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Golf Story: Tee Up for This Little Gem

I have been waiting for Golf Story to come out forever, and when it was released yesterday I felt like a little kid in a candy store being told to take as much candy as I want!!!!!  When I was growing up I really enjoyed playing Sid Meier’s SimGolf.  That game was amazing because it allowed me to create a golf course, terraform it, try to get all my golf holes in the top 18 and then turn around and play it using a simple golfing mechanic.  I was sure that I was a professional golf course designer with all the time I suck into that game.

Watching the trailers and videos, I could tell that I was not going to get that level of detail, but there were going to be certain mechanics similar to Stardew Valley, which  made the game look amazing!!!  Even  before I played the game, I was already hooked on it.

Your character believes in his skills and has the goal to become a professional golfer.  Throughout the game your role is to get to that goal.  The mechanics implemented for the game play follows mechanics that have been used since the beginning of time of golf games.  There is a power and accuracy  bar, with the ability to adjust the position on the ball you want to hit it.  Golf Story removes the need to know all special shots, such as chip, pitch, lob, punch etc.  The developers made an amazing job of creating two unique precision shots that help with the short game.

A frustration I have about the game comes with the golf selection and aiming mechanic.  The developers placed both on the same analog stick, and it was very easy to keep pushing the wrong way on the stick and accidentally changing your aim position or golf club.  But this was a minor problem and I managed to get used to it.

The game tries to add some variety into the game with frisbee golf, which added a second dimension to the game.  However, the controls were a bit awkward.  First, to throw the frisbee you need to hold down the ‘x’ button to control power, but it seems to go from no power to completely full power, so your power control is not very fine.  The other problem is the disc control.  I am sure if you play the frisbee golf for long enough, controlling the discs aim can become more accurate.  However, when you start playing frisbee golf it was quite hard because you think you are turning the disc left, but then it goes right.  Or if you want it to go down, it will go up.

The RPG element comes through completing challenges that provide cash and experience points. Each time you level the game gives you stat points which you use to either update: 1) Power 2) Purity 3) Strike 4) Ability 5) Spin.  The developers created the game such that if you put all your points into power, it will cause all of your other stats to give a handicap which makes the game harder.  Because of this, you will want to strategically manage your points based on your play style (distance isn’t everything!!)

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The developers provided a story mode for those who want to play through the RPG storyline, and a quick play mode for those who are in a hurry and just want to play a quick round of golf.

Finally, every RPG needs a good story, and the story here is very simple but draws you in.  You want to become a great golfer, but along the way you must rebuild the golf course you learned how to play on with your dad.  The dialogue can be silly and wacky which provide a good amount of chuckles along the way.  The developers created various courses, each with quirky characters to match.  The challenges and quests range from the simple, sink this golf ball, to the challenging.  Sometimes, you can be lost as some of the quests really don’t provide any detailed instructions so you are just running around until you get lucky.

In the end, the game is amazing.  The developers really took advantage of HD rumble features, there were noises and motions that the controller were making, that I had me scratching my head and wondering if that actually came from the joycons.  Normally, I find watching golf boring, but once you put it into video game for it suddenly becomes fun.  But, once you add an RPG element to the game it becomes addicting.  I would really recommend this for players that don’t normally like golf games.  It’s been a great addition to my switch and I will be playing it forever.

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