I’ll admit, when Golf Story was first announced, I didn’t think too much of it since I don’t typically like sports games.
Then it came out, I saw positive reviews all around praising it as a unique and funny game, and so I decided to play it.
Golf Story follows a young man who hopes to finally fulfill his dream of becoming a pro golfer, so he heads to the nearby Wellworn Grove golfing course to see what he can do. What results is a game that is definitely charming, has a lot of funny moments, and can get pretty weird (in a good way).
It also has a great presentation that fits its quirky tone, with dialogue appearing at different speeds and sizes or even dialogue partially appearing and quickly disappearing as the character changes their mind about what to say.
Now, it’s a game about golf. If you really hate the golf gameplay, you probably won’t be able to get into it. But while it took me a little while to get used to how to play, I loved it once I did.
Golf Story is an RPG (it even has a world map), so in addition to following the main storyline, each area will also present you with numerous side quests. These are usually related to golf in some way, whether you’re proving you can handle a particular challenge or hitting stolen eggs back into their nests (which is far from the weirdest part). As you complete quests, you’ll level up and earn skill points to increase your stats, and each area has new equipment you can buy as well.
There are occasional gameplay sections that don’t involve golf, as well, such as when you encounter a group of characters who prefer to play “disc golf.”
The whole game has an offbeat tone that really makes it enjoyable. It reminds me a little of how Ace Attorney is technically set in the real world, yet you run into characters and situations that you can’t quite call realistic. Golf Story places the main character in situations that are completely absurd without (usually) being too weird, and pretty much everyone you encounter is odd in one way or another.
Even the reasons for visiting other golf courses were often more entertaining than I expected, such as the greenkeeper wanting to infiltrate a neighboring course to learn the secret of their grass.
Golf Story was a lot of fun, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a light RPG with funny characters and dialogue. And since Sidebar Games already confirmed they’re working on something new, I can’t wait to see what it is.---
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