Let's be frank: Every new piece of Sony gaming hardware has a Hot Shots Golf on it. And it's easy to see why. The game mechanics are so simple that they are buttery smooth. The balance between quick arcade game and thoughtful simulator is masterful. The bright cheery colors and characters say that you'll have a great time, and they are always right.

I began to play Hot Shots Golf when Open Tee came out for the PSP. After which, I actively sought out the games on the PS2 and PS3, bought it's sequel for Sony's handheld, and now this one.

Like all of the above, this game is instantly accessible, yet deceptively deep. You can go Tiger Woods Sim on this thing and you'll get fantastic results. You can also just leisurely tackle a few holes in your spare time and be similarly satisfied.  The game reflects what you want to put into it, and that's fantastic because, let's face it, you don't always want to play seriously or have the time to devote.

Graphically, the game is nice, but doesn't really show off what the system is capable of. Courses look appropriately pretty and the character models are nice (if a bit too anime cliche) and animated well.

The music is... forgettable. Sometimes even bad. But, in spite of yourself and your fantastic taste in music, you may find yourself humming along simply because you like the game so much. Voices, on the other hand, range from okay to terrible. I seriously wish that there was a way to turn them off, since they all repeat the same lines over and over again, usually with an annoying accent or inflection.

Controls are spot on, and some new features involving the touch pad and screen are introduced. Want to change camera angles, tap the camera icon on the screen and select your view. Want to move where you tee off? Touch the golf ball and drag it where you'd like it to be. Want to feel like God? Pick up your golfer by pinching (touching the screen and touch pad on back at the same time) and hold them aloft until you decide to let them go. Be sure to laugh maniacally as you do. It makes it more fun. These touch controls are nice, but I personally felt that they were shoehorned in.

Playability is where the game shines. It's easy to get into. The closest to real golf I ever get is either the miniature kind or the virtual kind. Planning your approach, noting the lay of the land, and accounting for wind are all a joy. Taking a swing is as simple as a button press away. There are four different shot meters, but they all boil down to cosmetic changes for doing the same thing: Timing it just right.

Ah, timing. That's where many may find a problem with the game. All that careful planning and surveying and all the spot on trajectories will mean nothing if you screw up the timing for your swing. That's my biggest problem with the game, screw up once and suddenly, you're last. But hey, you may just find yourself saying: Isn't that just like real golf? Yes, so I actually didn't knock the game for it, it's just a personal dislike. But with a game this colorful and cheerful and accessible, it seems strange that there's no sort of mulligan system similar to Forza's rewind. Of course, it could destroy the game if not handled correctly. Perhaps when you use a mulligan, you loose a power shot?

There are daily tournaments that you can participate in, if you wish to see how you stack up against the rest of the world. You download it and then upload your performance. It's a fun little diversion.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I did not penalize World Invitational for that one thing. In fact, the game would have scored higher for me, if it decided to evolve as a series. Ultimately, you've played this game before. And if you are like me, multiple times. There is nothing new, nothing that changes the way the game is played the way Tiger Woods attempts to do when it's not simply stealing ideas away from Hot Shots. That's why it didn't get a 9 or a 10. Because it's a serious case of deja vu.

A seriously fun case of deja vu, but a case nonetheless.