Review: Spectacular 3D golf hits eShop

Richard On July 30, 2011 30.07.2011 with 8 Comments

There are two ways to approach a review of Let’s Golf 3D:

1) One could say, “Hey, the eShop just got its first third-party 3D game, and it’s a great one! What an awesome addition to the fledgling handheld’s lineup!”

2) Or, one could grumble, “The eShop’s first third-pary 3D game is a port of a year-old iPhone title! Nintendo is doooooooooomed!”

Truth be told, I like quality videogame golf, I like 3DS, and I love having fun. Guess which angle I’m taking. Long story short: If you enjoyed Mario Golf or Hot Shots Golf, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Let’s Golf 3D is, in fact, a character-for-character, course-for-course, mode-for-mode port of Let’s Golf! 2 for iPhone and Android. Fortunately, LG 2 is one of the best titles ever released on those platforms. This 3DS incarnation costs two dollars more, but brings 3D and superior controls to the experience.

Developer GameLoft can easily be criticized for taking everything that made Hot Shots and Mario Golf work so well and simply constructing their own interpretation…but when the result is so solid, content-rich and entertaining, it’s hard to complain. The game looks terrific, has a charming music score and–despite some annoying load times–moves along at a snappy pace through a career mode crammed with unlockables. Its six 18-hole courses provide imaginative, surprise-filled challenges and its eight cast memebers are…well, they’re certainly no worse than what Hot Shots offered.

Using classic swing-meter gameplay and a relaxed, upbeat presentation, Let’s Golf 3D delivers addictive gameplay and a wide selection of modes and and customization. It’s perfect for both quick bus-ride sessions and longer lazy afternoon rounds.

Having played both iPhone and 3DS editions, I can honestly say that both are superb versions of the same game. Both give you more than your money’s worth, but I prefer the 3DS game for two important reasons:

First, it feels great to play this game with real buttons. If you played it on iPhone, you know that switching clubs in that version is ridiculously awkward. On 3DS, it’s as simple as a tap on the Dpad–just as it should be.

Second, the courses look amazing in 3D, and the added depth genuinely helps gameplay, particularly in split-second decisions of whether or not to add spin to a shot during flight. It’s much easier to read the greens, and so putting feels much more intuitive here.

Only one negative factor rears its ugly head: The load times for the individual holes take far longer than they should. Once loaded, each hole plays like a dream, including camera fly-overs and recaps, but you’ll have plenty of time for a nice, leisurely sip of coffee while waiting for things to start. This isn’t a problem on the iPhone version, but–curiously–the 3DS handles its multi-character matches much more quickly and smoothly than iPhone can claim.

Whether paying $6.99 for Let’s Golf 3D or $4.99 for the iOS 2D, buttonless Let’s Golf 2, no one should feel ripped off by this product. It’s a deep, highly enjoyable game that would have been worth purchasing even as a $29 cartridge. This is a great start for third parties in the eShop’s 3D library. I hope future additions have as much to offer.

8 Responses to “Review: Spectacular 3D golf hits eShop”

  1. ModestMrGreen says:

    Glad to hear that this game is good! Hopefully we’ll see more original 3DS content for the eShop soon. :)

  2. boz says:

    the overt attempt at a positive spin sort of deflates the news, as humble as it is.

  3. Holly says:

    Thanks for the review! I think that’s what Infendo has been lacking lately: it’s a game site, so games should be at the forefront.

  4. richufc says:

    It OK but as a Hot Shots Golf PSP veteran the gameplay feels a little off. I think Hot Shots has spoiled me with the ultra realistic ball movement and perfect swing. Sometime the ball movement in Lets Golf just doesn’t feel real at all.

    Also the frame rate struggles at times – sometimes the swing action feels stuttery too. Still, it is certainly good value. Worth a look but Hots Shots wins every time!

  5. KEITH LEM says:

    Sounds great, but where are the e-shop cards? I haven’t seen any for sale at any of the major stores…. :(

  6. Richard says:

    @ KEITH LEM:

    Keith, is there a Gamestop in your area? I’ve bought eShop cards there.

  7. Janush says:

    Those prepaid credit cards are also a good alternative.

    6 bucks for this 3d golf game is a hole in one, liking it!

  8. king_salamon says:

    Speaking of e-shop cards for sale…. can’t we use the DSi/Wii cards? I recall when the DSi came out I was able to use the Wii points cards on the DSi so wouldn’t the Wii/DSi cards allow you to buy games on the 3DS?

    I want to get a couple games but wanted to know about the points card situation before looking for the appropriate cards.

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