Developer No Goblin has succeeded in creating a kaiju focused game that just so happens to feature a basic, yet addicting golf mechanics. The game’s title doesn’t lie, and you’ll be swinging for the green by controlling 100 foot tall uniquely designed robots. A lot of the game’s design is inspired by popular 90s anime (such as Dragon Ball Z), right down to the game’s hilarious cutscenes and character designs. 100ft Robot Golf is enjoyable, whether you are playing it on television or through the recently released PlayStation VR platform.
By playing on television (not in virtual reality) you're able to rotate the camera around your giant mech to get the best angle for every shot. Once you put the game in PSVR mode, you’ll get to experience golf from 100 feet in the air, as your view is altered from behind the robots to directly above their heads. While the focus may be on the giant robots, 100ft Robot Golf is still a golf game, albeit a slightly barebones one. There are only three different types of clubs that you can use; driver, wedge, and putter. You can change the angle of the shot, as well as make use of fades, hooks, and add topspin or backspin to influence the trajectory of the ball.
In traditional golf, you only have to worry about sand traps and possible water hazards, but in 100ft Robot Golf you must contend with massive desert size sand traps, entire lakes as water hazards, oh, and skyscrapers and underwater civilizations blocking your path. You could walk or fly your lumbering character to any obstacle before taking your shot to clear a path, or you could race the ball while it's in mid-air. You have the option of using your massive club to destroy the buildings out of your path. Of course, if you are facing a direct opponent, knocking over a skyscraper into the oncoming path of their ball may give you an advantage. Or, if you are bold, you could block the path of the shot with your body. Is it unsporting? Sure, but this is robot golf and rules don't apply. If whacking things with your club seems dull, each of the different giant mechs has their unique special abilities. From missiles to lasers, to a Voltron-esque sword, you can use these skills to your advantage.
The campaign follows multiple characters through several different golf tournaments. Sometimes you're trying to be the first one to finish a hole, regardless of the number of shots it takes. Other times you are trying to get the least amount of strokes while playing by yourself. Cutscenes feel straight out of classic anime from the '90s, and No Goblin has outdone themselves with the variety and unique dialogue interactions between each of them. That brings us to the McElroy Brothers commentary team. From the very first hole, it is clear that the developers planned to parody the very dry, monotone announcers that you hear when watching golf on television. The humorous dialogue provides some chuckles, but the lines repeat way too often.
Each of the robots featuring a different timing mechanism for managing the power and accuracy of your shot. Outside of the single-player campaign mode, feel free to play local split-screen multiplayer or online multiplayer up to four players. There’s a decent number of options when creating a custom match, so you shouldn't have any problems tweaking it to your liking. You also unlock various customizable parts for all of the characters by earning medals in the campaign. This lets you customize your robots in all of the game's modes.
As mentioned earlier, when you are playing in VR, the scale of the robots is intense. In fact, when you first start the VR mode, your view is from a park bench beneath a robot looming over you. I felt a Pacific Rift style vibe while stomping around the course in VR, but the new camera angle doesn't always give you the best view. It's a novelty to play the game in VR, but I don't think that it needs VR to be enjoyed.
100ft Robot Golf is a uniquely stylized way of playing golf. I dig the use of anime, giant robots and a traditional golf game. I can’t see myself playing through the campaign more than once, even if I need to collect more medals to unlock the remaining items. The option of playing the game with PlayStation VR is a decent touch, but the game is entirely serviceable without it.
Note: The review for 100ft Robot Golf is based on a digital PlayStation 4 copy of the game, provided by the publisher.