E3 06: Minna no Golf 5 (working title) First Look

Sony gives us a first look at its next golf game during its pre-E3 press conference.

LOS ANGELES--Today at the Sony PlayStation Press Conference, Phil Harrison showed off the first video of the next Hot Shots Golf game, known as Everybody's Golf in Japan, which is coming to the PlayStation 3. The video clip starts with a shot of some trees with a nice soft-glow lighting effect. Cut to a golf course clubhouse, then to a wide, panning shot of a detailed, rather realistic looking golf course. The camera zooms in on the green, revealing a gallery of fans, a golfer, and her caddy, all of them rendered in the cartoony style that has become a hallmark of the Hot Shots series, as high-energy rock guitars squealed in the background.

There was a definite improvement in overall quality and detail of the graphics over past Hot Shots games, with the characters showing some nice, soft lighting effects, which is especially noticeable on the skin. A quick procession of shots also revealed a few other Hot Shots trademarks, including a fiery, back-spinning golf ball scorching up the putting green, the word "KPLUNK" popping up above the cup when a shot is sunk, and some outrageous-looking characters, such as a beefy biker-looking character with cornrows and some American flag-themed garb. The video seemed to end with the Japanese Everybody's Golf logo, though it was followed by a quick, wide shot of a golfer swinging away at a tee out in a field of tall, dry grass. The camera then panned to the left, revealing a giraffe munching on a tree--a shot that looked like it could've come out of the Afrika video shown previously--when the golfer ran quickly across the screen, something that Hot Shots fans should recognize as the typical walking pace for golfers between holes.

Though short, the demo of Hot Shots for the PS3 was definitely a step up graphically for the series, though it gave us little sense as to whether the gameplay has evolved at all. Stay tuned to GameSpot, as we'll have more on this game as it develops.

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