Hello, and welcome to Games You Should Be Playing. This series aims to highlight those games, from indie to AAA, that should be at the top of every gamer’s list. Although some titles will inevitably slip through the cracks, there are some out there that you just can’t ignore. This week, we’ll be highlighting a title known as Golf Story. If you missed last week’s article on Silver Grapple, you can check it out here.
Golf Story is a unique little “Nindie” game that putted its way on to the scene in May of 2017. After that, all news went relatively quiet. Well, that is, until September 2017. Now, the hype that Golf Story getting is on par with some of the hottest indie titles out there. And yet, it still has gone pretty unnoticed until this past month, and I can’t stand for that. So let’s take a look at what makes this one a hole in one, and just why you should be playing it. Get it? It’s…it’s a series of golf puns.
Games You Should Be Playing: Golf Story
Probably the Weirdest Gaming Concept Ever
The one thing you’ll notice as soon as you start researching Golf Story is the game’s hysterically odd concept. Really, whoever thought of this one must’ve been either very creative, or had a very long night. And yet, the concept is so endearing that you can’t just write it off as goofy randomness.
This game, I cannot believe I’m saying this, is a golf simulation game mixed with RPG elements. Right from the get go, this one just screams “quirky.” And is that a bad thing? Of course not! Many games have succeeded with a goofy, quirky concept (see here: Nom Nom Galaxy.) However, Golf Story just has this aura of mystery to it that games like Nom Nom Galaxy lacked. It’s a bit less, “aw, that’s cute” and a bit more, “why would they make this?” But that’s a question that you’ll be asking yourself in the best way possible, I promise. Even if you don’t like golf, just give it a chance. This one has a concept and story that will blow you away in the weirdest ways.
Aesthetic Over Graphic
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a sucker for retro-style, 8 or 16-bit games. I loved Super Meat Boy, Silver Grapple was fantastic, and now we get Golf Story. Maybe it’s just something about these games that tugs at the nostalgia heart strings, while still giving us something new. Or maybe these developers are just absolute geniuses.
Again, games like these prey on nostalgia of people born in the 1980s and 90s. But Golf Story, much like Meat Boy and Silver Grapple, adds something new to the mix. It’s like someone took the graphical capabilities of the NES title Golf and mixed it with the plot of one of the Tales Of games. But again, this is aesthetic over graphics. The game’s story is supposedly a tale of love (of golf) and loss (of again, golf) and mixes in themes of friendship and redemption. All this for a game about hitting a golf ball? That’s actually pretty deep, I’d say.
Embracing the Unknown
There’s a pretty big theme in psychology known as the fear of the unknown. As one of the world’s leading phobias, it applies to an overwhelming amount of people. But sometimes, there is an opposite effect to this. It happens a lot in sports, where analysts tend to love the guy that they’ve seen the least of out of a group. Embracing the unknown happened when the Chicago Bears picked Mitch Trubisky second in this year’s NFL Draft. It should happen again on September 28th, when Golf Story releases to the world, and gamers everywhere come to embrace the unknown.
My only gripe with this one is that it’s a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Honestly, I guess that’s a good problem to have for Nintendo, but it makes it a little bit inaccessible to non-Switch owners. In any case, Golf Story could become yet another killer app for the Switch. One thing is for sure though. If you’ve been looking for a Golf-based JRPG (and honestly, who hasn’t?), then this might be for you. The game just released this past week, so go ahead. Embrace the unknown, and go be a part of the new hype!