February 17, 2012
'Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational' is vital to Vita
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'Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational'

Sony

PS Vita

$39.99

ESRB rating: Everyone

Review rating: 4.0 stars

I don't play golf in real life, but I love smacking golf balls around in cyberspace. That's why I'm thrilled to play the whimsical "Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational" on Sony's impressive new handheld gaming system. It's not surprising that this title doesn't take full advantage of all the features the PS Vita has to offer, but it's still the best game in the series.

I have always preferred the traditional three-point shot system found in this series over the analog swing system found in the Tiger Woods games. Luckily, this system remains intact, but more advanced versions are also available to purchase in the pro shop. With five different swing styles to choose from, players are sure to find one to suit their tastes.

Several different modes, ranging from single-player to online multiplayer, are available to choose from. Challenge mode has the most content to offer and lets players tackle various nine- and 18-hole tournaments with a finale against an A.I. opponent. Once you beat the challenger, it's time to move up the ladder to a more difficult series of tournaments.

Unlockable items have always been a staple of this series, and the latest iteration takes it to the extreme. In addition to the new characters and outfits, this title also lets players unlock balls, clubs, courses, artwork, modes, challenges, videos and much more. Having such a wide variety of content to unlock is a great incentive to keep playing!

Touch controls are a great addition to the series, and they let players navigate screens and even poke animals dashing across the course! It's also possible to hit the ball a bit harder if players tilt the PS Vita backwards when their club hits the ball. Most of the other touch controls are purely aesthetic.

With great online and offline golfing modes, excellent controls and a humorous cast of characters, it's hard not to smile when playing "Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational."

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