Some things are ruined, or ruin the rest of the world once they are accessible for everybody. Just take a look at the car: three motorised coaches per town would not have been a problem but now that every idiot can use his old, stinking and polluting automobile for a two-minute drive, the environment is collapsing and not as gradually or slowly as we might think (Ever heard of Kyoto, Bush!). Whether golf will survive its own increasing popularity, I do not know but in a way, it feels wrong that only a handful of elite and rich people could enjoy the noble sport. In short, golf for everybody is a beautiful initiative but the question is: “Does everybody want golf?”
I’ll give you my answer right away: “No, everybody does not and definitely not when it becomes so marginal.” I remember two words from my high-school marketing course quite vividly: effective and efficient. The first one stresses what you do while the second says how you do it. This PS2-game does something completely useless as there are many, many older and much cheaper games that do something much more original and innovative with the concept than Everybody’s Golf does. Neither do the developers understand the meaning of efficient as the technical elaboration of this golf-game cannot exactly be called good, either. Do you want to know why I think they messed up? Just read on.
Obviously, it does not focus on hardcore gamers but instead it tries to be a party-game that every human being (from 9 untill 99) has to be able to pick up instantly. However, that means that they have to lower the difficulty to a medieval level. You know what I am talking about: “push the button so the slider stops on the desired position”.
The sense that you are doing more than only that trite action must come from an in-game scene which is played instantly after your action. As a consequence that visualisation can make or break the game. Unfortunately, the graphical environments are way too low in resolution which makes them look … well, like an old ps1 game actually. In addition, everything looks blurry and very much alike so there really is nothing to the different tracks. The characters move like the imbeciles they are: an irritating combination of a Romero-zombie (the way they move) in a Britney-outfit (the way they dress) with the brains of Eddy Wally (even if you don’t know him, the three pictures speak for themselves). Besides, they haven’t got the cute-factor from a similar Nintendo-product either so don’t buy that crappy selling argument which says kids will love them! Simulation is not necessary but if you are playing golf, you expect the ball to be subjected to natures’ law so when it goes down a steep slope, it just cannot stop rolling after two meters. However, the problem lies not with the ball but with the world’s perspective: it looks like a 45% slope but it merely is a 2% one. The background is a simple landscape picture that doesn’t have the look and feel from the game … pf, the whole environment just sucks donkey dick!
It seems that they even spent less time on sound and music: the songs are everything but catchy, quite repetitive, irritating and therefore completely useless as you will disable them after some twenty minutes. Why not sooner you might wonder? Because I chose a 9-hole game and did not find a way to quit or go back to the main menu, even not after bashing every button on my controller five times and trying several combinations. For the sake of the review, I rebooted the console (starting this game more than once means naivety has won its ultimate combat) and it did not take long before I muted the television too so the dumb voices and sound-effects were firmly locked into Alcatraz. I do regret that I could not be a guard there, because then I could kick and hit those irritating players right in their face every minute of the day. I was going to say that they should have skipped the sound and put that effort into other aspects of the game but then again, what difference does a day make?
Now, what is the cause of all this misery? According to me, Everybody’s Golf was developed especially for the PSP and somewhere in between a guy came up with the idea of quickly throwing it on a DVD (yes, throwing is the word) so it can be released for PS2 too. You can drivel about how powerful its portable brother is, it is and stays a portable with a battery that runs empty, a relatively small screen and a processor that has to ration its food. So that are some pretty conflicting properties and that is why I think the PS2 version is ridiculously bad but of course that is as much a guess as saying that Bush caused the giant floods because he refused to conform to the Kyoto-agreement.
Everybody’s Golf is not the golf-sim – we al know that – but isn’t it a party-game either? It sure is because if you want your guests to leave, just put this on and they are guaranteed to leave within fifteen minutes except of course for the ones that fell asleep with the controller in their hand!