|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Clap Hanz||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA (Sony)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 player; 2-8 Ad Hoc (Local); 2-16 Infrastructure (Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
Clap Hanz has got arcade golf down. The last few editions of their Hot Shots Golf series have been very well executed, and Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 is hardly an exception. Open Tee 2 marks the return of the wacky golf title to the PSP. The gameplay mechanics are by no means innovative, but the addition of online multiplayer is a complete game changer. Fans of the Hot Shot series won't find a whole lot that's new, but the 12 challenging courses and hundreds of character customization options are very enjoyable indeed.
For the uninitiated, Hot Shots Golf may seem like an overly simplistic title. Veterans on the other hand find the series irresistible. The game combines outlandish course design, RPG-like ability modifications, and tons of unlockable and customizable characters. Furthermore, gameplay is very similar to the EA PGA Tour titles of old. That is to say, very solid, three-button meter controls with challenging courses and varying conditions.
Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 sports four modes of play including Challenge Mode, Stroke Play, Minigame, and Training. Challenge Mode takes players on a golfing tour while opening up twelve courses, gear, accessories, skills, and abilities. Challenge Mode has a variety of competitive formats to choose from including match play showdowns, stroke play tourneys, and unlockable Vs. matches. Stroke Play mode allows you to play a course that you've opened, achieve your personal best, and even accrue points.
Challenge mode is the main mode of play. It implements a card system that both customizes and improves upon the skills of your characters. The cards are divided into three separate categories: Head, Body, and Accessory. These cards, in turn, grant increases in control, power, and spin respectively. As you acquire cards, you will not only be awarded with the hair (or hat), outfit, or accessory shown on the card, but you'll also be ranked up in the skill governed by the card once you fill the quota. Additionally, new Vs. matches will be available when you fill the quota. By challenging the new opponent and winning, you will be given access to that new player. Vs. matches start out being very simple, but as you progress, your opponents become quite challenging indeed!
The "Minigame" section only has one game to select. It's a fun offering, but it's also a bit light. The mini-game features a nine hole, hole-in-one challenge that has you take aim at one of three cups on various greens. Each cup is worth different amounts of points depending on the difficulty of its placement. Landing on the green simply isn't good enough; you'll have to actually sink the shot. Don't worry too much though; the cups are all placed at the bottom of wells on the green. The biggest challenge is selecting the right club and judging the wind and the roll just right to make sure you get the ball into the right cup. This mode was quite fun, and sinking shots directly from the tee box with different iron selections is a great way to work on your approach play.