More Reviews
REVIEWS The Incredible Adventures of Van Review
Van Helsing returns to Borgovia to slay monsters and take revenge. Is the final installment of this popular ARPG series considered a worthwhile conclusion?

Epanalepsis Review
Adventure…?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power Preview
The popular puzzle-platforming series moves from 2D to 3D, but will it be a flawless jump or a headlong dive into a bottomless crevasse?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Class of Heroes 2G
Release date: 06/02/15

LEGO Jurassic World
Release date: 06/12/15

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess
Release date: 06/14/15

RIDE
Release date: 06/23/15


LATEST FEATURES The Top 10 Beards in Gaming as Magnificent as Geralt's... Almost
From hipsters to burly men to RPG protagonists, beards are in. These ten characters make bushy look beautiful.

Diving Back In: A Rise Of The Tomb Raider Wish List
How this year's Tomb Raider can improve upon its predecessor.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437     In all the talk of graphical downgrades no one seems much preoccupied with 'why?'.  Why build something and then proceed to tear it down, piece by piece, in the hope that ever more diminished expectations about the final product won't be severe enough to...

Powerstar Golf Review

Nick_Tan By:
Nick_Tan
12/03/13
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Sports 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER Microsoft 
DEVELOPER Zoe Mode 
RELEASE DATE  
E Contains No Descriptors

What do these ratings mean?

Up and down for par.

Powerstar Golf is the natural response by Microsoft Studios to Sony's exclusive and popular golf franchise, Hot Shots Golf. It has the same pleasant presentation, with a cartoony cast of characters, rounded fonts on all of the text, colorful courses with softly rolling fairways, and a calming, uncluttered pace. As a launch title for Microsoft's flagship Xbox One, Powerstar Golf hopes to lure a part of that same crowd but at a lower price of $19.99, a feat which it performs satisfactorily.

While Powerstar Golf uses the traditional three-click swing, where you stop a moving line first for power and second for accuracy, it challenges players to be thoroughly proficient and demands much more precision than other golf games in its genre. This isn't because the three-click swing is difficult to use, as hitting a perfect swing is rather commonplace, but because the courses are devilishly designed. The first course, City Park, has familiar fairways and trees akin to most golf courses embedded in the heart of the woods, but even it has numerous bunker traps, fast greens with harsh slopes, and plenty of other traps to spite you.



By the time you earn enough experience points to unlock the second course, Rocky Ridge, you'll have to contend with elevation spikes and drops, unyielding winds blowing in every which direction, and holes situated around water. Almost every hole from then on, through to the third and fourth unlockable courses, are ruthless and one mistake will send your score into the rafters. Just try getting anywhere close to a pin in the middle of a downward slope, on an island, surrounded by bunkers and water, sixty feet down, while the wind is blowing away from you at 25 miles per hour. Thank goodness you don't have to worry about rain or the slope of the ball's lie, or getting anywhere under par would be nigh-impossible.

A part of the reason every course seems viciously and sadistically designed is due to there being only four of them, which is a low number even given the budget price. The same goes for the four unlockable characters that complete the roster of only six characters. None of them play that differently from each other apart from their inherent skill: Kiara can correct a ball's flight in mid-air, Dominique can add spin to ball while it's moving, Frank can increase the distance of a ball by 10%, and Reiko can create an attractive magnetic field around a hole.

Indeed, the bulk of character progression hinges on obtaining equipment and one-time boosters from in-game packs, with the highest Extreme pack costing 60,000 in-game currency. You can certainly get by with purchasing four Elite packs that cost 15,000 apiece instead, but there should at least have been a store where you can obtain specific clothing and equipment directly. Having a progression system entirely based on randomized packs can be exhausting and runs the risk of being unrewarding for the effort. Win enough events in Career mode, though, and you'll upgrade your characters with certainty.



It also would have been better to have experience points affect certain stats as well, not just unlock additional courses. However, you do earn additional experience points for beating your own personal record, the records of your friends, and the replays of other players in Rival Mode, which leverages the cloud saving system in an intelligent way.

That said, if you're an expert at casual golf games like Hot Shots Golf and Pangya, then Powerstar Golf is a sight for sore eyes and a worthy challenge. As for myself, at the time of this writing, I'm ranked second place on the global leaderboard for City Park on the highest Elite difficulty and first place for Rocky Ridge on Elite! (My roommates call it Asian Ninja Skillz.) So even though the courses are unforgiving, it's possible to master them (and beat everyone else at it too).

Powerstar Golf doesn't change much to the formula of pleasant casual golf titles. Though it's more difficult than it needs to be, is slightly short on content, and is focused on randomized upgrades, Powerstar Golf fits well within the genre, doesn't cost much at all, and give even the best pros a run for their money. With a little more development time, Zoe Mode could make Powerstar Golf 2 the premier golf title on next-gen consoles.
 
Copy not provided by publisher. Xbox One exclusive.
Powerstar Golf
fullfullfullhalfempty
  • Only $20
  • Pleasant presentation
  • Mechanically solid
  • Extremely challenging
  • Character progression based on randomized packs
  • Low on content for courses and characters
Reviews by other members
No member reviews for the game.


FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Powerstar Golf


More On GameRevolution