When I was talking about the XBLA marketplace, with it being really hard to find games that aren't featured or given a spotlight to catch buyers attention on the main page of the store, I was talking about this game. For some reason, Microsoft decided that despite it being a launch title for the Xbox One market, they weren't going to help promote it at all, burying it deep within the search pages of the store, making it almost impossible for browsers looking for new games to stumble across it.
And that's a shame.
Of all the non-retail downloadable titles, Powerstar Golf might be the shining star of them all. While it doesn't showcase the graphical and processing power of the new console like other games might, that shouldn't diminish the value and overall charm of this game. Apparently it was originally designed as a 360 game, but Microsoft decided to hold off on it and push it to the Xbox One, of course with some more polish to class it up a bit I;m sure.
I'm glad they decided to hold on to it, because if it had been a 360 release, I wouldn't have touched it, like most other games on the 360. But being on a new new system on launch day, I made it a point to check it out. You know, once I found it in the store of course.
Once you start playing the game, it's impossible not to make comparisons to the other popular arcade-style gold game that can be found on Sony platforms, most recently on the Vita. Hot Shots Golf is a great game and has dominated the market-share for this genre. But with the emergence of Powerstar Golf, now, hopefully they two competing franchises can push each other into making the best product possible.
I really like arcade golf games for the simple fact of how over the top unrealistic they are. Tiger Woods golf games are fun, but almost too realistic, and are usually more stressful then they need to be. Just like real golf! With games like Powerstar Golf, however, I never feel rushed, or stressed or anxious to be perfect. I just get up to the ball and mash it and hope for the best.
Sure, there is a considerable amount of skill and strategy involved with this game, just like any other golf game. But the simplicity and ease of which anyone can just jump into a round makes the game very approachable by golf fans and gamers alike. In this new franchise, there is an added RPG style element to the development of your characters, as everything you do on the course nets you XP that goes to upgrading your golfer. Throughout the round, random challenges will pop up left and right, giving you a hefty payday of XP when and if you complete them while playing. And if you don't, there is no penalty, so no worries there.
The characters themselves are over the top and come with their own set of special abilities, and the option to select different caddies that have their own personalities and ways to contribute is a nice touch. Most everything in the game is interchangeable, which adds a level of depth unseen in a lot downloadable-only titles.
Granted, this isn't the best launch game you will play, but you will be hard pressed to find a better one within the XBLA marketplace. Especially since you can't find anything easily anyway.
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