Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee


A passion to many and many an insomniac's remedy, the simple game of golf made its appearance in the video game world as early as the Atari 2600. Hot Shots Golf, on the other hand, debuted on the PS1, and has remained on Sony consoles ever since. Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee is the first in the series to grace the PSP, and can be surprisingly enjoyable, even if you fall into that latter group.

I picked this game up on a whim for review purposes, and honestly wasn't expecting to get as much mileage out of it as I have been. In contrast to the Tiger Woods golf games, Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee is more of an arcade-like golfing game, comparable to the golf found on Wii Sports, but better. It has its own unique style, featuring chibi-headed characters and doesn't try to simulate real golf as much as it tries to be a fun video game.

Controlling the game is simple: Angle your shot, compensate for wind, and let loose. This series uses what's known to virtual golfers as the “three click” method, wherein you click the button first to begin the swing, again to set your power, and once more to determine how well your shot lines up. There are hazards like any golf course, including sand traps, water hazards, trees and mountains. The ball will actually bounce once off of the water before sinking, an unrealistic feature I'm very grateful for.

Open Tee focuses heavily on character customization and growth, rewarding you with new hats/hairstyles, clothing, accessories, clubs, and balls for playing through the various modes. New characters are also unlocked this way. Hairstyles and hats increase the control stat, clothing the power stat, and accessories the spin stat. Single player mode gives you the option to play through a course normally in Stoke Play, in tournaments or against a cpu in Challenge Mode, training in Training Mode, or you can test your putting skills in Putting Challenge, where you're allowed one put to get the ball in one of two holes, with the furthest being worth more points. Score more than the set goal and another hole will be added the next round, limited to five holes in all.


In addition to unlocking up to 250 different items, character stats will grow, loyalty for that particular character will increase, the number of “power shots” available per character per round will increment, and your rank will rise. A power shot is exactly what it sounds like, it just adds that extra oomph you might need to make it over that pond. As your loyalty with a character increases, their impact will become more effective, and you'll eventually be able to substitute your third X button press in the swinging process for triangle or circle, which will slightly increase or decrease your shot's power, respectively. This serves as a handy little error buffer. Finally, as you rise in rank, new courses and premium costume parts will become available.


Some minor complaints:

-If you want to exit back to the main menu, you have to first finish whatever hole you're on.

-The game supports up to eight players locally, but there's no online play.


That's pretty much all there is to Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee. It's a fun, relaxing game bordering on an exercise in meditation and was well worth the three bucks I paid for it. 

Find Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee on ebay | Amazon

Released: 2005-05-03
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer:  Clap Hanz, SCE Studios Japan


1 comments:

If you can find Pangya: Fantasy Golf, pick it up. It's amazing. Nice review!

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