James Ireland On July - 10 - 2010

Let’s face it, professional golf is about as fun as sticking cocktail sticks into your japseye. How do I know that? Let’s not go there, but let’s just assume that watching the PGA tour isn’t that much fun. What is fun though is turning golf on it’s head downsizing it onto a putting area and throwing away pretty much all of the rule book apart from score. My friends what we are talking about is mini-golf.

Mini golf games are few and far between but they’ve been around since the beginning of the gaming lifecycle. In terms of this generation the only efforts have been 3D Ultra Mini-Golf by Wanako Games. Until now, Wanako were the bastions of everything short putt related but now Zen Studios have pissed over the XBLA effort leaving the studio dripping in its own golden shower puddle. What I am trying to say here is that Zen Studio’s Planet Mini Golf is fucking awesome!

It's all Aztec looking this course

Planet Mini-Golf is a PSN exclusive and will leave aspiring putters green with envy if they are without Sony’s system. Not only are there 155 holes to putt your ball into the course design is simply exceptional. From playing on idyllic beaches and caves then being transported out into a polar waste zone, Zen have let their imagination run riot. It’s a little surprise this game is interesting to play, after all Zen Studios made Zen Pinball which is, quite frankly the best pinball game available on the DLC platform. Not only is planet mini-golf a visual treat, it also packs more punch than butter bean on steroids. Not only do you get 155 holes to stick your balls into (mmm!) but you can also create your own courses with a fantastic editor that makes it stupidly easy to make courses that are a riot to play. It doesn’t end there, like Billy May’s offering you something free if you order today, you can also play other courses created and add them to your favourites list, endless game play at your fingertips.

The game is so well received that getting a match online is a total breeze, the lobbies aren’t dead and the matches are plenty of fun to play, especially when you get a few players on the go. Single player isn’t a bore either, you can progress through difficulty stages for each zone and unlock keys which you can spend on buying new avatar outfits, balls and putters, great for creating that unique identity online. Now, just playing mini-golf would get a bit stale after a while wouldn’t it? No, Zen has included some on field power-ups which can be collected. These can be used to either aid your way to a better par average or used to cause problems for your opponents. Power-ups included are a shock, magnetism and a sticky ball to just name a few. This creates for a mega-fun multiplayer session, especially ganging up on the leader and sending his form off course.

planet mini golf1 Planet Minigolf Review

Beach course. Can i go cruising?

Many games are jumping on the Youtube replay bandwagon and Zen Studios have possibly unlocked the best effort to date. You can actually upload 720p quality video replays. HD Heaven! There are three putting methods available to you. The most realistic method is to pull back the analogue stick similar to the Tiger Woods games. You are rewarded more skill points for the harder method you use and you can also gamble an extra shot if you flag your putt for a skill shot. If it pays off you’ll be rewarded with extra skill points, if you fail you’ll be rewarded with nothing.

Planet Mini-Golf isn’t all perfect, in some ways it is a little bit like Tiger Woods. Externally it shines as a spokesperson for the game, but playing the game more you’ll soon realise a few flaws. Firstly, whom-ever did the voice-over commentary for the game would be better off on the dole, it was simply terrible. Secondly, you’ll spend the first hour getting used to power sensitivity. You often have to pull back the analogue stick with so much care, you could be forgiven for thinking your career lies in finely tuning a random frequency with your finger tips. With that disturbing imagery aside, Planet Mini-Golf is an absolute gem and well worth it with the price being just shy of £7.00. I enjoyed this game so much I’d probably pay £15.00 for it at least, so the price is an absolute bargain.

Take this game for a spin, but disable the commentary first.

Categories: Feature, PS3 Reviews
  • https://?u=bax88 Alan Baxter

    Great review mate.

  • https://www.ironthumb.co.uk Andy Pickup

    Hahaha! Fantastic review. However, the commentary just adds to the light humoured hilarity of the game. I say keep it on.

  • https://?u=admin James Ireland

    Your a braver man than I am. It seriously started getting annoying after awhile.

  • Alexandra

    I can’t play weekly tournament, i check on the map everyday multiple times for the red ! but it never appear. how can i get 100% this way? if this is a glitch i advise everyone to pay attention before buying this game !

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