Let’s face it, if you were making a list of ten good reasons to buy a PSP it’s unlikely that Everybody’s Golf would be on it. Ridge Racer and WipEout Pure? Definitely. Virtua Tennis and Lumines? Probably. Medievil and Spider-Man 2? Well, let’s hope not. But Everybody’s Golf? Would you really buy the hottest gadget around then want to squander your time and money on a cutesy Japanese golf game? No, I didn’t think so.
But then Everybody’s Golf is one of the unexpected pleasures of PSP ownership. It hasn’t the glamour of the killer-app racers or the intense thrills of Virtua Tennis and Lumines, but then it plays a very different sort of game. It’s a chill-out classic, a winner for long train journeys or hours stuck in the departure lounge, and the sort of game that was made for rainy, hungover Sundays on the sofa.
Of course, this being a Japanese golf game, you have to have a certain amount of stomach for all things cute. If spiky-haired teenage louts and mini-skirted anime girls have no space on your golf course, then you’d better sit back and wait for Tiger Woods to turn up, because they are out in force here. The same goes for the manga flavoured special effects when you hit an especially good ball, the cheery little shouts of encouragement when you play well or score a bogey, and the way your player skids into view as the camera tracks your latest shot to its conclusion. If you want a realistic, dignified, smart-trousered, Pringle-jumpered game of golf, then clearly you aren’t included in the titular Everybody.