Aztec temples - not a usual feature of the US Open
Golf, it’s a bit boring isn’t it? A long walk across a big field to find a little ball. Maybe it’s the lack of scenery, the thought of long green fields or maybe it’s just because there aren’t enough lions and horses running around the golf course?
Let’s Golf 2 aims to change all this. In the sequel to the successful Let’s Golf, Gameloft have added more detail and more options to an already great golf app. Don’t expect realism though, this is pretty much ‘Everybody’s Golf’ rather than Tiger Woods, if you’re a fan of big shiny graphics and like the idea of playing golf in an elephant graveyard then read on.
What Gameloft have done here is listen to the criticism from fans of the first game and tried to make the sequel as good as possible. It’s testament to them that they’ve succeeded. The single player has been expanded. You now have 6 courses to unlock from the royal gardens in England to the icy Arctic and dusty African plains. These are unlocked by playing through one of the four modes in each country, a full set of holes, a set of 9 and some random sets.
In turn, completing the modes will present you with extra clothes and equipment, all of which has an effect on your stats. This adds a strategic element to the game as not all items will make every stat increase. One ball may aim for more accuracy but provide less distance, while another will do the opposite. Even hair styles have some effect on the stats of your player!
In addition to items, your player will receive a stats increase after each course is completed based on performance. This makes it even more important to try and get the course completed in as few strokes as possible.
Control is very similar to other golf games but has been tweeked in order to give the player more control over the shot. It’s a case of touching the screen for power and then again for accuracy/slicing. When the ball is in the air it’s also possible to add spin. The system suits the game perfectly.
Let’s Golf 2 is a very polished looking game, the courses are wonderfully realised in bright colours and the scenery is well laid out, including obstacles such as bones and trees along the fairway for you to navigate around. iPhone 4 users also get support for Retina Displays with even better graphics courtesy of the latest update which has just been released.
The best feature, however, is the inclusion of animals which litter the course. While I couldn’t seem to hit anything on the first England course, hitting lions and giraffes in Africa is a game in itself. I’d love to see how Tiger Woods would get on trying to make the putt with a lion standing on the other side of the hole. It’s just another part of the wacky world Gameloft have created.
The only side-effect of having all these lovely looking graphics is the occasional slow down. On the 3GS this isn’t so noticeable and only when I had other apps still running in the background did it make any difference, but on an old iPod Touch there were some points where the power meter would stop and then suddenly shoot to the top, making an accurate shot all but impossible. It’s worth noting that old iPhone 2 and 3G users may have the same issues.
As well as the main game you get an Instant play option which gives you a set of courses and holes to play at random, great for a quick 5 minute game. Challenge modes gives you 4 challenges to complete with 5 levels in each from getting a Birdie on each course to hitting the ball out of the bunker and in to the hole in the least shots possible. The challenges are pretty easy to complete though so don’t expect them to provide much length to the game. Lastly, Free hole lets you choose from any course you’ve unlocked in the main game and any hole on that course. This is the mode you’ll probably be coming back to the most once you’ve completed the main game.
One big addition to the new game is the Multiplayer element, but conversely it’s also the part with the biggest loss since the first game. Gone is the pass-around option to play with your mates in the same room and in its place comes the ability to play a worldwide game over WIFI or a local game on WIFI or Bluetooth. It’s a massive change and the online works well, giving you a challenge far above that of the AI opponents you face in the single player, but the pass-around element leaves a puzzling hole in an otherwise excellent package.
Despite this one niggle, Let’s Golf 2 is about as perfect as you’d hope to get from an arcade golf game, especially if you’re lucky enough to have an iPhone 4.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 8
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