One of my favorite first party sports games ever to come out of Sony has been the Hot Shots Golf series, which has combined a light hearted approach with the game of golf to provide a pretty fun experience through the series. Now the series has made its way onto a smaller screen, that being of the Sony Playstation Portable. So does the series make a hole in one on its first outing, or are they just going to have to settle for a bogey? Read our full review to find out!
What has made this Hot Shots series such a hit in the past is that it really has been a fun take on the game of golf. Being very much a "play for fun" sort of golfer who likes to hack my way through the course, I must say that this series has always brought me a lot of joy mainly, because it is so accessible. So does Hot Shots Golf keep this tradition alive?
Golf games as a whole are really are judged primarily on a few things, but mainly their controls, which are really the essential part to any golf game. The controls in Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee are really flawless and make for a very easy and seamless experience on the PSP. For some reason or another, the series is still uses the three click system. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong, as it does work perfectly as ever. But it’s been around for a while and it’s kind of surprising they haven’t updated it. But perhaps as they say, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
The mode of choice is probably going to be the Challenge mode, which is where the depth of the game can be found. It is here that the game starts off rather easy and then progressively becomes more and more difficult. I found that in the later stages of the game that you have to honestly be downright perfect to win some of these competitions. This can be frustrating, but winning these sorts of events is also a treat because it gives you a definite feeling of accomplishment. The overall single player portion of the game is solid, giving you the full Hot Shots feel on the PSP.
The multiplayer portion of the game is where I find my biggest problem, and this is mainly because I just don’t see why they couldn’t have put online play in. This would have been a great addition to the game and would have really in my opinion put it over the top. With that being said the game does include WiFi support for up to eight players, which is a good thing but the options aren’t all that complex and don’t do as much for the multiplayer support as they could.
The style of the Hot Shots series has really never changed and don’t plan on that happening with this game, as it really has a very unique cartoonish style that goes right along with the rest of the series. So does this correlate into a great looking game?
Well I can’t say that Hot Shots Golf Open Tee is the best looking game out there, but I must say that the developers did a great job recreating the game for the PSP. The visuals have very great looking character models and the courses although not perfect are very nicely colored and detailed. Overall this game is not going to overwhelm you with its visuals but it sure won’t make you disappointed either.
The Hot Shots Golf series has always been an "arcade" golf title, which means it was made to be fun and that’s exactly what this game does; it allows you to have fun. The game takes the lighthearted approach and runs with it, which for me translates into a lot of laughs and just a much laid back attitude. I was however disappointed with the absence of online play, which I think would have really put this game over the top, but the game was still a whole lot of fun none the less.
Hot Shots Golf Open Tee is a great game for any of the fans of the series. It has plenty of great courses, fun characters, and just a very accessible and solid gameplay system. The game isn’t perfect, but if you’re in the mood for a fun golf experience, this game is a great choice for you.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.