Are you ready to play golf for your Eterni-Tee?
you are dead ! While you were on top of your sport, considered a god by your colleagues, in the last winning draw of a major international tournament, you were struck by lightning and POOF…Welcome to Golf Purgatory! Cursed and dead forever? Forever stuck in a cabaret with ghosts? Maybe not. Legend has it that playing the twisted tournaments of this world will take you back to the land of the living and, most importantly, to the trophy you were about to win. But behind this most curious and effective scenario, hides a hellish world where courses are not natural: they are designed with 2D platforms with traps of all kinds, portals, water bodies, statues and above all multiple dangers.
Are you starting to get angry? Don’t worry, everything is explained to you in the tutorial which is provided as it should be. Certainly quite long, with plenty of dialogues to read, but it’s well packed. You’ll quickly realize that hitting the hole is a combination of skill, strategy and ultimately luck. Embark on Metroidvania-like journeys, full of surprises and where anything can happen. Courses where one mistake is certain death.
A boost of vitality six feet under!
Once you have completed the tutorial, on the way to the first course. Forget the complexity of the controls, there are only three types of clubs that can be selected using the Y button on the Switch. Long-distance running tool, medium-distance and elevation iron, and close-range shooting wedge. Of course, each of them is very good for different purposes. Added to this is a force gauge and a slider to control the ball’s distance and… oh yeah it’s already in the hole!!! Oh my gosh, what a legendary golfer!!!
In fact, we shouldn’t be too self-confident about this. The controls are easy to understand because the complexity of the game lies in the gameplay, with the lands randomly presented and, above all, with a limited number of moves to finish it. Fear of succumbing to the fateful and frightening “final blow”? We talked about the statues above. They have their uses. You have to break them with a golf ball! There are two types of silver and gold. The Silver gives two shots and the Gold four extra shots.
In addition, there are Ace cards that you can get by completing a course or from the Eterni-Tee store with the money earned while playing the holes. It helps you a lot and allows you to blast TNT walls to find shortcuts, to change the ball’s trajectory mid-flight, to freeze puddles, to get extra shots and more… Lots of fun!
However, these Ace cards are not eternal. The curse of golf is a roguelike game. If you fail a level, the game strips you of all your cards and takes you back to the first slot in your area. Spins are presented randomly at every reset… Sadistic death! The only positive, if we can say so, is that if you defeat a boss, you will get an extra life, like a checkpoint, in case of defeat.
If point retention may seem surprising to a roguelike, it becomes necessary and even hopeful given the imbalance and difficulty. Courses of holes, some of which are very difficult if you do not have the necessary cards. Even worse, your failures may be due to errors or malfunctions. There is something discouraging him in the future.
Also, the usual first shot with a driver to drive your ball as far as possible will not work here; You’ll need to go forward each time and strategically decide the best course of action with Birdie’s View. View all over the land. While this deepens the gameplay, it also hurts your pace and when things go wrong, it can really stop you from starting over from the beginning. But as with the best roguelikes, this failure eventually leads to territory taking over, leaving you with even more difficult challenges.
Asterix, Obelix and the Slow of Purgatory
But what would golf be without its speed? Well, golf is going to be slow. The slowness with each new shot, the slowness of the ball crossing on the screen, the slowness of our character’s movement towards the ball… Do we really have to wait for our golfer’s animation every time? We’re expecting a spooky game but with all this animation in between each shot, we sometimes have the impression we’re in the management phase of The Twelve Labors of Asterix…Watch this action, then this game, then another to finally shoot. And we start again. An infinite spin with each 1-2 minute spin of our character moving toward the ball. It is very frustrating especially during clashes where, in addition to our actions, we have to watch the actions of superiors. These can sometimes be longer!
What about clashes with level bosses? painful problem. If they don’t change much in terms of gameplay because you only have to be the first to put the ball in the hole, your opponents can wreck the game, especially the first boss. And if the game crashes, we restart the cycle from the beginning … and there are other errors! Like getting stuck in water or a wall forever with the trial shot card, tripping because the game doesn’t recognize the key you hit or missing ace cards activated without actually using them.
Enfin, si le rythme est déjà lent, il est encore plus brisé par un level design trop axé sur la recherche de la seule et unique solution prévue pour un trou, plutôt que sur la compréhension de l’énigme au fur et à mesure ‘We advance. A mechanic can easily put you in an unwinnable situation due to a move that has done four hits before. Back to back? Impossible if you don’t have an Ace or Statue nearby to add more moves!