Tag Archives: HB Studios

The Golf Club 2019 joins forces with The PGA Tour

The PGA TOUR returns to gaming in an exciting new way this summer when a comprehensive PGA TOUR Career Mode is integrated into the award-winning “The Golf Club” franchise for Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and PC platforms. Through a licensing agreement with Canadian developer HB Studios, the career mode in “The Golf Club 2019” takes a player on an authentic journey through Q-School, the Web.com Tour and a 32-tournament PGA TOUR season, including the FedExCup Playoffs, to become the FedExCup Champion. As players progress and complete challenges, they will attract sponsors who will offer rewards for continued success.

Launching in August, “The Golf Club 2019” will feature six precise replicas of renowned TPC courses: Summerlin, Scottsdale, Sawgrass, Southwind, Deere Run and Boston. The PGA TOUR and HB Studios will continue to support the golf videogame community into the future by adding authentic tournament courses and ensuring the best possible play experience for fans of the sport.

“We are so excited for the launch of The Golf Club 2019 featuring the PGA TOUR that highlights some of our best tournaments,” said Len Brown, PGA TOUR Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President of Licensing. “This will allow our fans to take the same path to the PGA TOUR by earning their card through the Web.com Tour. Additionally, this will give gamers the opportunity to play under the same tournament conditions that our players face week in and week out. We are thrilled with this partnership.”

“We are absolutely ecstatic and proud to be an official licensee of the PGA TOUR, one of the most prestigious sports organizations in the world,” said Alan Bunker, CEO of HB Studios. “This further validates that HB Studios has the number one golf video game on console and PC platforms. With the inclusion of PGA TOUR content and the support of this fantastic organization, it will elevate our game even higher and provide our users with an even more authentic video game golfing experience.”

PGA TOUR Career Mode – Users will begin their career in the Web.com Tour qualifying tournament, the start of a journey to become a PGA TOUR member. Finishing in the top 75 in this event qualifies for entry into the Web.com Tour. In a streamlined season, users will have multiple ways of advancing to the PGA TOUR to begin their professional career. Finishing in first place in three of the six events will automatically earn a PGA TOUR card for early promotion. Finishing in the top 25 on the money list after the six events will also earn early promotion to the PGA TOUR. Once on the PGA TOUR, users will join the PGA TOUR and compete for the FedExCup over 32 events. Throughout each PGA TOUR season, not only will they compete for the top spot on the leaderboards, they will be working to achieve sponsorship goals for in-game rewards and competing against rivals.

Rivalries – Once on the PGA TOUR, a player’s skills are noticed, leading to a rivalry with another player on TOUR. Over the following events they will compete head-to-head to prove who is the better player, not only on the leaderboard but also statistically. Players will compete for points in Number of Strokes, Front 9 Score, Back 9 Score, Birdies or Better, No Bogey Round, Best Hole and Worst Hole. The first player who reaches 20 points overall wins the rivalry and the bragging rights before moving on to the next challenge.

Sponsor Goals – On the road to the FedExCup Playoffs, a player will attract the attention of various sponsors, who will offer an opportunity to represent their brand while completing challenges throughout each season. The better the performance, the more attention a player will draw from sponsors. A player will have to manage partnerships and challenges for rewards. Each sponsor comes with three levels where a player will have to complete 1-3 challenges to receive a reward.

Licensed Courses – Throughout the PGA TOUR Career Mode, players will experience some of the most well-crafted user generated courses, as well as the authentic PGA TOUR tournament courses: TPC Summerlin (home of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ THE PLAYERS Stadium Course (THE PLAYERS Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic and future home of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

Check out the official website to keep up to date with all the news on The Golf Club 2019.

The Golf Club 2 review

If there’s one sports genre whose video game adaptations have largely been ignored over the last half decade, it’s golf. Mini golf titles are a dime a dozen right now but when it comes to actual golf the number of titles released can be counted on one hand. And those that have been released have been pretty mediocre; good ideas and gameplay wrapped up in something less than adequate. The original Golf Club brought us a closer simulation of the game than titles such as EA’s PGA Tour franchise had delivered. And it was fun, too. The problem was slow loading times and some niggling bugs bringing the whole title down a bit. The Golf Club 2 fixes those issues, and with no competition to speak of it absolutely dominates the genre.

The Golf Club 2 continues to simulate the actual game. You swing the club with the analogue stick and rely on skills, control and a little luck when it comes to hitting the ball straight and true. The unique selling point with The Golf Club 2 is there’s no trajectory lines or power meters, it’s a simulation. Instead, you can change the camera to get better views of each hole, spotting the distance markers along it, and it’s up to you to hit the ball with the right club at the right speed and strength, determined entirely by your swing, to bring the ball down where you want it. It’s hard to succeed at, but hugely gratifying to pull off.

Indeed, in that way The Golf Club 2 very much captures the spirit and skill of the real thing; you need to read the fairways, take note of the wind, understand your club choice and appreciate the physics of the ball. It’s great stuff, difficult stuff but still great. Moreover, with EA having not produced a PGA Tour game in several years, there’s nothing else that really speaks to the serious golfer when it comes to video games, and in comparison The Golf Club 2 is a far more comprehensive title that EA’s disappointingly shallow one.

Sliders and cosmetic options allow you to create your own custom character, with in-game currency earned from playing being used to buy more elaborate clothing. This currency can also be spend on building your society, essentially a club, with member’s fees and club tournaments adding a nice social option to the game. It’s then off to pre-made or custom made tournaments with a wide selection of courses. Better still, many more courses are available online thanks to the community creating their own, with a nifty editor allowing you yourself to get in on the course creation action. As such there’s a huge amount of content that you can play as individual games or as part of lengthy sets.

Furthermore, some terrific visuals truly brings each course to life, with the vegetation casting dynamic shadows over the fairways and greens and really immersing you in the natural beauty of each location. The locations themselves have wonderful variety to them, running the gamut from desert to tropical. Meanwhile, the crucial physics of the ball are excellent, with the wind adding enough unpredictability to keep matches interesting. You can rarely guarantee a victory, or even a loss. Things can go wrong for you and the AI at the drop of a hat. And indeed that’s how it should be, although it does feel occasionally like there’s some rubber banding going on.

However, as excellent as it all looks and plays the lack of official PGA recognition does hurt it. Much like with Pro Evolution Soccer verses FIFA, The Golf Club 2 just doesn’t have that authenticity behind it to truly win over golfing fans. Meanwhile, a lack of true online multiplayer severely limits the competition to local play and asynchronous sessions against ghosts. Although, those currently playing the course at the same time as you online occasionally show up, but playing against your friends in a closed session isn’t available. The simulation factor also makes it highly inaccessible for newcomers to video game golf.

Indeed, the Golf Club 2 is a brilliant golfing simulation with a huge variety of courses, made practically unlimited thanks to community created content, but while the licensing can be ignored the lack of true online multiplayer is hugely disappointing.

Thanks to Xbox and HB Studios for supporting TiX

The Golf Club 2 Features Trailer

The Golf Club was originally released early in the life cycle of Xbox One, and the sequel will be released on June 27th 2017.  A new trailer has been released showing the new features of the game.

The new trailer for The Golf Club 2 focuses on the game’s state-of-the-art and highly expansive Course Editor feature, which allows players to replicate a compelling and authentic experience of being on the green. Fans of the game’s predecessor will be pleased to find that the beloved creation tool is returning and has been highly upgraded with brand new, expanded features, including tournament dressings with camera towers and vibrant crowds. The Course Editor feature empowers players to create the perfect course to fit their style, where the only limit is their own imagination.

The Golf Club 2 aims for a hole-in-one by offering a bevy of additional brand-new features including a progression-based Career Mode and the inclusion of dynamic Societies. Players will become part of the prestigious golfing elite by practicing and perfecting their skills in Career Mode, then sharing their success with online Societies, competing with their team of players in single games and full-blown tournaments.The Golf Club 2 is currently in development from HB Studios and will be published by Maximum Games.

Customise your Rugby 15 cover

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Rugby, the game at school that you were forced to play in the driving sleet because your P.E. teacher was a sadist.

With the imminent release of Big Ben Interactive and HB Studios, Rugby 15 on the 23rd January, you will now have the opportunity to download a ready-made cover featuring your favourite Premiership Rugby team.

How can you get your hands on this goodness? Well I’m glad you asked. Simply visit the Rugby 15 custom covers link here, and pick your favourite team. The resulting download will be a PDF of the cover that you can print out at your leisure.

You’ll also get a mobile wallpaper of that team in 3 sizes for various mobile handset sizes.

If egg-chasing is your thing, is this something you can really afford to miss?

Rugby 15 is released on the 23rd of January.

Rugby 15 Review

Being Welsh and from the land where everyone lives and breathes Rugby, you would think that I would be best suited for this review – well this wasn’t always the case. The first time I watched a game of Rugby it was the 1999 World Cup that my father dragged me to – I think it was Samoa vs Argentina, not a clue who won, I remember my father telling me off for sitting down for the entirety of the proceedings, we were in the standing section of the ground and  I “looked bored” for the entirety of the game. I was more of an American Football guy anyway. Knocking on, that’s just an incomplete pass, surely?! Why are the defence and offense on the pitch at the same? It’s a very confusing sport. I’m happy to say my Welsh blood runs strong and happily for my Dad, I now love the sport as much as my beloved Grid Iron.

I don’t like starting on negatives with games, unless there’s a load of positives to talk about and you can get all of the disappointments out-of-the-way early and talk about everything you loved in the game, sadly this isn’t going to be the case with Rugby 15.

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The controls are awful, it feels like the developer thought “Let’s find a game that we could make 8 mini games out of and do them all exactly the same” – ok, eight mini games is an exaggeration but the three mini games they have included are exactly the same! Rucking, Mauling, and the Scrums are identical! If you want to win the ball on these passages of play you have to find the sweet spot with the analog stick, the bar highlights green which means you’re good to play the ball without being penalised, when the bar is yellow you run the risk of being penalised, when it’s red, you get penalised. Simple, yes?

Right, that’s the first bit of negative out-of-the-way, on to the second. Rugby is a game based on possession, territory and exploitation of the numbers game. Like a game of Risk, played by Rhino’s. If you’re lucky enough the passing mechanism doesn’t completely ruin any sort of break away – you’re quickly halted by a single tackle that you can’t side step or do a skill move as you would in real life – you have no option but to take the hit and sure enough, a mini game ensues. It’s impossible to get any sort of overlap on the go to create gaps. I tried multiple times and ended up throwing the ball to the ground where a player dives on it and… yes, you’ve got it – a mini game ensues.

You’ll find that this happens a lot with this dreadful pass mechanic that the game has been given. The last Rugby game I played on a console was the rather brilliant effort by Codemasters with Jonah Lomu Rugby on the Playstation back in my early teens. I also had an EA rugby game for the PC that ran like a one-legged dog with asthma on my low spec desktop, yet the passing on the EA game was still a smoother, more fluid experience than this. You pressed a button to move the ball one way, you pressed a different button to move the ball the other away. Ok so the ball would often come loose or get intercepted, as it does in the real game but oh my god this torturous mechanism in Rugby 15 must have been spawned from Satan himself. I even found myself slinging the ball over my head in the direction where I had just ran!

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When you think that you’re going to get tackled, which is pretty much when you take a step after receiving the ball, you’re instantly put on the floor. You have to use the right stick, highlight a player you want to pass too – while running and looking where you’re going – press the Left Trigger and pray to god it doesn’t go to the other team. Surely using the bumpers on the controller would have been the better option? You know, left bumper to move it left, right bumper to move it right.

The biggest gripe I have came before I even played a match. As stated, I’m Welsh, I’m quite proud of that fact. Yes, I support an English Football team but when it comes to egg chasing I’m a patriotic Welshman so being greeted with no option to play in the league of my homeland, the country that lives, eats, sleeps rugby, I was a bit outraged. The only way I could play as one of the teams from my home was to play the European cup competition – where I could only choose from a few Welsh teams.

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With the World Cup just around the corner surely there should have been an international season option; there are a lot of tricks missed in this game.  The game plays a lot like a how we used to play back at school – 15 boys chasing the ball and not a single bit of cohesion.

From the outset, I wasn’t a fan of Rugby 15. The lack of Welsh and international teams annoyed me. The mini games bored me with their lack of variation and the passing mechanic was incredibly frustrating that didn’t allow for a smooth fluid representation of the sport. There are a lot of features and modes that could have been added to Rugby 15 to make it more appealing – an international game mode where you just play as England would have been a start.

Not being able to play rugby as I know it was incredibly frustrating, every move or advancement down the field was instantly broken down by a single tackle. Graphically, the game isn’t what you would expect from an Xbox One title either, it reminded me of Sensible World of Soccer on the Mega drive, which isn’t a bad thing, but not everyone likes the retro look these days – I on the other hand thought this was the game’s only silver lining.

Thanks to Big Ben Interactive for supplying TiX with a download code

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