With the 3DS having a lackluster games library, it is nice to see a game show off the handheld’s power that stays consistently fun. The colorful title has a full single-player mode, complete with a career, challenges, instant play, and free play. It also has a smaller two-player mode, that is played locally by passing off the handheld. This download-only title is available for only $6.99, and I found it to be worth every penny.
The single-player has a progress tracker for Career and Challenge modes, displayed as percentages on the menu screen, which helps you know how close you are to completing each. There is also an Award tracker, which gives you a list of 37 awards and how to complete each of them. The Career mode is where you will do most of your unlocking, which includes characters, and items for customization, such as clothes, hair, and different golf balls. In one way or another outfitting your characters with these unlocks will affect your stats, while they aren’t crucial to the gameplay experience, they make you look cooler than any PGA golfer ever has. These are all unlocked depending on how many of each medal you have. You receive medals by competing in the career mode, and coming in the top three in each competition will net you either gold (1st), silver (2nd), or bronze (3rd). Thankfully, the medals are stacking, meaning if you win gold in one competition, you also receive the silver and bronze for that competition.
There are different types of competitions, most consisting of 9 or 18 holes. The twists put on those base types are welcome and keep the gameplay fresh, such as a mode where the person with the highest shot count on each hole is knocked out until there is one person left standing. Challenge mode is the weaker of the two main modes. There are only four different types of challenges, each with five different levels of difficulty. Completing challenges will unlock different golf clubs.
The game looks beautiful. The colors are vibrant, the environments are detailed and varied, and the player models have great animations. There are six different environments in all, and each has their own theme. My favorite was Kenya; it has a hole that is wrapped around a huge skeleton, which is just one of the interesting designs used in the environments. Within each environment, you will see some wildlife in the background, and these animals will make you cringe. For such a beautiful game, it is sad to see these 2D creatures with such rough animations. The 3D function works perfectly with this game, I had it turned all the way up whenever I was playing. The depth the 3D provides you actually helps you with judging how hard to hit the ball, when the auto aim and the line the power of your swing fail you, which happens all too often.
The gameplay functions well enough to keep you entertained, and it is fixable enough if you are willing to try to judge shots and power yourself, while some character design choices seem like they could have been better. The characters can be customized, from their hair to what golf ball they use, but everything you change affects your stats. So if you want a character who represents you, be prepared to sacrifice skill in power, putting, accuracy, or recovery. Each also has a special power, but it doesn’t change how you play, except for one character who can hit his ball 20% farther then normal, but since courses aren’t too big, this only needs to be used scarcely The characters also will level up after playing with them enough, and each levels up independently. When they level, their stats go up slightly, but you don’t feel much change in the play or feel of the game. My one big gripe with gameplay is when you are putting, the game will not judge the slope of the green, so you will have to adjust the angle and power of the putt depending on how the slope is angled.
All in all, Let’s Golf 3D is a great title that the very few 3DS owners out there should probably buy. The game looks great and is incredibly fun to play, giving a great golf experience as well as some zaniness. So, if you like golf or are looking to dust off your 3DS, pick up Let’s Golf, it’s not like you’ll be playing much else anytime soon.
The Good: The game is beautiful, minus the background animals. The 3D effect works extremely well, and the vibrant colors makes it pop even more.
The Bad: The game is helpful enough until you get to putting, and then it just leaves you completely on your own.
The Ugly: The game is on the eShop only, so unless you have an internet connection, there is no way to download the title.
Final comments: A game that really stands out and gives you great value for your money, and helps hold you over until some good retail releases come out.
Score: 8.5 out of 10