Minna no Golf
It started out as a simple golf simulation game developed by Camelot for everybody to play and enjoy. Minna no Golf was originally Japanese only and released for NTSC-J capable Sony Playstation [or PSone] systems then later released as Everybody’s Golf [UK] and Hotshots Golf [US]. Well the game wasn’t that great back then, but history is part of everything that exists. Even so Minna no Golf was able to sell 2 million copies.
Minna no Golf 2
After becoming independant of Camelot, the staff that developed Minna no Golf became Clap Hanz and on July 29th 1999 they released Minna no Golf 2. Again available on the NTSC-J capable Sony Playstation [PSone] systems. Also released in UK and US as Everybody’s Golf 2 and Hotshots Golf 2. The game was improved from the original and still packed the same fun and action that made it a million seller game. The franchise was obviously packed alot of potential, Clap Hanz then continued on with developing the series for the Sony Playstation 2 system.
Minna no Golf 3
Released on July 26th 2001. The power of the Sony Playstation 2 system allowed the game to increase the realism and physics required in the simulation and presentation of the game. This definately made the game more pleasurable to play and enjoy. With the inproved style of the game, you could enjoy playing through the courses feeling calm and cool since the scenary is so well designed in 3D. Again there was UK and US releases of the game under Everybody’s Golf 3 and Hotshots Golf 3.
Though the games were released in English, the characters were modified for the US version before release. Apart from costing the developers time and money, the feedback from players seemed point out that they did not like the fact that Minna no Golf had much nicer looking characters and wished the developers would leave it alone. This would probably help release the game alot earlier.
Minna no Golf Online?
Online? This game was online? That’s awesome! Well actually it wasn’t awesome unless you lived in Japan, had the Broad Band peripheral for the Sony Playstation 2, enjoyed the game and willing to pay 500 yen a month to play. There was also a Special Sony Playstation 2 Minna no Golf Online Broad Band Pack released during the release on June 12th 2003. Sadly this game was never avaliable for the European and American players of the series. On top of that, the online service for the game ended on October 31st 2005. Even thought it was ended actually there still is Minna no Golf Online, but it’s not available from this version.
Minna no Golf 4
Clap Hanz released Minna no Golf 4 on November 27th 2003, which allowed users to register at Mingol.net and participate nationally through online score rankings. The scores were obtained from using a password to create a game, then upon completing the game you would receive a password that uploads your score. This meant you were able to try as many times as you want to achieve the score you want. This only applied to Minna no Golf 4. Clap Hanz then released the UK and US versions with Real Online play, again you need the Broad Band peripheral but you were able to play real people not scores people create from playing many times over. On top of that, Hotshots Golf Fore was able to retain some original characters from the Japanese release this time. Everybody’s Golf 4 on the other hand kept all the characters, which is probably the best combination for the players who prefered the original models. Minna no Golf 4 became the top seller instantly during it’s first week of release in Japan, the game alone reached more than 250,000 units sold in the first week which was more than doubling the sales of rank two game in the top ten list. Ranked at ten was Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly.
Minna no Golf Portable
What would Sony do without one of their best sellers in action? With the release of the Sony Playstation Portable on December 12th 2004, Minna no Golf Portable was released as a launch title. Unlike the original series, Minna no Golf Portable allowed players the ability to personalise their characters appearance, equipment and stats. The idea was to give every player the choice creating their own characters or appearance of the characters they favoured. During the following months after the release of Minna no Golf Portable, Coca-Cola and Sony Playstation Portable had a campaign named Coke-Style of which involved a Special Limited Edition version of Minna no Golf Portable: Minna no Golf Portable Coca-Cola Special Edition along with a Coca-Cola signiture branded Sony Playstation Portable. Only 1,300 units were available to the public for the promotion, but you were able to enter as many times as you wanted with a pretty good chance of winning a unit a day. There were 20 units given out everyday for the duration of the promotion, with the first few units appearing on Japanese online auctions bidding up to 200,000 yen per unit. Rare as it can be, the downside to the special edition was that apart from playing single player you would be unable to play any wireless multiplayer modes using the Coca-Cola costumes or equipment. To own a copy of Minna no Golf Portable Coca-Cola Special Edition would mean you were a serious Coca-Cola fan, a serious Minna no Golf player or a extremely lucky person.
Minna no Golf Jo
Minna no Golf Jo released on May 31st 2007. It is a GPS tool to help Japanese Golfers and is released in seperate volumes, technically it is not a game but includes features that allow you to play on the courses included in each volume using the original Minna no Golf Portable characters. Currently released is Vol.1 and is it the first Sony Playstation Portable software to require multiple UMDs. The possibility of this version to be released outside of Japan is currently unknown due to technical issues and practicality.
Minna no Golf 5
Released in the Summer of Japan 26th July 2007. A downloadable demo for the Playstation 3 was also released to help promote for a limited time before it’s release. The game had less focus for offline content and originally shipped with limited online capabilities but then was updated monthly for a period in 2008. In this version of Minna no Golf there was the introduction of Advanced Shot which despite having the same mechanics to the original play method it incorperates the use of the characters’ swing and hit animations to play the game. Traditional Shot which is the three-click power bar and impact is still available with a slight disadvantaged distance. The focus of the game is Online, unlike the previous version Minna no Golf Online this version had free online play which means as long as you own the game you can play for free with your friends. Downloading and purchasing updates allow the game to expand so going on still in 2009 this game is still the current latest addition to the original series. International releases of the game were titled Everybody’s Golf World Tour and Hot Shots Golf Out of Bounds which both connect to the same server seperate from the Minna no Golf 5 server.
Minna no Golf Portable 2
Adding to the new Portable series of Minna no Golf was Minna no Golf Portable 2 released 6th December 2007 for the Playstation Portable. It retained all or most of the features available in the first version and improved on it with more courses, more characters, more custom parts and more ways to play with friends. Starting with a Online Infrastructure mode giving golfers a way to connect easily over the internet through wireless and play tournaments with up to 16 players. Unlike Minna no Golf 5 the Online server was announced as an Internationa serverl shortly after the release of Everybody’s Golf 2 and Hot Shots Golf Open Tee 2 featuring a local server and a world server options so players can play with their local friends or challenge other golfers from around the world. Currently the latest Minna no Golf of the Portable series…