Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 - PSP - Preview
There are times when a franchise jumps from one system to another and forces the gameplayer to relearn the mechanics of actually playing. Then there are those times when a franchise makes the same leap and does not miss a step – not only in terms of gameplay elements, but in graphics as well.
Such is the case with Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2. Developed by Clap Hanz in conjunction with SCEA’s Santa Monica Studios, Open Tee 2 is the second iteration of the quirky and fun golf game on the PSP platform. The dev team firmly embraced the concept of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ and instead of fiddling with the overall game, seemed to simply focus on adding to the options.
Sony sent along a preview build of the title and GameZone was able to give it a whirl.
In that regard, Open Tee 2 brings in six new courses in exotic environments, 12 new characters that can be customized with more than 300 options, eight player match mode and 16 player tournaments – all online, as well as a one-vs.-one Ad hoc mode.
In addition to the multiplayer, Open Tee 2 offers a robust single-player experience with game modes such as Training, Stroke Play, and Challenge. Most of those are self-explanatory, except for – perhaps – the Challenge mode. In this mode you play a variety of courses in a variety of match types against AI-driven NPCs. Win and you have the chance to unlock that character to use as your main character. Winning matches also – in much the same fashion as the console version – gives you cards you can select from. Turn over the card and you might find you won new clubs. Accessories for your golfer are also available. The new equipment often comes with buffs or bonuses to improve your game, like power or accuracy bonuses.
There is also a mini-game thrown into the mix that is enjoyable but not overly deep.
The graphics in this game are a delight. The golfers have an anime touch to them, creating a degree of cuteness that is infectious. The interface is bright and colorful, as are the in-game elements. The animations are also very well done. Sound-wise the game could use a bit more variety, but the game still manages to mirror the atmosphere of the console version.
The controls, for those who play the PS3 version, are a bit old-school in that the game uses three button clicks to start a shot, register the power and then select the accuracy. This is all done on a bar along the bottom of the screen and is about timing the clicks just right for the optimum results. You can also aim the shots with the analog nub, but as a word of warning, be careful around the green – what you see in terms of slope does not always play out. This is, perhaps, the trickiest part of the game.
But while Open Tee 2 does have its challenges it is still an entertaining experience that should have broad appeal. Look for the game to ship to retail in early June.