Let's Golf 3D
Release Dates: July 28, 2011 (EU & NA)
Let's Golf 3D was one of the first games released for the 3DSWare outside of Japan, and naturally it became one of the most popular titles on the 3DS eShop, but that doesn't actually make it a great game. The game is not a new title, as it is nothing more than a port of Let's Golf 2 with a few tweaks like 3D graphics and a modified control scheme. The longest and probably most entertaining mode is the Career itself, which requires you to collect medals in order to advance further and level up your character of choice; there are six different courses, starting with England and ending with Greenland, in which you must put your golfing skills to the test in order to collect all 60 medals. The concept behind the whole career is quite simple, each course has seven events, from classic Match Plays to Shootouts, that you must complete and win to obtain a gold medal; silver and bronze medals will also be awarded to you if you finish on the second respectively third place, however only Gold Medals will unlock the next courses, making the silver and bronze medals important only for display and additional experience towards your character's level.
In addition to those events, each course has three hidden gold medals that you must search for in different holes; obtaining all seven gold medals awarded via events plus the additional three hidden medals will award you with the Platinum Medal, which is basically the game's version to say that there's nothing else left to do on that course. The courses are diverse enough, but the boring objective will always remain the same; the modes are okay, but they're only a few and having to replay the same hole again just so you can earn a medal for another event gets boring.
In addition to the Career you also have a small number of challenges, however there are only four of them consisting in 5 different levels of difficulty, but even so they are incredibly easy to complete, requiring you no more than 20 minutes to complete them all. You also have the possibility to play with another buddy in a Two Player Match Play mode, however this has to be done on the same 3DS, as the game does not support Internet Play or Local Play, which seems quite stupid considering that the 3DS is a portable console after all. 6
The gameplay mechanic is simple and quite similar to the iPhone version, the only change is that you can now use the buttons to swing in addition to the touch screen control. The problem doesn't come with the control modifications made to accompany the 3DS release, but the concept itself; the game automatically directs your swing in the recommended direction of the hole, and even though you can change your club at any time, I rarely had to, as the given path earned me an easy Birdie. When you need to change from the given path however, things get really annoying really fast; when you're treasure hunting for the hidden gold medals you'll often have to look around on the edges or higher pathways, which surprising enough will always end only a few meters away from where the medal is, making almost every swing towards that medal end with an Out of Bounds situation, so unless you hit it directly from the first time, you'll have to repeat the whole thing again and again.
Speaking of the Out of Bounds situation, the game is also filled with glitches that will make your ball disappear into the most unusual places that this time are obviously part of the hole itself; this happened a lot especially in the Mexico Course between stairs that could simply not be escalated in a single shot. This is only one bug, but when your entire event depends on how well you do on a certain hole and this thing comes around, the entire experience will turn from relaxing to annoying in a matter of seconds. As for the customization and characters, there are eight characters playable in the game, each having a special power that you can use before taking a swing, however most of them are useless and you'll barely feel the need to use them at all, as they often do more harm than good.
The game also allows you to customize your characters with items that you unlock, from hats to clubs, yet there are only a few items to unlock and they only change the color or shading of an item, and the fact that stats are changed by items as well is even more useless than the powers. The entire stats mechanic doesn't work, as level one characters will often swing better and further than a level 20 characters, which obviously has better stats in every single category, so leveling up is only a thing of fashion, as your character will remain the same. 4
This wasn't the best looking game on the iPhone when it was released back in 2010, and it clearly isn't one of the best looking games on the 3DS. The characters are poorly designed lacking detail and courses are even worse as there's nothing behind the course itself to complement the surroundings. The 3D effect does make the game a bit prettier, and seeing the ball while in the air in 3D is nice, however this does not complement for the fact that the graphics are far from 2011 standards. The courses are diverse however and some are interesting enough to be worth a replay, but seeing the poor design of trees or animals will take even that one feeling of beauty that you had for one second away from you. 5.5
The sound quality isn't bad and the effects are okay for a golf game, and considering that this is an eShop title I would say the sound effects do just fine to keep you pumped. The voice acting on the other side is terrible, even if the characters only say one thing or two, the female characters all sound like an autotuned tortured version of a Barbie, while the male characters all sound alike and constantly grumpy. The soundtrack isn't bad, but it's repetitive, and by the time you start realizing it you'll just wanna turn the damned thing off and return to collecting your medals so you can escape from this terrific torture. 5
The career mode packs quite a bunch, considering that all courses add up to 108 different holes. There are also plenty of events, but they get repetitive incredibly fast and the challenges don't offer variety from that as they only last for a short period of time. The two player mode, even though is present will probably never be played as no one wants to pass a 3DS around the room, and the leaderboards are absent at all, so you probably will forget about this game once you get bored of the Career Mode. 6
If you're looking for an eShop title on your 3DS, I would suggest to look for something else; the game packs quite a bunch, yet the repetitive modes and annoying bugs makes the experience fall back after just a few hours, if you're willing however to spend that kind of money you can probably just give it a try, there is a bit of fun to be had in here, until the problems start showing up and the gameplay starts getting repetitive. 5.3