Thursday, October 28, 2010

Video game number three hundred and seven: 3D Ultra Mini Golf 2

Video game review number three hundred and seven in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "3D Ultra MiniGolf 2".

I loved the first 3D Ultra Mini Golf, because it was easy to control, fun to play..and had plenty of secrets to discover. I'm only 18 holes into this one, but I already hate it...because it's hard to play, hard to control...and has TOO many secrets to discover.

Why is it so damn hard? Allow me to explain:

When you start up on a hole, you get one quick look at it, and then they plop you down onto the tee with no way to really see what you're aiming at. You can do a bird's eye view of the greens if you like, but that doesn't help in an elaborate mini-golf course where the goals are sometimes hidden. I realize that they want you to play each course over and over again until you've mastered the path to the hole in one...but it's a real pain in the ass the first time you go through a course and it takes you 10 strokes to get through a par 5.

The music is annoyingly repetitive...and after a very short while, I had to shut it off. The graphics are fine for an arcade golf game, and the hole design is ok...but again, when you're on a course...I can't stress how annoying it is that you can't preview the hole at all. It completely ruined the game for me. I don't want to play each course a dozen times just to be able to pass it. Not even real golf is that boring.

After a couple of hours of play, I've been unable to get an achievement, so I'm going to have to come back to it later.

--Updated 11/1/2010---

So, today I realized that you can't progress to the next tournament until you've won a tournament on the first course...and when I finished my 18 holes I was 50+ strokes over there was no chance of that happening. I could see the other courses in "practice" mode, which is how I assume they want you to learn the holes...but honestly, that seems extremely grindy to me. I want to PLAY not practice.

I decided to try my hand at creating my own little course to get an achievement, and I found that the editor was pretty easy to use. I made a hole that reminded me a lot of the ones at Scandia (a mini-golf/go-kart racing center I used to go to in California as a kid). The tee started you out on a hill, and you had to hit the ball into one of three tubes, which would take it to a lower level, where the hole would be. I created it in less than 5 minutes and took it online to try it out against some random people.

One of the other players managed to get Par (which I set at 3) on my course. I was pretty impressed. I got bogey, and another achievement for hosting the game. Score. That was enough to save me from playing anymore of this shitty game for this challenge.

Overall Score? 4/10. I do enjoy the arcade style golf games (Outlaw Golf for the original Xbox was one of my favorites), but this game completely fails to be anything even close to that one. I'm not a fan of the controls, I hate the fact that Par is REALLY difficult on most holes until you know the secrets...and the music grinds on your brain. For 800 points (ten bucks) you could buy this game, or you could buy a used copy of Outlaw Golf (and the sequel) from and have some change left over.

Achievements? Just what I got this morning for creating a course and then hosting a game on it. I have no interest in chasing anymore of these achievements.

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