I guess it's sort of fitting that the first PlayStation Vita title that I ever played was Hot Shots Golf, since that was one of my favorite PSP titles. Don't judge me it's actually really fun, and I'm not even a big fan of the sport! Hot Shots Golf will be ready at the launch of Sony's new handheld, and is already looking like a worthy entry to the series.
I first played a couple of holes in the demo without realizing what any of the unique features were that had been added for the Vita. So the basic gameplay remains unchanged from earlier Hot Shots titles. But then I was shown that you can use the touch screen to interact with the environment. Sometimes it's as useless as shaking a bush or tree, but sweeping your finger horizontally across the sky will actually change the time of day. And not only does it turn the pretty sky into a pretty sunset or sunrise, it has practical applications because different times of day can also have different weather, meaning the direction and strength of the wind can change. You can tap to change the position of the tee, change the viewpoint to a first person view so you can use the gyroscope to look around by physically turning the Vita, and even pick up your golfer by pinching the touch screen and the back touch pad. Stuff like rustling bushes or watching your golfer's arms and legs flail as you pick them up are cute, but ultimately useless, so it's nice that they're also using the touch screen for more helpful features.
The graphics are beautifully detailed, retaining the cartoony style of the series while adding some welcome realism to the courses. And it's Hot Shots Golf, so you know exactly what you're going to get from it. I've always enjoyed the series because while you can get deep into the sim details of golf, you can also just have a good time with it. It's a rare game that can satisfy both the hardcore and the casual player!