You might not believe me, but I remember playing a demo of this game from the Japanese PSN Store way back before the PS3 even launched in the UK. For some reason it's taken Sony 18 months to pull its finger out and release the game here. And it's criminal as Everybody's Golf: World Tour is extremely entertaining, even if you've always considered golf a tedious sport played by posh sods and old men.
Everybody's Golf is on a serious charm offensive right from of the off, with doe-eyed characters cooing, clapping and encouraging after every shot, caddies wearing themselves out scampering after balls, wildlife lazily taking everything in from the edge of the course, and the most addictive music since Patapon. It looks cute on the surface, but when you get down to the nuts and bolts, the game is just as technically deep as Tiger Woods.
The swing system for tee shots, drives and putts has changed from the three-click system employed by every other golf game to one where the power bar is ditched in favour of watching animations.
The further you let your character draw back his club before pressing q, the harder he hits the ball, while striking it cleanly involves pressing q again when a contracting white circle around the ball becomes the same size as it. You can still use the old system if you can't get to grips with this tricky new one though. The game also takes into account factors like wind, club, ground condition, spin and the skills of your golfer, so there's a lot going on beneath the kiddie Japanese presentation.
Most of your time will be spent playing the initially very easy Challenge mode trying to unlock new golfers, gear and ranks before heading online. If the Japanese version I knocked about with on import a year ago is any indication, the standard is excellent and it probably won't be long before the UK and US produce a huge number of highly skilled Tiger Woods-like robots.
That's the beauty of Everybody's Golf. You can play a full 18-hole round in about twenty minutes, but if you want to go even deeper and perfect technical shots then there's more than enough in EG's locker to accommodate that too. There really is something for everyone.
This is a realistic golf sim disguised as a cutesy arcade version - the clue is in the title. However you want to play the game there's something here for everybody -just relax and enjoy it.