STAFF REVIEW of RPGolf Legends (Xbox One)

Monday, January 24, 2022.
by Adam Dileva

RPGolf Legends Box art I’ve got quite a few of developer KEMCO’s RPG’s under my belt, and while they are all unique in their own way, RPGolf Legends is by far the most non-tradtional RPG I’ve played in quite some time. While I never played the original game, RPGolf when it released back in 2018, its sequel is now here for console players to enjoy.

Are you a fan of classic adventure RPG’s like Legend of Zelda? What about a connoisseur of classic golf games? Have you been yearning for the day that the two genres would blend together for one singular experience? That’s right, that time has come with RPGolf Legends. Half RPG, half Golf game, RPGolf Legends builds upon its original game by leaps and bounds, and while I thought it was going to be an odd mashup, even though it doesn’t take itself seriously, it simply works.

For an RPG that revolves around golf, the story isn’t going to win any awards, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amusing. There’s been an evil spirt that sealed off all of the golf holes in the world, resulting in the sport unable to be played and almost forgotten. This is an RPG, so of course the holes are sealed off by magic crystals, unable to be broken for any that desire the sport.

You being just a regular girl, you fill your day fishing, but one day you fish up something completely unexpected; a magical spirit golf club that is sentient and can talk. Yes, you read that right. Together, you form a friendship and embark on an amazing journey to save the sport of golf for everyone. Again, yes, you read that right. I told you RPGolf Legends doesn’t take itself seriously. While I won’t delve much more into the narrative, there’s a surprisingly amount of story within, even if it’s paper thin, but it’s simply a fun tale.

Are you travel around the open world, you’ll need to complete all 54 holes to finish your quest. These holes are split up into six distinct biomes, from ice covered lands, deserts, forests and more, each with their own challenges. You need to play the holes in order and certain areas are blocked off until you progress to a certain point, but this is nothing new for RPG fans. As you explore these lands, you’re going to also be attacked by animals, creatures and monsters, so like any good RPG, you’ll have to defeat them in combat to gain money and items.

How do you actually play the holes of golf you ask? Well, they are blocked by an impenetrable barrier that Clubby, your friend that you fished up, has the power to dissipate. The problem is that this takes a lot of energy to perform, and to make sure Clubby has the energy you’ll have to defeat enemies and complete holes to fill a meter. Once the meter is full you’ll be able to get Clubby to unlock the next hole. Rinse and repeat for each hole. Manage to get Par or better on a hole and you’ll have your Clubby meter filled slightly plus get some bonus spins of a wheel that replenishes health, energy and gold rewards.

As for the golf gameplay itself, it’s quite simple. Soon as you want to start swinging, press ‘A’ and the power meter will fill and stop when you press the button again, then the aim needle will move and your shot straightness based on where that needle lands. It’s nothing new for golf games but suits the simplistic gameplay just fine. The game does a great job of choosing the best club for your shot, though you can of course change your club and aim for more precise control. Weather also plays a factor in your shots, from rain to wind and more. For anyone that’s ever played a RPG or a golf game, you’ll feel right at home with how simple it is to pick up and play.

There’s more to the core gameplay than just golf though, as this is part RPG as well remember? Not only will you golf courses for best scores and join tournaments, maybe you want a break from the dungeon exploring and golfing, so why not go fishing for a while. Maybe you’ll want to craft items, or help the dozens of people in town that need help with many menial tasks to keep you busy. How you want to spend your time is completely up to you, as you’re not forced to do one thing or another at any time. There’s even a class system that will be tied to different outfits, giving you new abilities that will needed to progress, but I don’t want to spoil much more than that. It’s a clever take on the RPG job changes yet integrates into the golf gameplay as well.

If you’re not golfing or fishing, you’re most likely going to be in combat. How do you fight enemies you ask? By swinging your golf club at them of course. As you get new and better club sets, you’ll not only hit the ball further and have more control, but do more damage as well. Again, a clever way to integrate both genres logically. There’s a decent variety of enemies, some harder than others, but once you learn their tells for attacking, they become simple to counter. Simply spamming ‘A’ to attack won’t work, so you’ll need to fight strategically.

Tap ‘A’ to swing and attack, or hold down the button to charge up an attack with higher damage, using some of your energy in the process (different from Clubby’s charge meter). There are bosses to find and defeat, and at the each of each biome’s final hole you’ll have a unique boss battle to take on. These have you fighting the boss until you’ve knocked them unconscious, then you have a short window of time to play the course and get the ball into the cup. Once the boss awakens though you’ll have to knock them out again, usually getting a shot or two in before having to do so again. Again, an interesting meld of the two genres that kind of surprised me. You’ll eventually unlock the ability for Clubby to use certain spells, but these do take its charge meter to unlock holes by shattering the crystals, meaning more enemy fighting if you want to use them.

Aesthetically, RPGolf Legends will remind you of those classic 16-bit era RPG’s you grew up with, with golf mechanics as well. Each of the environments feel distinct, not just gameplay wise, but backgrounds and enemy variety as well, all using a different color scheme and retro palette. Music is just as varied and done quite well also. While nothing is voiced, which is acceptable given its retro style, the music changes when needed and ramps up during boss fights as you’d expect.

My only real complaint is that the camera is much too close to the character, so when you’re exploring, you’re going to get hit countless times by enemies you run into because you don’t really see them coming with how close you’re forced to your character. Also, enemies can be hidden behind objects like trees, so again, you’ll get hit when you don’t even know they are there sometimes.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect by fusing an RPG and a Golf game together, yet somehow KEMCO not only made it work, but also made it an entertaining experience as well. Sure the premise is completely out there and it doesn’t take itself seriously, but that’s where its charm comes from. While the asking price of $38.99 is quite steep and slightly overpriced in my opinion, there is actually a decent amount of gameplay to be had if you want to experience everything RPGolf Legends has to offer. While not quite a Hole In One, wait Fore a sale and you’ll enjoy this odd genre mashup.

**RPGolf Legends was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 7.6 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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