Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 PSP

Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 PSP
With the Hot Shots Golf series of games, Sony has found a near-perfect balance between a realistic golf simulation and a cartoon-y, over-the-top take on the sport. And so it’s no wonder that they’ve been more than happy to bring it back for an encore on the PSP.

Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 lends itself to the pick-up-and-play portability of the PSP, and the no nonsense presentation makes it possible to speed through a game without making too much of a dent on the battery. It keeps everything very simple, from the standard three-button press approach to hitting the ball to the obvious controls for doing everything else. And while the graphics aren’t earth shattering, they are more than adequate, and the sound is so unnecessary that playing with the volume down isn’t a problem.

What makes the game suffer is the same thing that makes it work: the familiarity. The game looks and plays exactly as its predecessor and anyone who owns that game might wonder what the incentive is to pick up this instalment. Well, six new courses are a good place to start and they’re a much more welcome addition than the many crazy characters who still walk the line between annoying and very annoying. Fortunately they can be customised by the wealth of items that are earned during "Challenge Mode.”

The biggest addition, however, is online play. Instead of the usual ad-hoc option, there is full-blown online play, although there seems to be a distinct lack of folks to play against at the moment. It doesn’t help that the lobbies aren’t particularly easy to negotiate, but hopefully things will sort themselves out because it’s a fine extra to an already enjoyable game.

With Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2, Sony has essentially delivered an updated version of the first, not messing with anything that worked. So, there isn’t too much to complain about here — it looks good, it plays well, there is a remarkable amount of depth in the single player game and it is still as addictive as ever.

If they do want to squeeze out a third chapter though, they will need to add some major innovations to keep up with the competition. (Sony)