of Let’s Golf. At times, it almost looks good. The fairways and greens are rendered nicely, and the nature of the 3DS technology means the effect of the ball flying into the screen is neat enough. Gameloft has done a reasonable job in giving the game a good depth of field.

Where it fails is in the rest of the presentation. The six courses in the game feature a range of trees, animals and other objects. These are all pixelated 2D sprites with a handful of animations at best. It looks ugly in with the 3D slider off, but it’s beyond embarrassing in 3D to watch a grainy sticker stutter across the screen. Menus are also plain, and the game’s characters have no personality whatsoever. Though you can unlock extra costumes to personalise those characters, it’s hard to care. Ultimately, the difference between playing the game in 3D and 2D is negligible.




The game doesn’t fare better in terms of gameplay either. In usual Gameloft style, the shoddy programing means there’s substantial loading times. For each and every single hole, you’ll have a couple of seconds pause, and that quickly becomes tiring. If that doesn’t put you to sleep, the bland course design certainly will. There are very, very few holes that are interesting to play or memorable – it’s like someone took Mario Golf or Hot Shots Golf and sterilised every bit of design creativity to end up with an environment about as interesting as a hospital ward.

Don't make the mistake of thinking these
exotic locations are interesting to play on
Completing the unholy trinity of how badly this game gets things wrong is the actual controls, since thanks to those you can cruise through the game with no effort whatsoever. Even the “hard” courses are easy thanks to a standard three-button press golf swing system (one press to start the swing, one to determine power, and then one to determine accuracy) that is glacial slow – it is almost impossible to accidentally mishit the ball in this game.

On the more positive side, there is a lot of content in the game (also on par for Gameloft products). There’s six full courses, and each course features a number of challenges that can be undertaken in addition to playing a traditional full course. There’s even multiplayer, though the lack of online is disappointing.

At least the putting's not so bad.
Those small points of light are not enough to save Let’s Golf 3D. It’s not in 3D, but you can download Nintendo’s own DSiWare release A Little Bit of Touch Golf for around the same price, and it offers a similar level of content, but with far more refinement. As curious as you might be in the Nintendo 3DS’ first downloadable 3D game, give this a miss, as it’s simply not worth the money or the hefty download size.


                     










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Review: Let's Golf 3D (3DS eShop)
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