Minna no Golf 5
Current Game Specific Guides:
- Menu Translations
- Online Translations
- Online System
Minna no Golf 5 Review
Minna no Golf 5 [Mingol5] is the first Minna no Golf to be released on the Sony PlayStation 3. Also known as Everybody’s Golf World Tour and Hot Shots Golf Out of Bounds, is the second online capable title in the Minna no Golf series. Once again it is a first time release on a new system so there isn’t much expectation for the amount of characters and caddies available. Currently there are 15 playable characters and 7 caddies with 6 playable courses and 1 training course, including possible additional content obtained from the PlayStation Store. I was around Japan during the launch so picked up the 60GB Beginners Pack on release date. Beginners Pack is a bundle which includes the Sony Playstation 3 with a Mingol5 game… You also get extra gift depending on the shop you buy it from. The game wasn’t hard for me to get into even with the new shot style [本格ショット] this is because there was a Demo released a few months before to advertise for the game. I spent nearly 100% of the time playing with this style and quickly completed the game in about a week’s worth of gaming. Before people buy this game there are some things I must point out to players of the older versions, namely Mingol4…
Okay, there are many things that people who enjoyed Mingol4 will not see in Mingol5… these are:
- Minigolf Courses… Yes this is a very sad thing to hear, as a lot of people enjoy the Minigolf Minigame. I know my friends spent a bit of time playing only the Minigolf as they cannot compete with me in the real game. This hurts the value of the game a bit for me.
- Cosplay Characters… There is only one default costume set that has up to six different colours. *Added with Downloadable Content.
- Skull Shots… This probably doesn’t matter to most players of this game, since it is rarely used and people who hit it are usually new to the game. But I’m sure advanced players also enjoyed hitting these hard to hit and use shots of high and low trajectory, though it started in Mingol4 it was also in MingolP when max loyalty is reached.
- Ultra Spins… Again a high level technique that didn’t make it into the game. Last seen in Mingol4 but was also in Mingol Online. It was a spin shot that required the use of the pressure sensitive buttons on Sony Playstation 2 Dual Shock 2 controllers also can be performed on Sony Playstation 3 SIXAXIS and Dual Shock 3.
Now that that’s over with… it’s time to go on to the game play. Game play for Mingol5 goes up a notch with the new shot style [本格ショット] which I will refer to as Real Shot and the other as Original Shot. Real Shot is a more analog style of play, where you watch the character raise their club and you press when you want them to stop then press again when they are about to hit the ball. Personally I don’t see how it differs from Original Shot as you are pressing the same thing; both styles require you to press the button three times. However Real Shot requires a lot more concentration if you want to do well and there is more chance of mistakes happening during putts and chips. As an incentive to use Real Shot, Clap Hanz has crippled Original Shot by -15 yards and the timing has increased in speed… though this maybe a bit tight to those who have mastered Original Shot, I also encourage the use of Real Shot because the game seems to have very biased rules that force you to use it in tournaments anyway. Onto the game system shall we?
Game system for Mingol5 is actually more similar to MingolP, there is a single player Challenges section which you play to gain new items and characters. Also the loyalty system is connected with the characters special abilities similar to that of MingolP except the Max is level 13. It is a strange number with painful training and pointless playing. By the time you finish all the Challenges you would probably have maxed out 3 or 4 characters, leaving you with another 12 to train with nothing to accomplish but gaining those levels. I’ve reached the point where I’m playing the game with a Bluetooth Sony Playstation 3 Remote just so I don’t have to use two hands and can quickly get this loyalty thing over with. With loyalty you gain abilities such as extra power shots, extra character costume colours, ability to use Rising/Homing/Spiral, impact sense up and increase chance of Kurukuru. Which is the backdoor shot for those who aren’t familiar with the kurukuru term… speaking of shots.
Special shots… even with pressure sensitive controllers there was nothing new added to this version. Instead, as stated above Skull Shot and Ultra Spins have been removed. Though, if you are new to the series then it won’t matter as much just enjoy the game with what it has which are the standard specials Rising, Flagball, Homing and Spiral… also Kurukuru if you count that as a special. Power shots are back to the original Mingol series style where you can use them infinitely provided that once you run out you are still able to perfect impact your shots. There is also the Rabbit and Turtle Shot which has been taken from Minna no Tennis.
The new courses added to the series are very beautiful; they are all modeled from one big golf course and sliced up for each hole when playing. This means you will sometimes see the next hole or previous hole while playing on your current hole. You are also allowed to hit to those fairways and play a shot back into the fairway of the hole you are currently on… a new addition to the way Mingol series are played and very well done. This can sometimes help you think of better routes to take when trying to reach the green. Then there is the new training course… a wonderful addition to the game even though it isn’t much. You can practice hitting to holes on a flat surface to see the distance of your shots or the accuracy. I’m sure a Mini Golf Course would have been more welcomed than this though.
Online mode is great; if you have played Mingol Online then you won’t feel out of place there. It is quite similar and can take up to 50 players playing at the same time in one tournament, which is also similar to Everybody’s Golf or Hot Shots Golf Fore!’s Online mode. There are lobbies where you can walk around as a customizable avatar and chat with people before you head off for a round on the course. Though the game out of the package doesn’t allow you to host your own games yet and everyone you want to play with will need to reserve a spot to play together in 50 player tournaments. Later on there are updates which enable hosting of various games such as Live Tournaments, Stroke Play and Match Play. However if you are purchasing the English regional releases of the series you should start with these implemented into the system.
Positive aspects I’d share about Mingol5, well the game is beautiful. Physics improvement has made putting look more realistic and natural. The characters are modeled nicely and there is Online mode which adds to replay value even after finishing the single player modes, not that replay value was a problem in the first place for Mingol games. Also the new shot system Real Shot is a good addition to the game play and adds a new challenge for veteran players. The courses are very well designed and are fun to play on. There is also a new Character Profile section to allow you to view the characters profile and actions they perform in case you don’t really see or hear what they are doing or saying. With the promise of downloadable extras to the game, Mingol5 has potential to become a better game over time.
Negative aspects I feel about the game… there is a lot. But a lot of them won’t mean anything to people looking forward to this game. The things that do matter I will share, one of them being the game isn’t friendly to those who use the Sony Playstation 3 at 480i… not everyone can play this through HDMI and also the Sony Playstation 3 ships with a composite cable so this isn’t exactly user friendly. The game out of the package also requires 4GB of space in storage to install in order to play which can be annoying if you plan to take the game to a friend’s house. Also the save game file is not transferable which means you can only back it up and restore it to the same Sony Playstation 3. Again a very inconvenient truth. On the plus side that means no one can steal your saves… The lack of any offline multiplayer fun extras also drags the game down a little as the series is also well known for its ability as a pick up and play style party game. [It is now more like lug around a Sony Playstation 3 if you don’t want to install 4GB again and replay from the start.]
Recommendation… well I recommend this game to those who liked playing the Demo. You will enjoy it more than you think. However if you liked the series for the pick up and play party style of the previous versions, this is probably not for you and your buddies. Instead if you need a good game to play on your Sony Playstation 3… this is it. The online mode will give you something to do while you have no games to play; even if you aren’t playing you can relax and chat in the lobby. If you do plan on spending a lot of time playing online, I also recommend having a USB or Bluetooth keyboard ready because the typing system is really poor when you only have the controller. The game is easy to pick up if you’re new to the series and single player challenges will keep you busy for about half a year to a year. To the veterans of the game I reckon picking up the new shot style Real Shot is a good challenge to take up, you will enjoy it after awhile don’t criticize it until you’ve given it a good play through… but it does seem like a cheap thing to do to add to game play, also they didn’t have to cripple Original Shot just to make people use the new one.
Old Rating… Okay this is going to hurt for now… as a Mingol game I rate this by game play and game design at around 8.5 out of 10. This doesn’t count the graphics which are great and all… but due to negative things such as crippling Original Shot and removing things that made Mingol series fun, such as Mini Game Courses and some Advanced Special Shots… Releasing the game without the ability to host and join games from the start in Online Mode and also making the new loyalty system a complete waste of time… plus no 1080p support. I’m going to have to give them 7.5 out of 10. The game is great though… just doesn’t live up to a perfect Mingol game. But they will be adding updates over time… so there is still a chance this rating will change.
New Rating… This rating is basically covering what the English regional release out of the box will be. Since up until March in Mingol5 will be all in the install of the English release, the game will include Online 50 Player Tournaments… Hosting and Joining of games such as Live Tournaments up to 8 players… Stroke Play up to 4 players and Match Play up to 2 players. These are significantly much better already as an out of package release than Mingol5 was originally released with. With the promise of future downloadable content to increase the value of the game Mingol5 has now become a much better game than when I had it during launch. Looking at my Old Rating, I have decided to give the game 9 out of 10. It is still not perfect, but it is looking better and better as time goes by and they update it with more content. It still has many faults but currently has too many positive points to bring it down at all… though still waiting for my 1080p support…
- Displays in NTSC, 480p and 720p.
- 1~4 Player Offline support.
- 2~50 Player Online support.
- Requires atleast 4050MB HDD space.
- Rear PCM 5.1, 7.1ch and Dolby Digital 5.1ch.
- Connects to Playstation Network.