Don't let the anime looks and cartoon sensibilities of Everybody's Golf fool you -- this launch golf game for the PSP can be quite the challenge, even if it's not to the same 'simulation' level of the Tiger Woods series.
Everybody's Golf presents its world in a bright eyed and colourful fashion. The characters (you'll begin with two and unlock up to eight more) all look like they've stepped straight out of a Japanese cartoon, while the courses can contain some pretty outlandish and innovative elements. The game doesn't take itself too seriously -- cartoon sound bubbles pop up regularly, such as 'Pfft' when you're ball brushes past a tree or 'Plonk" if you land in the water. You'll also see your characters jump for joy after a great shot, or throw a tantrum after a bad one -- real world golfing etiquette this ain't.
But underneath its cute exterior lies a decent game of golf that, while easy to control, will still take some time to master. Everybody's Golf uses a simple three button procedure to launch most shots. After lining up your shot with the directional pad, players need to press Circle to start the swing gauge, press Circle again to set the power of the shot, and once more to determine how accurate your swing is. It may sound easy enough, but all it takes is one mistimed shot to turn a promising lead up into bogey badness.
It even gets simpler once you're on the green, with only two buttons now needed for a shot. But even this presents difficulties, thanks to the realistic putting physics in place. When on the green, a grid appears over the ground which indicates the roll of the ground -- players will have to accurately compensate for any unevenness in the ground if they hope to land their putt.
Everybody's Golf offers up several game types, including Stroke Play (which gets you out on the courses you've unlocked), Training (which allows you to replay strokes) and Putt Golf (which is a series of increasingly difficult putting challenges). You'll probably spend the majority of your time early on the game in the Challenge Mode -- winning against computer controlled opponents in Challenge Mode earns you new accessories (some of which can be quite strange) and levels for your characters. Most importantly, it opens up new courses and characters to play.
The game also supports wireless multiplayer, with the game supporting up to eight players over the PSP's Wi-Fi connection. Setting up one of these games also lets you set your own special rules, such as balls landing in the rough invoking a two shot penalty, or balls having no backspin.
Everybody's Golf is a cute and colourful game that, thanks to its solid physics and challenging gameplay, should appeal to gamers of all ages. It's one of the best PSP titles you can splurge your cash on at launch.
Keep up to date with the latest games news, reviews and features by signing up to CNET.com.au's free Games Spotlight weekly newsletter. Sign up now!