Shot Online Review: Point and CLick Click Click
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), Onrpg Journalist
At first I thought "Shot Online? Sounds pretty interesting!". Thinking it was just another basketball MMO (I mean, Shot Online does sound like a Basketball game right?); I decided to go ahead and click. Golf huh? When was the last time I actually played a golf game (let alone an MMO)? I remember enjoying the game Pangya some years ago, and for nostalgia's sake, I decided to give it a try. Shot online looks a lot more serious -in terms of graphics- than to Pangya, which was supposed to be some type of 'kiddie' golf game that consists of cutesy characters. The game is rather technical and is a lot more challenging compared to my previous golf game, and since I enjoy hefty challenges, I decided to give it a try.
And the next Tiger Woods is born! Virtual Tiger Woods that is.
After typing in your character's name and etc, you'll be opted to choose between an array of archetypes that would serve as your starting character. Each character has their own strengths and limitations, and would both excel and lack at some points. In my opinion, it would be a hell of a lot better if the game just lets the player decide which stat to boost. Since premade archetypes are the cause of stereotypical builds, you'll find that most of your players picked the same first character. That's like playing NBA Live with two Jordans (which reminds me, he did play golf didn't he? And he sucked at ittoo LOL).
Your road to victory begins here
As a new golfer in Shot Online, your goal is to increase your stats in order to become better. Much like any other MMO, Shot online lets you level up your character in order to make their play style less wobbly. It's more or less the same as Pangya where you get experience points (or whatever they call it there) whenever you land good shots regardless of whether you win or lose. These points are then distributed on your stat board in order to increase your character's performance thus optimizing your gameplay (only because your character's more noobish than you are when you start the game). One thing that's quite annoying would be the fatigue bar that slowly builds up as you play further. Mixing simulation-type features with an arcade-style game does seem pretty trivial; especially since you basically have no control over your shots to begin with (will be discussed later). In order to prevent this thing from happening, make sure you spend your experience points well.
If I remember it correctly, the controls are almost the same as other golf games (not just MMOs). Once you start the swing meter, you'll get this fast moving bar that's supposed to resemble your swing's power and the ball's trajectory. I for one think that this type of control system is far too casual. I'm actually waiting for a golf game that really acts like a golf simulator rather than a simple arcade game that lets you level up. If you've played Gunbound, then you'll have an idea what I'm talking about; For those of you who haven't, Gunbound (even though it's not a golf game) has this really nice scheme of letting you decide your shot's angle and height, leaving the bar to decide how powerful the should would be. When you think about it, the arcade-style "click and shoot system" control scheme doesn't really have anything to do with how good you are, but rather how fast you can respond to the swinging bar. The system is fairly easy to learn, but gets pretty annoying when you want to play on a technical level.
Hole In One: Tecnique Wins
What thing that surprised me about this game would be the way they managed to implement MMORPG features on a sports MMO. I'm talking about Quests (yeah, you read right!). Quests in the game are rather important especially for newcomers. Not only does it give you extra stuff, but it gives you a good idea how the game is played as well. Whether it's purchasing items or just simply putting that ball through a whole, it's a MUST to finish these tasks in order to become a better player.
If you think that's all, the game also has a Guild system. The feature is just simply irrelevant (since you're not really going to gang up on a Giant Ball monster); though it does feel nice to have a whole group of golfers take you in.
Playing versus Guildies
The game also has an Item Mall where you can purchase clothes in order to personalize your character. This is a very good feature in my opinion, although the lack of items greatly pulls this feature down.
Graphics and visuals
There's nothing much to say about the game's graphics. You're basically given a small set of characters (seven I think) with little character customization. The field is green and wide; then again, that's everything there is to see in a golf field. The characters are rendered with crispy edges, mostly similar with that of last generation MMOs. The buildings and structures (although there isn't much) look entirely flat, skinned carefully in order to resemble whatever they're supposed to.
Feeling at Home on the Green
FORE! - The Verdict
First of all, this type of game isn't new at all (just clearing it up for those people who think this is the first golf game that has this particular system). The lack of character customization would probably be one of this game's weak points. Not only does it limit players from optimizing their OWN playstyle, it encourages stereotypical builds that makes people start with the same archetype. The controls are fairly simple but probably needs a bit more technicalities. Sure the game is all about pointing and shooting, so I suppose it makes the game more user-friendly. As far as MMO features are concerned, I think they managed to blend the features pretty well. Guilds, Quests, Item malls, I was surprised with how well they actually managed to pull it off. Who knew this type of gameplay could support the traditional RPG gimmicks? Graphics and visuals are decent enough to complete with most of the F2P games today. If you're looking for a good game that can let you play casually without any form of devotion whatsoever, this game is totally worth it. Simple, yet fun! No brainer? It's all about how fast your hands are anyway.
- Fairly easy to learn
- Item Mall
-A bit of simulation in a casual game.
- Item mall doesn't have much to offer
- Low technical factor (It's just point and click click click!)
- Low character creation options
- Archetypes? I'd rather make my own golfer
- Skills (in general) are leveled, not learned.