Reviewed by Pink Lady A | 11.02.05
Introduction:For fans of golf, who don't want that simulated Tiger Woods experience, this is your cup of tea. Really, I don't like watching the sport on TV, but it sure if fun to play a golf video game. Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee was my first Hot Shot gaming experience ever and I had no idea what I've been missing out on. Here is my review of Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee for the PSP.
The Game:The first thing you should know about Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee is that it's super fun. It's doesn't hurt that it's also cute and adorable. :) I had to do a few "ahs" while playing this one and I just love the visual presentation of the pint-sized characters. If you like customizing characters and collecting you will have hours of fun with Hot Shots Golf because it is packed full of unlockables. One bad point about all these unlockables is that you have to be pretty good at the game to get to them. If you don't know the game of golf then you'll have a major handicap. Forgetting about scoring those touchdowns. (bad joke).
The actual golf gameplay is pretty accomplished and it has all the features you need in a golf game just spiced up. The learning curve is moderate and even though it's frustrating at times it's well worth the effort put in. The hardest aspect of Hot Shots had to be the putting. I found the grid system to be a little shoddy compared to other games, or at least that's what I'm telling myself. I usually don't have a problem putting but Hot Shots sent me over par in several occasions. Also apply spins are a little tricky when shooting off the tees. On the other side the swing meter was real easy to understand and use and other then a few nitpicks the game is pretty perfect.
The main mode in Hot Shots Golf is the challenge mode where you have to climb the ranks and make it number one. This mode will keep you busy for a while and there are a number of matches and tournaments to enter. I took me about 20-30 minutes to complete a match. This challenge mode is where you will unlock a lot of the goodies for your players like scarves and shirts to fairy wings. You can also update your player's attributes and buy them better equipment. There are two characters to pick from in the beginning, but you can unlock a total of ten.
The coolest concept in Hot Shots Golf which could be hauled over to other games is the Loyalty system. This system basically rewards you for playing with the same character a bunch of times. Each character has a loyalty meter which is indicated by hart icons and when it's full you can access different abilities from the character. This feature is great unless you want to use a bunch of characters; I guess if you had a lot of free time you could try and build every character loyalty up.
Looks and Brains
Not to take anything away from the actual game of golf, but Hot Shots proves it has all the looks and the brains to back it up. The graphics are great in the game and the cartoonish style really works for these litte cute golfers. The animations of them sliding around are fun to watch and it's nice that the game doesn't take itself too seriously. The environments are nice, but there are too many damn mountains!! The camera is easy to move around and zoom and overall the visuals are it's a top notch. The sound works well as well, although I didn't like Debbie's caddie, it's really not an issue. Overall the good background music and special effects along with the pixel perfect graphics makes Hot Shots satisfying to the senses.
Lowdown:I really had a blast with Hot Shots Golf, this is a great pick for any gamer who likes golf, but isn't obsessed with the sport. There are enough characters, courses and unlockables to keep you busy for a long, long time. This game is one of the best sports games on the PSP and interested minds should check it out.
Gameplay: 9, Graphics/Sound: 8.5, Innovation: 7, Mojo: 9. Final: 8.5/10
Up to four players can hit the links in this addictive golf game. In the
standard mode, the player with the lowest score (fewest strokes) wins the match.In a two-player match, players compete based on the number of holes won or lost, instead of the score. Golfers can choose to compete versus the CPU or another player.
Compete in a full round of golf against other golfers. The player with the lowest score wins the tournament.
Players can practice their swing on any course: regular courses, driving range, and miniature golf. The score and any super shots made will not be recorded.
Players can also compete in Match Play versus a CPU player. If players defeat the CPU player, they acquire that character to play with.
Featuring 6 new courses, classic venues and favourite characters from the ever-popular Everybody's Golf series
Directly connect PSPs via wireless network to simultaneously link up with several golfers and take part in gala golf tournaments and challenges