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It's taken a while to get here, but it looks like Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational will finally be hitting the links on U.S. PlayStation 3's this Tuesday, July 23, for $19.99.
Celebrating its 15th birthday, Hot Shots Golf is one of those series that is synonymous with the PlayStation brand. Beginning on the original PlayStation, the series has since appeared on the PS2 and PS3, as well as the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. The series was featured as a table in the Pinball Heroes collection, sporting tables themed after PS staples, and you can even duke it out on a Hot Shots level in Sony's mascot brawler, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. The series has even seen its share of cameos, including the likes of Kratos from God of War and, most recently on the Vita version, Gravity Rush's Kat.
And speaking of that Vita version, that's exactly what PS3 fans who aren't gaming on Sony's latest handheld have to look forward to this Tuesday, as World Invitational is an upgraded version of that very game.
World Invitational features all of the trimmings you've come to expect of the Hot Shots series, including goofy characters you can customize, beautiful courses, lots of play options and intuitive, accurate controls. That's one of the most interesting things about the Hot Shot series, actually. Despite its lighthearted atmosphere and arcady look, the golf simulation is extremely good. So good, in fact, that the legendary Tiger Woods series seems to have borrowed a mechanic or two from Hot Shots over the years.
Releasing in Japan a while back, Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational's U.S. release was made official over on the PlayStation Blog. The post highlights the inclusion of four-player multiplayer, as well as the new Real Feel Shot, which utilizes the PlayStation Move controller.
But that's not where the spiffy new features end. When the PS3 version of the game releases, a patch for the Vita version will allow the console and portable versions to play nice in online tournaments. Even better, any of the DLC courses or additional players you may have purchased in the Vita version of the game are cross-buy, so you'll be able to download them to your PS3 version immediately, at no extra charge.
“...With such a vast array of online tournaments available, you'll never be short of brand new online rivalries,” reads the post. “In true Hot Shots Golf tradition, there will be a vast amount of tournament modes, loads of equipment and unique characters and, of course, we will be providing new content and tournaments through our regular updates.”