The first time I put on the PSVR headset and dove into the world of Everybody’s Golf VR, I had the biggest, dumbest smile on my face. Admittedly, I am the target audience for this game, seeing as how I put something like 70 hours (and counting) into the original Everybody’s Golf on the PS4. In case you’re wondering, Everybody’s Golf VR is not an add-on or DLC, but an entirely new game, with the same assets and in the same universe as the original. It gives you the golf experience you know and love, but from a different perspective, upping the immersion to new heights and making you feel like you’re really there, as cheesy as that sounds.
You’ll be doing most everything that’s available in the original game, in terms of the moment-to-moment gameplay. That means swinging like hell to get as close to the hole as possible and then burying your face in your hands when you miss a putt you were sure you’d make. But in the VR version, a new challenge awaits in the form of removing the easy-to-understand swing meter that you could manipulate by simply pressing X.
Everybody’s Golf VR Review – Aiming For Par
In Everybody’s Golf VR, you swing to hit the ball just like you would in real life, making good use of the motion features the DualShock 4 has to offer (or a Move controller). But with that comes some frustration, as the VR tracking isn’t as great as one would hope. Most of the game’s problems are inherent to PSVR as a whole instead of with the game, itself.
For the first hour or so, you’ll likely be tinkering with the in-game settings to try and get things just right, which can get irritating. Even after several hours of playtime, I still felt like something was slightly off, making it unnecessarily more difficult to land a perfect shot. Getting used to the perspective can also take a while, but once it clicks, you’ll probably start having fun.
Just being in the game’s colorful and vibrant world is compelling enough, but the first time you earn a par is one of the most rewarding video game experiences I’ve had in a long time. When you think about it, there’s a lot going against you: The VR tracking, the ever-so-subtle gauge that determines how hard you hit the ball, the wind, the levels themselves, and more. So, it’s an appropriately (for the most part) challenging game that feels fantastic when it works and disappointing when it doesn’t.
Everybody’s Golf VR Review – Swing and a Miss
One thing I’d constantly struggle with is actually connecting my club to the ball for impact. There were some upsetting, albeit comical moments in which I would rapidly keep swinging my controller in a fit of rage, hoping that, by chance, it would eventually connect. And most of the time, it would work, after what felt like my shoulder giving out. A consistent thought was just that it shouldn’t be this hard to simply hit the ball. Although, after a while you start to figure out what the game wants from you and that’s when things get fun.
A new inclusion in Everybody’s Golf VR is the ability to practice your shot beforehand, which is welcome due to the aforementioned issues with hitting the ball. This gives you the opportunity to plan your shot by way of an arrow that points to the trajectory the ball will take. You don’t actually see where the ball will end up, but the little arrow that appears is helpful enough. However, this feature is there by default and you have to press a button to commence a real swing. There were many moments when I’d forget I was in practice mode, swing the club perfectly, realize it didn’t count, switch to a real swing, hit the ball again, and have it end up way off base. And I couldn’t find anything to turn this feature off, sadly. It’s just a minor bump that you have to get used to.
Once your ball finally lands on the green, you enter putting mode, which is equally as hard as swinging. For most of my time with Everybody’s Golf VR, I had to utilize the tornado assist, which will suck the ball into the hole if it’s nearby. It feels cheap to do so, but using this feature will likely enhance the fun-factor, at least at first. Balancing the technical issues of the VR unit with an inherently precision-based task is hard enough.
In between holes, things get sort of weird. You’ll sometimes get to experience a little cutscene between you and your caddie, and the dialogue transcends being cringey and somehow becomes charming. There’s a moment when your caddie is eating chocolate and seems to be enjoying it way too much. She then goes to offer you some and then quickly takes it away from you, saying “just kidding!” It’s almost out of place, yet it gives the game a little personality, which I’m here for.
Everybody’s Golf VR Review – Lots to Unlock
In terms of content, Everybody’s Golf VR has quite a lot to offer, considering its budget price of $29.99. There are multiple courses to unlock, as well as caddies, clubs, and more, which the game does very well: You always feel like you’re unlocking something. However, you won’t find many of the extra things included in the regular version of Everybody’s Golf, but there’s enough here to make it worth your time.
The courses themselves are beautiful and include some interesting design choices in their layouts. They’re similar to the ones in the original, but those curves and weird little nuances tend to stand out more in VR due to the perspective. And some of the later courses are quite interesting, so you’ll be in for a treat when you unlock them.
Since immersion is key when playing in VR, it is worth noting that there were a few immersion-breaking moments that kept occurring during my playthrough. Every time you unlock a new item, the receptionist delivers the same line. That means if you unlock three items at once, you have to hear her say “It’s great to see you unlocked something new,” three times back-to-back. The same issue occurs with your caddie before playing a course. They deliver the same exact lines each time. Luckily, you can skip these sections, but they still stand out and take you out of the experience.
Everybody’s Golf VR Review – Niche Within a Niche
Do I recommend Everybody’s Golf VR? In short, yes, but with a few caveats and things to note. Firstly, this is a niche spin-off of an already niche series on a niche platform, so it’s understandable why this might not be for you. However, the beauty in its simplicity, its slow-paced nature, and fun factor are enough for anyone to enjoy, if given a shot. VR tracking issues aside, this is an absolute must-play if you’re into arcade golf games, and if you’re looking for something relaxing to play in PSVR. I do wish the game worked better from a technical standpoint, but given the limitations of the hardware in its current state, it works well enough.
Everybody’s Golf VR review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a PS4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.
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