Review: Mini Golf Resort (3DS)

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I have quite a fondness for miniature golf. I thank the mini golf games on Candystand for giving me the cravings for a good ol’ virtual putt-down. Unfortunately, many other mini golf games I’ve played fail to deliver the strong sense of gameplay that the website delivered back when it still existed. Maybe it’s because those that are on consoles strive to act like they are much bigger and better than simple Internet games. Mini Golf Resort is tragically one such game. It boasted that it had over a thousand holes. Wow! That’s a lot of holes! But you know what this tactic reminds me of? Any other game cover with excessive numbers to attract costumers.

Image result for 100000 games

Mini Golf Resort was originally released for the Wii back in 2010. There is also a DS version, but I don’t recall ever seeing it here in America. The port for the Nintendo 3DS was originally to be released by the time this article would be public, but the publishers were sneaky and did an early release shortly after I obtained the game for review. Anyway, there must be some special reason why a game like this would come back to be resold on a more current console. Maybe it’s a hidden gem that deserves more publicity. Maybe it’s a casual classic. As I pondered more about this, though, I then remembered Gummy Bears Mini Golf and Gummy Bears Magical Medallion were also Wii/DS games re-released for 3DS. Uh oh…

Story

There’s no story. This is a mini golf game. It’s almost like there’s no need to write in the category here.

Graphics

Given that this is a port job from the DS version, the graphics in Mini Golf Resort are noticeably not-so-crisp. They are colorful and touched-up from the transition, but there is also a somewhat low draw distance (as seen when a portion of the background pops in or out). Thankfully, the player characters aren’t present on the courses themselves in this version, because they are just plain ugly; they are exactly the kind of characters you see as poor man’s Mii substitutes in Wii shovelware titles. On a lesser note, I find it odd the game doesn’t run in 60 FPS. It’s not like there’s that much power taken up by the courses. They are small and compact compared to full-on worlds featured in 3D platformers.

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Audio

The music is…eh. There are plenty of background pieces, but all of them are pretty forgettable even after playing multiple full 18-hole sessions. I should know; I spent many hours playing this game and I still can’t recall any of the songs to hum.

Gameplay

At its best, Mini Golf Resort is very standard fare for a 3D mini golf title. The player can position the ball’s direction, adjust the power slider, and slide across the screen with the stylus to swing the putter. The courses would be rather on the shallow side when it comes to offering sets of obstacles to keep the players thinking, but they could be passable for some. Keep in mind, however: That’s for when the game is at its best and Mini Golf Resort is often NOT at its best. It falls into the opposite side of the spectrum in fact.

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The ginormous majority of the courses are freaking cluttered. It’s downright impossible to garner a hole-in-one on any of those, and many holes’ design choices appear to be made solely to throw the player off-guard. There’s no telling what comes up, as there’s no map to pull up to know. People can only go into the holes with a gimped perspective. Then there’s the putting mechanics. My God, the putting mechanics. The golf ball has a strange tendency to bounce off or across just about anything that curves upward if it’s moving swiftly enough. Even though I have a power slider to tell me how strong my shots are, I don’t feel weight. Everything about the physics in the game feels unnatural. Trust me when I say that you would not want to shoot the ball with a maxed out power slider. Then again, if you’re trusting me, you’d already know by now that Mini Golf Resort is sounding absolutely terrible.

You know what’s better than telling, though? Showing.

Here’s a video I took of my frustrations within my first 18-hole session.

Probably the icing on the cake is the Par count. Some holes can go as far as to have over a Par 10! That is simply unheard of in actual mini golf, let alone other mini golf video games. I’m sure this was supposed to be a way to counter the utter bull that the courses themselves throw at the player, but that just isn’t at all guaranteed to work. After all, there are other courses that are much stricter; some can feature around a Par 4 and be just as much of an infuriating physics gauntlet as shown above. I myself don’t think there was a time where I got out under Par in total (as in all 18 holes in a session, not individual holes) in any of my sessions. Another anti-frustration feature I noticed is that most of the holes would have the end flagpole be surrounded by a circular slope going inward. The ball could just slide into the flag’s hole like that so the player doesn’t have to be annoyed by the dumb putting physics going against him or her. That is, until the player encounters the holes that feature the flag on flat land or even atop of outward slopes.

Image result for mini golf resort ds

Have I mentioned there’s over a thousand holes? As in a thousand ways to wish to snap your 3DS in half?

There’s also an avatar customization feature, but it is entirely meaningless and adds nothing to the actual game.

Verdict

Folks, please don’t get this game. It’s not worth the trouble playing through the darn thing. The hours and days that would be spent on Mini Golf Resort would all be for naught. There are better mini golf games you could play in real life or online on Internet game sites. This is not an enjoyable experience. This is not worth your five dollars.

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