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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.

TiX Podcast: The Definitive Edition

Welcome to the official This is Xbox Podcast.

Your hosts Greg Giddens and Neale Jarrett are here to take you on an audio journey of Xbox game impressions and opinions, bad jokes, Xbox news, worse jokes, guest interviews, really terrible jokes, and a fortnightly competitive challenge.

Beware of strong language, and awful, awful jokes.

In this episode Greg Giddens and Neale Jarrett discuss Castlestorm: The Definitive Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Farcry 4 and The Golf Club. The pair also discuss the email topic question sent in by IndigoTechKnow about the quality of games in Games With Gold this month, as well as the usual teaser of the pair’s latest Challenge Video and a short discussion on recent Xbox news.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/this-is-xbox-podcast-the-definitive-edition

If you want to send us a question or topic for the Email Q&A section, or simply contact us, then shoot over an email to: podcast@thisisxbox.com

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter: @GregGiddens and @BaronVonPleb

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like the show and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page.

The awesome music in this episode was provided by Bangmaid and produced by James Gill. (https://www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid/)

Below is this episode’s Challenge Video:

Below is also the full cut of the animated web series, Blast Processing, that we mentioned in the show:

The Golf Club Review

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The first real golf simulation game for Xbox One is now available from the Games Store as The Golf Club. Developed by HB Studio’s, The Golf Club is serious business for golf gaming fans complete with its own course designer allowing you to set challenging holes for players on Xbox LIVE. With some features that rival the PGA Tour series, virtual golfing with this simulator can be a satisfying experience. It may lack the licensed players and courses based on their real-world counter-parts, but The Golf Club is a raw, stripped bare title where it’s one man and his 7-Iron with potentially unlimited courses so long as you have plenty of free time to explore them all!

Straight from the main menu that itself resembles a modern Windows Metro application, you can choose from a variety of options that include playing just a round, a whole Tour or even a full-on Tournament. For new gaming golfer’s or just to get you back in full swing again (if it’s been awhile) it’s worth practising out on just a Round to get used to the controls and the thinking process behind the accuracy of your shots. Unless you have extra controllers and more friends or family who want to challenge you, you will be limited to just Stroke Play mode (solo) because the game doesn’t allow for online gameplay with multiple players. If you’ve just dropped what you’re holding or even spat out something you’re drinking and thinking WTF no online multiplayer! The Golf Club is community focussed on course building and sharing as well as statistics and competitive scoring against your Xbox LIVE friends and other members of the community. I wasn’t all that bothered about the lack of online multiplayer lobbies because it was generally quite refreshing not having to wait all that time for other people to take their shots!

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Once you are more familiar with the game and its functions because with any golfing simulation practise, practise and more practise still doesn’t quite make perfect; you might try a Tournament or two and Tour some competitions?  You could be fully competent on the fairway, but a little rusty on the Green or vice-versa but at least the more familiar you become with The Golf Club, the less intimidating it becomes – especially for newbies! In both of these modes you do at least encounter online “Ghost” players who are taking their shots alongside you. Gameplay in short is pure golf, no other way to dress it up other than you swing, hit the ball and use your judgement against wind direction, terrains and distance with clubs to get as near to the hole as possible with the least amount of shots. You’re always going to hope for at least a Par with Birdies and Eagles being a bonus. Then you repeat your efforts on each hole, over a selection of official or community made courses. The great thing about golf is that no two rounds are ever the same, and it really is very competitive and addictive.

If you are the creative type of individual with a perfect course in mind or an idea at least of something spectacular to test your limits, then you could create it in the included course designer menu which allows you to first choose a theme setting from rural greenery, alpine mountains, autumn forests, desert or rough links. Once you’ve got the ideal backdrop, you can then think about terrain options for your trees, water and hills followed by how many holes on your course and its difficulty. Once you have the basics all set, you can then tweak many other available options that include rough land, hazards, edges, pars, bunkers, and a whole lot more. It is worth spending some considerable time in the designer to adapt yourself and get familiarised with process; it also has a marker that can be rotated around the course like a mouse cursor to select the objects you want to enhance. If you have ever played Halo before, you could think of the course designer as the Forge golfing equivalent. It has a vast array of tools to build any form of course that you wish; it may not at first appear to be all that straight forward, but you do soon learn how to tweak all that you need to or go for randomiser if you want to allow random selections – and additionally you can even go straight in and test your new course at any time in the creation process.

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The Golf Club is a great golfing simulator and has the best course designer I’ve seen in quite some time where you can spend hours upon hours crafting the perfect course with a full 18 set of holes, but it has only one downfall which doesn’t in any way hinder the whole experience, but still worthy of a mention – the visual quality. The Golf Club’s graphical quality is not all that great for what may be high expectation on a next-gen console. With jagged edges, pop-ins and environments that still load on screen as your ball is shooting through the air, then out of nowhere a tree just magically appears! It’s a minor flaw, but one you can’t help but notice.

If you’re not familiar with golf simulation on console or PC, then I cannot recommend The Golf Club enough as a great title to get you introduced to the complexities of swinging a great shot. It’s an addictive, yet relaxing game without all the glitz and over-the-top presentations that feature in most PGA Tour titles. The Golf Club is the best community focussed golfing simulation of all time where publishing your own courses is as easy as Minecraft. It offers endless hours of entertainment and can be enjoyed even if you’re not a golf expert.

Well recommended for Xbox One gamers from thisisxbox.com, thank you to PlanOfAttack for the review code.

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The Golf Club Is Now Live on Xbox One

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Canadian developers’, HB Studios, has announced that their golf simulation title, The Golf Club is now live on Xbox One bringing the best of golf simulation and a course designer! The Golf Club combines the in-depth functionality of a course designer while simultaneously providing an exciting and engaging golfing experience on Xbox One.

The Golf Club is a fully featured golfing experience where users can play against friends’ and rivals’ best rounds in turn-based/asynchronous competition modes enhanced by cloud-based technology. The game supports Tours & Tournaments, stroke play, match play, and 4-ball.

The Golf Club’s Greg Norman Course Designer allows players to build an unlimited number of golf courses, which can then be shared and played with friends online. New courses can be generated in a matter of seconds by selecting a theme, terrain features, and number of holes. Players can then enjoy a full suite of editing tools from changing the time of day to placing hazards and objects to create the ultimate golf challenge. Players can also discover new courses built by friends and the community by filtering through rank and difficulty, as well as interact with new members of The Golf Club through the Message Center.

Priced at $34.99, The Golf Club is now available on Microsoft Xbox One, PC Windows, and coming soon on Sony PlayStation 4. Look out for our review soon!

The Golf Club Swinging It’s Way To Xbox One

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Canadian developers’ HB Studios has announced their next generation Golf simulation The Golf Club, will be heading to the Xbox One (and other platforms) this Spring! With outstanding, fun gameplay and a gorgeous visual presentation, The Golf Club is said to really jump into the next generation with the procedural generation of courses and depth of social interaction. There truly will be an unlimited number of golf courses to be created, shared and played with your friends.

The Golf Club Course Creator can generate a brand new, original course in seconds that can be shared and played immediately online with friends and other gamers across PlayStation 4, XBox One and PC. The technique of procedural generation also brings loading times into courses down to next to zero and completely eliminates any waiting between holes. There are also full editing capabilities should gamers want to put their mark on the generated course. Customization extends to Tournaments and Tours, which can be shared along with the courses online.

On the social side you can challenge your friends on a new or existing course in real time or try to beat their best recorded round. Add to this a myriad of stat tracking and personal bests of friends and rivals to beat, notifications, challenges and social media integration and you truly have a golf club worth joining.

Built using the excellent Unity game engine, The Golf Club will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in the spring of 2014.