Wednesday , 24 April 2024
PSVR2 GamesReviews

Walkabout Mini Golf Review

One thing VR lacked in its early years was a mini golf game that worked, although attempts were made, they always fell short. That was until Walkabout Mini Golf entered the scene on the Oculus Quest back in September 2020 and finally made a mini golf game people instantly loved. The team have now released it on PSVR2, but is this still a hole-in-one?

GAMEPLAY

This is going to do exactly what the game name suggests and give you a VR mini golf experience. However, this is going to be an experience like no other in Virtual Reality – and one you will want to keep visiting.

The main reason for this is the team at Mighty Coconut have got the ball and green physics perfect, and it really does feel like you are playing in real-life and not a game. You really do need to control your swing perfectly, and if your shot goes awry it’s all your own doing – and no other VR mini golf makes you feel that way.

Outside of the perfect gameplay and physics the use of Virtual Reality has allowed the team to get creative with the courses, for me making it more fun that actually playing on a real course. Over each course you can see the team have gotten more ambitious as they made more and more courses. Playing the base courses that were available on release of the game, these do feel more like real-life courses, but as you move into the DLC courses and they start to play with gravity, wind and other elements you soon see how much progression the game has made.

Now, one thing you get with the PSVR2’s Whole in One Bundle release is all the DLC course already released, and this gives you an abundance of content to get you started. Bringing a total of eight-teen courses and a total of thirty-six holes per course – as you have day and night courses on each one, with the night course acting as hard mode with more obstacles. These are spread across fictional places, the lost cities, one made of sweets and licensed courses like Jules Verne, the game Myst and my personal favourite one based on Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.

Putting together the gameplay, perfect physics and all these courses, and you really have many hours of fun already available – be it playing single player or with friends. As aforementioned the base courses are a bit more simple in design, but even going back to these its still loads of fun.

The next element of Walkabout Mini Golf is the social element when playing with friends, and outside of social applications this is the best social experience on the market. This allows you to get together with up to eight other players, across any platform the game has been released on – so never mind what version your friend owns you can get together.

Sweetopia DLC

If you have a friend who does not own the DLC (as they purchased the base game or don’t own it on another platform) or have not unlocked the night courses at time of playing, they can Guest on your courses and DLC as well. The only difference is they will not be able to do the final element of the gameplay and get the collectibles.

When it comes to collectibles, each of the day courses has a hidden ball to find per hole and trying to locate these is just as fun as the game – especially if doing this with friends. Collecting ten of the balls or playing a par game or better is how you unlock the night version of the course. These then bring in a Foxhunt, which gets you to collect clues from around the course, completing the Foxhunt gives you club based around that course (but Myst has three clubs to collect in total).

PRESENTATION

This is one area you should not dismiss the game on, you really do not get the full feel in screenshots or gameplay footage that you get actually on the courses yourself. Footage really does not do the artistic design and look of the game justice.

Although the design of the course and environments look cartoony and low poly, the look of the game fits perfectly with the light-hearted mini golf goodness it offers. With how everything is put together in the colorful visuals, massive draw distance and overall shine and polish bringing each course to life perfectly – and it’s easy to get lost in the worlds built around the course. As with the holes being more simply designed for the base courses, the levels built around these are more simple than the ones in the later releases – again though they look great in their own special way.

With the mix of the lighting (although baked) and the popping colors allowed by the HDR displays in the PSVR2, for me this version of the game is the best it has ever looked – and will be the version I will be moving to going forward.

Add to this a light and soft soundtrack, environmental sounds that really do bring the world of each course to life and an in-game VOIP system that is very clear and works well across all platforms helping you stay connected with your friends in multiplayer.

Upside Town DLC

COMFORT/CONTROLS

The team have made the game accessible to everyone, they have done this by making the club auto-adjust to your height from the course, meaning you can play standing or seated – and don’t have to do any adjustments if someone else jumps in on your hardware. For movement they allow you to teleport, use free locomotion (with smooth or snap turn) or enter flight mode to fly around the course and take all the beauty of the game in.

The game keeps the mini golf feeling by only using on controller, so if you want you can turn the other controller off while playing. This keeps its true to the feeling of playing the real-game as you are only going to be holding the controller in your dominant hand. One thing I really like that the team has done is made the trigger take you back your ball – meaning if you go looking or flying around, when you want to return to your ball, you can simply press trigger.

LONGEVITY

Over my time with both the Quest and PCVR version of the game, I have amassed around 100 hours of gameplay time in Walkabout Mini Golf, and still find myself visiting the putting greens quite often with friends, for that social experience while playing something so relaxed and enjoyable. With new courses being release often and the amount that are already available, you are really going to get so much time out of the game – and will be one you keep wanting to go back to.

REVIEWED USING PLAYSTATION VR 2

For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Walkabout Mini Golf is not only the best mini golf game, but one of the best games available overall in Virtual Reality. Bringing with it gameplay that is perfected by spot-on physics for the ball, greens and environmental effects used on some courses. With visuals that where simple really suit the artistic design of the games worlds and something that can be oddly described as stunning. With so many courses available, bring an abundance of holes, collectible balls and clubs. A game that is fun on your own and made even better with friends, which can be playing on any platform in eight-player lobbies. You are doing yourself an injustice by not playing this game.

GAME DETAILS

Release Date: May 11th 2023
Developer: Mighty Coconut
Publisher: Mighty Coconut
Base Game: US $14.99 / CA $19.99 / €14.99 / £11.99
Whole In One Bundle: US $34.99 / CA $46.99 / €34.99 / £28.99

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