February 21, 2013 · Type: Shihiko Event · Shihiko

Since there isn’t much happening in the Mingol world at the moment and also today I have some free time, I thought I might write some opinions and speculations on the future of the franchise and our gaming experiences.

As some of you may know, other than helping players enjoy the Mingol series I do my own development and other things as a profession. Because of this I see games and development differently to most people and is probably why you can see all those cool shots on YouTube.

So the PlayStation 4 was announced today, nothing was shown other than the new controller and the sensor bar. Obviously this is because the PlayStation 4 is still a huge desktop box and they are still developing on how it works. That aside… Sony better already have all the stuff they have promised worked out and working in perfect order because so many things are promised that seem too unrealistic in the real world.

There are tons of potentially good features on the PS4 that will be used and actually enhance game play, the problem isn’t the games as with any new console it barely will have any games. Minna no Golf 7 should be no where near development as Minna no Golf 6 is not even close to being complete or of age.

Features that will be a hurdle for consumers to use:

  • Cloud Gaming. Has anyone really tried this? The PlayStation 4 will not be supporting native backwards support for all those old games you love to play and own. You better hold onto your PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 which has recently ceased production.

    There is a huge problem to Cloud Gaming that people should all know about and that is the lag and delay between your game input and your visual feedback. Imagine playing Minna no Golf with Crazy Gauge on all the time… that is what Cloud Gaming will be like if you don’t live next door to the game servers.

  • Remote Gaming. Similar to Cloud Gaming except that it is your PS4 that will be the power house for running the game. Also you’ll have to be playing on an awesome 3G or 4G LTE connection because if anyone has tried it before with the PSP/PSV remote play is remote fail. Connection drops, time outs and any other thing can happen while you’re out and about.

    Realistically speaking, these features are not going to play nicely and it would have just been wasted Research and Development out of Sony’s pocket.

  • Fancy Sharing Features. I really feel that though they maybe going in the right direction they are also going to flood the world with random videos of games that no one cares about but since they can do it they will do it right? Streaming being available from the hardware itself is a huge step in the right direction as now days people are getting into streaming of their games.

    There will be technical hurdles that a consumer will have to get through to make use of these features…  I mean the passing controls of a game over to another player who is playing else where in the world sounds great on paper, but does this mean when we play games they are already linked? So I could play Minna no Golf Offline Multiplayer with someone Online?

  • Feature Bloat. PlayStation 3 it only does everything right? In the years I’ve owned the PlayStation 3, other than games and the occasional Blu-rays and movies the other things the system did hardly is ever used.

    PlayStation 4 is going to be just the same… I would like to hope that Sony actually delivers on their promises this time, but over the years they have held back or failed on numerous things which would have easily been avoided if they had just kept it simple.

Future of Minna no Golf series… ClapHanz is a great company, since they began they released awesome games one after another and then what happened? Sony happened… Why are the past games created by ClapHanz starting to trump their newer releases?

  • Most of the earlier games were developed without any criteria required so they were made to be enjoyable games. Up until Minna no Golf 5 there was hardly any influence from Sony to the content that needed to be in the games.

    Minna no Golf 5 was the one of the main series titles that started taking some hits from the higher ups at Sony.The inclusion of Online, 3D Support and Move Support were all set up by decisions made by Sony. Ever wondered why the game engine lags while you are taking a shot Online? The game was not originally designed for Online play.

  • Minna no Golf 6 is another that fall victim to this problem, those who follow the series or posts on this site will know that Minna no Golf 6 was infact meant to be Minna no Golf Portable 3. This is why the game engine is so different to Minna no Golf 5 and plays a lot more like the Portable series.

    Pressure from Sony forced ClapHanz to release the portable title as a flagship title to create a Cross-Play version of Minna no Golf for their own agenda. This leaves us with a half-complete Cross-Play game that we can’t really Cross-Play at all with… Don’t even think once that this will ever happen, because from the looks of the game engines, it is not using the same physics so this will never happen in the life time of this title.

  • Minna no Golf 6 Potential and Promises… ClapHanz and Sony put a lot of effort into hyping up a community and getting things right. I have to say, this title has probably had the most web activity related to the game from the people in charge of the series than there has ever been. Community sites set up, Player’s Information Site set up and all with very nice designs and detail.

    The problem is that even when all these things were put together, the communities feel like a ghost town and there isn’t really any DLC being added to be shown on the Player’s Information site. Feels like a huge waste for the game so far… Also they promised to deliver 3G Turnbased Golfing for the PSVita when the game released, it has been over a year and we have not even seen this feature or heard of it ever since. We can probably assume this feature has been scrapped.

  • Minna no Golf 6 so far has been a large disappointment. While yes the game play and mechanics and system are the best to date, the game has had the worst game balance to date in the series. The more you play it the more you realise the game is not that fun for casuals or beginners… the motto of the series is Golf for Everyone right? Seems like it’s for Max Big Air Big Air… or Big Magnum Big Air on the PS3.

    For a year the game forced players to PI or die with 1W even if you had stacks of Impact on your character… Why even bother creating clubs and balls if changing a character’s status does not improve your competitive edge? Infinity Infinity? Why bother if I can’t reach the green on a Par 4 even with Extra Power Shot? This is not really the club and balls fault or the player character status fault, but the design of the game. My opinion is there was probably a lack of play testing involved before the release of the game on the PSVita.

    While the basic aspect of this problem has been addressed in the recent patch, it still does not fix the poor design still lurking within the game. Minna no Golf 6 Courses is full of those “Got’cha” surprises… Ever been behind a bush clearly in your way and think it will rustle only to see your shot fly right through the bush center and not hit a thing? Or clearly nothing in your way yet some how you rustled on thin air… Yes it happens.

  • PlayStation Move support… Show of hands to anyone who is competing online with this shot style. I’d like to record a game with you… No? That’s what I thought… No one uses this. Fact is, online you cannot compete using this shot style and the game is ridiculously harder when you use it.

    Why waste time and money developing this game play mechanic when only 0.1% of your market is going to actually use it once? I’ll give you a hint… starts with S… no it’s not Shihiko. So basically they put time and effort into developing Move Support and in the end, no one is using it anyway or there is no advantage or promoting of using it in game… so why bother? [I use the PlayStation Move only because the developers put effort into implementing it and I am curious to seeing if it is potentially any good.]

Skipping ahead because this is turning into more of a rant than constructive speculation, and I’d rather it not be a rant but more of a perspective that people should try to understand when seeing this game slowly crumble. Yes, the game is on life support outside of Japan… but sometime in the future we will be getting Minna no Golf 7… When? Not in time for PlayStation 4 launch that’s for sure. I doubt you will even see anything about it until late 2014. Minna no Golf 6 is incomplete and it has only been around for just over a year.

If the planning has not yet begun for Minna no Golf 7, I would like to design it… for starters, I would push for a World Server or Single Server with regional lobbies and world lobbies. This should solve the problem of time zoning and language barriers that those who have imported Mingol are always dealing with… Fun fact for those that didn’t know, but I created an English Minna no Golf 5 Client awhile back while testing something with one of my broken PS3/HDDs. English Menus with Japanese voices. 😉

Anyway the PlayStation 4 will be nice for Minna no Golf games as everyone would be able to share their best shots easily… The question is, will Sony ruin Minna no Golf again for some feature they want to promote on the PlayStation 4?

RSS · Comments [14]

February 22, 2013 · Time: 2:58 am · kdoll08

Like the post. What ever happened with your English client? I’ve always wondered really how difficult it is for them to do the translations between minna and hot shots. Doesn’t seem that if should take very long other than the voice overs.

February 22, 2013 · Time: 2:59 am · kdoll08

Also why not just make the game from the ground up with English and Japanese language options? Then we could easily do the worldwide server and people can just choose their default language

February 22, 2013 · Time: 12:02 pm · Shihiko

I junked it after I sold the broken PS3. From what I know they easily had all the tools and capabilities to make a client that was multilingual. Maybe when the servers shut down I will try it again, but that’s if I have a junk PS3 to mess with.

The deal with not making it english from the ground up is probably to do with the head director in charge of the project. This is why I want to design or help them design Minna no Golf 7 if they haven’t started.

They have another group of developers that work on the localisation of the project after it is given the ok to be localised, that’s why the credits has english names or people who aren’t on the original game credits.

World Server is clearly not hard, they can have the basic comments localised so people who are talking in the lobby using those can actually communicate some simple speech to get a game going… Running one server is definitely cheaper than 3 that has one with full activity and 2 with barely any.

February 22, 2013 · Time: 5:25 pm · sophieann

Awesome post, read it twice.

February 22, 2013 · Time: 5:34 pm · Shihiko

You guys actually like when I write my theories and opinions about the game…? haha…

I really don’t know what Sony’s business plan is with cloud gaming… Why does it matter that we need a PlayStation 4 to cloud game, when all the power and processing of the games are done from some computer elsewhere in the world. That means we can technically play all our cool games from something like the PSVita and never need the PS4 anyway unless you plan to play PS4 games.

No backwards compatibility for the PS4 means none of our PSN Games/PS3 Games will be of any use… Also think about how much bandwidth you’ll be wasting all day long when you stream a game to your PlayStation 4… theoretically it sounds awesome to cloud game, but watch and feel the grief people have when they do it…

Imagine I’m playing and on a record breaking 18H game, I some how have a slight disturbance in my network that lagged my video stream of the game during my shot and when the game resumes I’m greeted with a Skull Shot and O.B. hahaha… seems like the worst scenario but I’m sure this will happen.

February 22, 2013 · Time: 7:06 pm · HEC007

Great post Shi, can’t agree more with all what you’ve said … I was watching sadlly Sony’s declide in last couple of years and prior Vita’s release I was already decided to NOT get it but in the end I’ve bulged in for one and only reason – Minna 6 Golf. For sure thouhg I’ll be not getting PS4 (or at least not any time soon, indeed not on release). I still have huge backlog of PS3 as well as Vita games to play (and also another piles of PS2 and PS1 games too) to keep me running for years without problem. It’s really pitty to see games being totally ruined by Developers under presure from Sony to promote gimmick features like Move or touch on Vita.

February 22, 2013 · Time: 7:51 pm · Shihiko

Oh… yeah don’t get me started on the gimmicky stuff on the PS Vita… I forgot all about those hahaha…

Remember the Augmented Reality feature? Anyone use that more than once?

The touch features weren’t too bad, ClapHanz made good use of it but it was still retarded at times… Kind of like how when I use the PS Move for PS3 I can’t navigate the full game with it and have to switch back to the controller, while on the PS Vita you can’t navigate everywhere with the touch controllers because it sometimes forces you to press buttons.

February 24, 2013 · Time: 2:52 am · Scraticus

Fully agree with what’s been said. Mingol 6 has been a plethora of bad physics, broken slopes, rustles from nowhere, objects in places which just makes it not fun.

I am not ‘amazing’ at this game, but it is superior to tiger woods golf, but so many things still need to be fixed before i’ll count this as a mingol game, why they’ve left the old magic of 1-4 is beyond me.

February 24, 2013 · Time: 3:01 am · Shihiko

The physics for 6 is fine, it is the way the game works and the balance of it that is bad. I noticed so many places become unplayable, such as being in the sand and other strange oddities.

I originally thought 6 was on the right track to get things going… but then no idea why things stop receiving updates and nothing is happening to increase the playability or re-playability of the game. Then again Sony just probably said to ClapHanz: “Hey guys! Scrap whatever you’re doing and lookie here… P S FOUR!!!!” and then the developers were like “Are you guys serious?”.

February 24, 2013 · Time: 3:15 am · Scraticus

The circular camera error on 2 player is also one thing which annoys me. by bad physics i mean greens which are downhill, and you hit the right distance, yet they stop short, just now i fell through a fairway and ‘out’ of the world. the other thing, why can’t you play from a path or concrete in 6? do they just like giving you penalty shots in this game?

February 24, 2013 · Time: 3:21 am · Shihiko

That’s part of the physics of 6… you can read those putts if you use the new features provided. Back touch cursor and elevation checking with the R stick.

The random unplayable areas are really annoying… I’ve like had a really good match with someone, then have it end because one of us got a strange unplayable. As for the fairway thing, well you do know that bug has been around in previous games. Just unlucky really…

February 24, 2013 · Time: 3:27 am · Scraticus

Aye i know. Its just disappointing, because even without getting PI all the time i could enjoy a good game with friends. but 6 is so punishing if you don’t PI, i can’t get 100% pi all the time, hell i barely reach 30% in an 18 hole round shihiko, with it needing a PI on every drive, it’s not fair to those players who have issues with hand to eye co-ordination like i do.

February 24, 2013 · Time: 3:39 am · Shihiko

You do know the last patch made it not require PI for the drive if you got more Impact stats, if you are playing Expert characters with less than 50% PI then that is the wrong way to play… of course you can play for rabbits and turtles on drives if you know what you’re doing.

They are expert use characters for a reason, and in the past they were always PI or Die shots for the drives if you used experts. Using 3W or an intermediate character should make it easier for you not to screw up. The design makes sense, but there is still balance issues else where. This is not one of them…

Classic Mingol games have had this right ever since the beginning, if you’re comparing it to 5 which is just a luxury with Advanced then you’re not understanding the reason for stats and different characters. A good Mingol game would be designed with every character potentially being competitive against any other character in their class rank. 5 had this right, building characters with the right stats so players can choose if they optimised all rounders, spinners, control freaks or power players.

I can’t tell what any of the characters are supposed to be for in 6 because there is no incentive for us to use any of them as Power trumps all other status in this version for course strategy.

February 24, 2013 · Time: 3:56 am · Scraticus

I think thats what i was getting at, in 5 you could make a character ‘yours’ in a sense when you played. At the moment i’m just using nalu all the time for my tourney stuff, because i don’t have the PI edge. i found 5 nicer for having characters you could choose depending on the course, and it allowed replayability while you tested different club/ball combos on the courses. but yea, as you said in 6, it’s lost. i see just lines of the same character all the time

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