Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 Review

Years ago, early PSP owners were pleasantly surprised by a cutesy golf title called Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee. The outer shell hid much deeper mechanics, and one of the best golf experiences yet in videogames. It was no easy task for Clap Hanz to surpass the level of Open Tee with Out of Bounds on the PS3, but they did so. Now they attempt to top that original PSP title with Open Tee 2.

If you enjoyed Open Tee, you’ll love Open Tee 2. I’ll just go ahead and get that out of the way. The game plays the same as before, and many features and modes are the same. Anyone who’s ever played a golf game on a console will feel right at home with the Hot Shots mechanics and shot meters, and if anything new is tossed your way, you can bet it’s done so in such a smooth and silky way that you’ll know what you’re doing long before you know you’re doing it.

That’s a good thing, too, because with the level of complexity you can employ in shots once you factor in all the direction and button combinations you can utilize, it may take a bit for you to learn what you’re doing beyond the simple “Hit the shot here” routine.

Unlike the PS3’s latest Hot Shots outing, Open Tee 2 stays closer to the humorous and comical roots of the originals. You can win and equip your golfers with all sorts of items ranging from the cool to the bizarre (and often both). It’s a bit more comfortable and feels a bit more like Hot Shots than Out of Bounds did, which is a good thing.

What isn’t a good thing is that the new advanced shot mode from Out of Bounds fails to make the transition to Open Tee 2. Golfers are stuck with the traditional Hot Shots shooting, despite the fact the new advanced shot mode was one of the better features of Out of Bounds.

Thankfully, the rest of the game still stands up strong compared to Open Tee, improving in just about every area. Challenge mode is back and better than ever with more unlockables, and the gameplay remains as fun as ever. The best (and biggest) change in the Open Tee iteration of Hot Shots is the inclusion of wi-fi multiplayer, and that makes up for the fact that the game only slightly improves upon the first.

Connecting via wi-fi to other PSP owners, you can compete in tournaments and matches, all with house rules. (So sometimes you can use custom equipment you’ve unlocked, sometimes you can’t.) The network play started out a little slow and frustrating a couple of weeks ago, but with the launch just around the corner (today for some of our readers), the issues seem to be hammered out, and the online experience against other journalists and people who work on the franchise (almost all better than me, in case you were wondering) has been smooth as silk.

Is Open Tee 2 the best of the Hot Shots franchise? No-Out of Bounds still holds its recently earned title. Open Tee 2 is an improvement upon the original PSP classic, but only a slight one. If it weren’t for the wi-fi multiplayer, one could easily justify buying the much cheaper Open Tee to satisfy their portable golfing needs. Now that you can play your Hot Shots on the go and against friends worldwide, though, there’s no questioning it: Open Tee 2 is a must-own for any Hot Shots fans, and anyone looking for a good multiplayer PSP game.



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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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