Powerstar Golf Xbox One Review:
If there’s one thing every console apparently needs, it’s a golf game. Whether you’re seeking realism in one of EA’s PGA-licenced affairs, or firing up the over-the-top action of the excellent Everybody’s Golf series, there always seems to be at least one available relatively early on in a console’s life-cycle. Powerstar Golf is Microsoft’s own take on the arcade golfing genre, with SingStar and EyeToy veterans Zoë Mode taking hold of the developmental reins.
Although somewhat slow to start – you’re initially given access to a single course and two golfers – Powerstar Golf is a game that does an awful lot of things right. The four courses that eventually become available all look superb, if a little samey, but it isn’t the graphical performance that grabs you. Instead, the little gameplay tweaks that set the game aside from its peers are what will get you playing for hours. Rather than giving you an open shop where you can just buy the best equipment once you’ve accumulated enough in-game currency, you’re able to buy random packs of cards that may or not contain items that you want. Right off the bat, this means that there’s a reason to play again and again, as you aren’t going to get the best woods, irons, putter, and balls from a single pack. Equipment is branded, too, and a performance bonus is given if you’re using equipment that’s all from the same manufacturer. It may seem like small dice, but knowing that you’re using the irons and wedges from one maker and that finding a similarly-branded putter in a pack of cards will give you a 30% boost to the spin ability of all of your clubs, is reason enough to crack on and play another round in order to win enough credits to buy a new pack.
A “download content” option on the main menu is greyed out at the moment. We only hope that extra courses will be made available in short order. It might seem unfair to charge more for extra courses, but the developer has made sure that there’s more than enough gameplay included for the initial asking price. That you can purchase credit packs using microtransactions – 140,000 for £11.99, with the best card pack in the game costing 60,000 – is a little bit more concerning, given that the rate of credit rewards during normal gameplay is more than ample, but we’d simply recommend that you avoid the option.