Date: 11-11-2010 06:02
Author: Chris Engle

PDC profile: Chris

Planet Minigolf is a put-put golfing game exclusively for the PS3 system. The game features 4 "geographic" locations, each with four 9-hole courses, resulting in 144 unique holes to play. There is also an editor mode that allows custom stages to be built from scratch on an existing level design. Also, mutilplayer mode exists in the form of local and online play.

TIME TO "TEE OFF"


When I first started up Planet Minigolf I decided to try out one of the courses. The putting system was simply to hold the cross button to charge up your put meter, the higher it charged up the more power to your swing. The first round surprised me because there was already moving obstacles, something you typically donít find in many golf games. After a few rounds I noticed a glowing object in one of the courses, finding out that it was a power-up for the ball. Thereís a decent amount of them and it delights me to know that this is something different in a golf game that I havenít seen in any others. Some levels feature gaps, loops and other things you don't see in a typical golf game. The only frustration I had was when one of the movable obstacles randomly happened to get directly in front of my ball.

The levels are based around locations in the world. There's Buccaneer's Hideout, which is around northern Australia, gives you the feeling of golfing with pirates while playing. Ancient Valley takes you through the jungles and temples of middle America. Soho is set in what appears to be the exciting United Kingdom at night with bustling traffic. And finally, Polar Station gives you a different experience as you'll be golfing in the Arctic, so be careful as the ball is slippery. Each of the courses offer 5 different difficulty's going from Warm-up, Pro, Extreme, Wacky and Custom. Each difficulty is harder and harder except custom, which takes you to the online section to download a user-made course or hole.

CREATE & SHARE


The editor system is a fairly nice touch to the game as well. It allows you to create almost any type of golf course as long as you have a beginning and end. You can adjust height, make curves, put gaps, scenery, power-ups and more. You create the levels on a grid like surface, setting down however many pieces you want. You can test play it before saving it to your console. You can make your own single holes or create full fledged courses. One of the best features about the editor system though is the ability to upload your own creations so others can download, giving you a new way to play in each location.

PS MOVE SUPPORT
I was very excited however when I knew the game supported the PlayStation Move and I tested it out on a different course with the motion controller. You need to hold one button to rotate your character so you can position the ball, then hold another one to enable putting mode. While in putting mode, I moved the controller back and forth and was pleased to know that the character copied me exactly. When I took the first swing, I almost felt like I was golfing in real life, just because of how accurate it was. When I was knocking the balls into the hole one by one, it felt simply amazing.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Overall, the game has fairly decent visuals and sound. The music has a laid-back feeling to it. Every course is different and unique and with a regular controller the golfing is just as good as every other decent golf game. However, if you have the PlayStation Move controller and enjoy some golfing, you should definitely try this game out. It is almost as realistic as it gets. The pros of the game are unique levels, PS Move support, level editing and uploading and of course, the golfing. The only con that I can really think of is how hard the game can get. This is a great game overall and should be picked up for itís cheap price.

Developed by Zen Studios, Planet Minigolf was originally released on the European PS Store earlier this year, on June 1, 2010, and more recently on the North American PS Store, on Oct. 14, 2010. Since the game's release, it has seen patches for PlayStation Move support and a variety of upgrades to the game. There was also newly released DLC for this game which will be reviewed separately below. I put in 10 hours with this game and favored the Move controller scheme.







DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT
The DLC is named Stronghold Island and can be purchased for about a quarter of the cost of the full game. This is a fair price because the full game got 4 locations, so this is adding 25% more content to the full game. The new area, Stronghold Island, is located in the Mediterranean Sea, which is a site for the eyes, with the glorious ancient architecture. It has the same structure as the other locations, so you get four 9-hole courses bringing your original total of 144 up to 180 unique holes. The DLC is worth it for it's cheap price along with the new scenery and may be something you'll want to pick up with the game.

The DLC has been released for both North American and European PS Stores. With no word yet if there will be further official DLC, this may be the first and last addition to the game. Those seeking more holes to play will hopefully be satisfied by the 30,000+ community created holes that have been shared so far.


8/10
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