Hot Shots Golf Open Tee – PSP – Review

OK, here’s the deal, when I bought my PSP I looked
at the coming soon titles and saw that Sony was going to put out a PSP
exclusive edition of its stellar golf series.  The game is everything that I
want in a game.  Long life, plenty of unlockable items, easy controls and
nothing short of phenomenal graphics.  But I’d like to expand on why I like
this game, so please read on.
Featuring beautiful graphics, Hot Shots is played
just like the PS2 version of Hot Shots Golf Fore!  Players select a
character, attack the various courses and try to unlock all the extras that
the game features.  What makes this series a slam dunk is the fact that the
gameplay is so user friendly and the graphics are darn near like watching a
cartoon.  And of course, since this game flows in the same vein as its PS2
brother, you can expect the same quality graphics and user friendly controls. 
If you think from my review that I like this game, you would be absolutely

Hot Shots isn’t anything heavy in terms of
storylines or back-story, if anything, the game is arcade through and
through.  Initially, you only start out with the basic two characters and
equipment, as you play through the game’s several modes, more items
and equipment is opened.  Of course, the game practically begs you to play
through the Match Play mode as it is the only way to unlock the cool upgraded
items.  Those items being new outfits, accessories, golf clubs and golf
balls.  The two latter increase the game’s dynamic by allowing for longer
drives, more control of the ball and a definite feel for the game.  Hot Shots
does a wonderful job of being able to tell the difference between equipment
selections.  Often in other games, you do not see a tangible difference in the
game’s selections when applied, but here, you can really tell a difference
when selecting the differing items.  Some of the items are really goofy, like
the trucker hats or the sunglasses that you unlock.  They have no real bearing
on the game other then novelty.  Other items have a direct impact on the game
as they actually affect in-game play.  Plus playing as the same character also
provides benefit as you gain loyalty points which directly translate to more
innate abilities for your character.
I must inject at this point that the ad-hoc, PSP
to PSP playing experience is nothing short of awesome.  Playing against one of
my fellow co-workers I found that no matter what my buddy did to rattle me
(the game allows for heckling during play) I would more often then not, make
my shot.  Now I can personally attest that I really did get a heck of a ride
out of playing the multiplayer mode on this title, since you can play with up
to eight golfers.  The game is Taylor-made for multiplayer fun and really
brings another quality dimension to the title overall. 

Now I keep making comparisons to this title and
the PS2 version, but for good reason.  Starting with the fact that there is an
incredible likeness graphically.  Sure there are a couple of miscues, but in
all honesty, the game is a handheld and the similarities are
still stunning.  The game has a really strong sense of depth and visually you
can see great distances in terms of golf courses.  The camera angles vary
depending on your shot, but I love how sometimes the game pulls to a focus on
the ball as it flies through the air, or the camera view shifts to a 3rd
person perspective and chases the ball as it runs its course.  Very smooth
framerate and very tight, clean lines make the visuals of this game the
finest I have seen on the PSP so far.  Hot Shots Golf Open Tee is an
absolutely awesome looking title.
Eventually as you play through the game, you will
also unlock several other characters that each have there own unique play. 
Sadly though, there are limited amounts of caddies, where the PS2 game has
several options for caddies, this game simply does not have them.  And with
that, come the little snippets of dialogue that the caddies say as you play
through the course.  Nothing bad mind you, but things like "Good Shot" or "A
little right" do come out quite often.  Other noises like the pleasant melody
that plays during the load out screen or the sound effects that occur whether
it’s you hitting a fireball quality drive, or the ball smacking into a rock
wall come out well, but because we are talking about golf, not a high tension
action title, the sound effects can only be so good. 

Review Scoring Details for

Hot Shots Golf Open Tee – PSP

Gameplay: 8.8
Strong easy controls that allow you to select
either a three button action swing or an auto mode that ensures you hit it
straight every time.  There are lots of menus and options for play, allowing
for an incredible gaming experience.  The game also has a putting challenge
that opens up a whole other experience.
Graphics: 9.0
This is the best looking game on the PSP to date. 
Bright colors that pop off the screen, easy looking, fun character models
and varied golf courses.  Good looking courses and cartoonish graphics all
pull together for a well rounded gaming experience.
Sound: 7.0
Yeah, I said it before, but it bears
repeating.  It’s golf, how awesome could it sound, really?  
Difficulty: Medium
The hardest part of the game is playing long
enough to really unlock those other characters.  You really spend allot of
time completing the challenges since there are over 250 unlockable items.  And
if you think about it, you can only unlock one item per round of golf, so you
do the math.
Concept: 7.8
The Hot Shots series is a really great
series.  The game balances the perfect amount of cartoonish fun with actual
golf strategy. 
Multiplayer: 8.9
It’s only for Ad-Hoc multiplayer mode, but that
enough for me.  The game really has a strong multiplayer mode complete with
heckling.  Select your character, pick your course and go for it.
Overall: 8.8
It’s the best game I have played on the PSP so
far, it has lasting appeal and plenty of game in it’s tiny disc.  I have
recommended this to plenty of people and every one of them has thanked me for
doing so.  Get this title!