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Hot Shots Golf Fore

MARK BEMENDERFER AND TREVOR GASS | Thursday, December 2, 2004

Trevor: Golf is a sport that is not for everyone. Some people may love the satisfying thwack as they hit the perfect shot straight down the fairway. Other people can’t believe that golf is a televised sport (not to mention the goofy pants). Realizing golf may not appeal to the average person, Hot Shots Golf Fore is catered towards a specific crowd. When it comes to golf games, Hot Shots Golf Fore is not exactly on the cutting edge of gameplay. For those who have enjoyed the franchises’ predecessors, there is not much difference in the mechanics of ‘Fore.” The same three-button swing that has been implemented in many older golf games makes another appearance in this “update”. One tap of the X button starts the swing meter, while subsequent taps determine distance and accuracy. Most other recent golf games have realized the potential of using the digital analog control for shots, giving the swing more of a realistic feel and greater control.Other aspects of the game are big factors in determining whether Hot Shots Golf Fore is right for you. If goofy looking characters playing originally designed courses (15 to be exact including a par-3 course and a couple of the mini-golf variety) is what you crave, “Fore” is a game you may want to look into. If big-name players, hacking it out on courses like Pebble Beach is more your style, then Tiger Woods might be a better fit for your taste.Graphically speaking, “Fore” is an update over its predecessor Hot Shots Golf Three. However, it is still inferior to the beautifully rendered fairways and backgrounds of other golf games like Tiger Woods or Links on the X-Box. Hot Shots Golf Fore hits the ball short in the audio department as well. Simple cyclic background music attempts to be a distraction from the inanely repetitive quips that the over 25 golfers continually spout out before and after every shot.Compared to other golf games on the market today, “Fore” seems to be sorely outdated and outclassed. The addition of an online play option (sorry kids, broadband only) adds new life to the game, but the absence of a voice chat option sorely detracts from the overall experience. Given the amount of competition “Fore” has to deal with, this simple update from Hot Shots Golf Three may be considered a let down in many golfers eyes.

Mark: Not much left to say after that review, Trevor covered all the main points well. Most of the previous comments are ones that I can agree with, such as lesser quality graphics and very repetitive dialogue. However, the actual gameplay, although not exactly original, is quite good. The game may not use the digital analog shots newer golf games have adapted, but the method it uses is a tried and true one (seen before in the previous Hot Shot games, as well as Mario Golf). Although this game can be seen as a bit harder than Mario. The swing meter moves a little faster than the meter in the Nintendo game, and is a little less forgiving. This can lead to some frustration because the difficulty increases as the game progresses. One may find unlocking some of the more secret characters to be as fun as Finals week. Overall, it was a pretty fun game. Any golf game that allows you to play as a gopher to relive those “Caddyshack” moments is a winner in my book.