3D Ultra Mini Golf Adventures 2 Review (XBLA)
Posted by Jim Cook, Nov 08, 2010 18:42
Alternate Title: Some Xbox 360 listings show this game as "3D Ultra MiniGolf 2" and will be referred to as such in this article.
Like most games that play fast and loose with the rules of the event they’re based on, 3D Ultra Mini Golf 2 is best played with friends. It’s easy to learn and the power-ups let you do things like make your ball bounce in mid-roll, while each course has its own silly (and impossible in the real world) gimmicks. New players can be reasonably proficient at it in just a few minutes, and with over fifty courses plus a course editor there is a lot of content to enjoy if you’re playing in short bursts.
The controls are simple enough, with the left stick aiming, B using power-ups, and A held and released to make your putt; holding it too long can easily send the ball flying out of the course however. The bumper buttons are also used to move from side to side on your first shot for each hole if you so desire, but beyond that the game’s controls are very easy to learn. Since the controls aren’t hard to learn, the real challenge lies in aim and timing; several holes have hazards that will knock your ball away if you swing too soon or too late, others require very precise putts, and others still are best played by discovering a gimmick that makes the hole easier such as a hidden ramp or switch. Thus it stays fairly true to the spirit of mini-golf, though it takes some liberties that are only possible in video games.
There has been a lot of emphasis on how easy it is to play, and how it’s best with friends, for good reason: 3D Ultra MiniGolf 2 just isn’t fun on your own. The game provides some AI opponents for you to play against (their turns are taken invisibly, so you don’t have to wait on them), but beating them requires extreme precision or learning each hole’s gimmick, or both of those in conjunction. The AI regularly posts scores that a new player just can’t hope to match, and this isn’t fun to go against. Fortunately the majority of the game’s content starts out unlocked in multiplayer modes and only needs to be earned in single-player if you so desire, so there’s no real need to ’grind’; you can just pick up and play.
Multiplayer is definitely the heart of the game, and you’re given the option to play both online or local with up to four players, though the online population does seem pretty low at this time. That’s probably just as well however, since 3D Ultra MiniGolf 2’s nature as a very silly, easy-to-learn game lends itself best to gatherings with friends and family in the same room.
3D Ultra MiniGolf 2 is a game that fills a specific need, and how interesting it is to you depends on whether you like the niche it appeals to. If you spend most of your gaming time in single-player modes, this title has nothing for you. Quick sessions with friends, in a game that is fast to play and easy to learn, are where it excels. 800 Microsoft Points/$10 USD is a pretty fair price in that case, and if you’re looking for a fun ’party game’ everyone can agree on, this could easily be it.
Rating: 4.7, votes: 3