Review by MCDenton

Reviewed: 06/06/02 | Updated: 06/06/02

I always hated golf until I played this franchise.

I don't know if I hated it because I didn't understand the rules or that I felt I needed a PHD and a six-figure salary to truly appreciate the game. However, Clap Hanz has done a wonderful job of making the game accessible and fun for anyone. All you need is a basic understanding of math and the patience to learn from your mistakes.

Graphics:Let's face it, your first impression of a game is almost always based on it's graphics. My first impression of HSG3; ''Beautiful.'' Clap Hanz has created such cohesive, realist environments, they rival that of any game, on any platform. With the level of detail and quality of textures you’d think it’d be bogged down by slowdown and a choppy framerate, but not once in the 100+ hours I’ve played have I witness these problems which plague so many other PS2 titles. The only notable graphic flaw, if you can even call it that, is the driving/putting interface can be a little intimidating at first. Once you get the hang of all the numbers, you’ll be smacking that ball around like a regular Arnold Palmer. (If that’s even the golfer I’m thinking of)

Gameplay: Now graphics maybe what initially draws you to a game, but it’s the gameplay that keeps you coming back time and time again. In HSG3, as in the two previous titles, the only things you actually “do” is line up the shot and hit the X button at the appropriate time(s), depending on power and hit area(what part of the ball your going to impact). HSG uses a three hit meter, meaning you hit X once to start the meter, again to distinguish power, then once more for hitting area. It is deceptively simple, yet ingeniously deep. As far as lining up the shot goes, left moves left, right moves right. It’s really that simple at first glance. As you learn the subtleties of each course, you’ll realize there is a lot more to it then just left and right.

Frills: If it isn’t graphical or logical it most be a frill. Like any “good” sports game there are a ton of items to unlock via a point system. Earn points playing than spend points on stuff. The items you can unlock range from different clubs and balls to goofball caddies to a machine that can control the weather.

Bottomline: If you’ve ever had a remote interest in golf or you just like hitting things with metal sticks than, by all means, try this game. It’s at least a rental, but be warned. You may regret spending that five dollars when you realize this game is worth purchasing.

You may wonder why this didn't get a 10. Well it is only golf and I don't like handing out 10s like they're candy.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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