|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|
Finally, like other Hot Shots titles, a full-on Training mode is included. Training allows players to choose any hole from any course they've opened. Moreover, you can change hole selection at anytime, you can redo shots, or even advance to the next hole on the course without actually finishing. The Training mode is very flexible, user-friendly, and does a very good job of helping you master the most difficult sections of specific holes.
Multiplayer functionality is simply perfect! It was very easy to hop online, get matched to a bunch of players, and the pacing was phenomenal. This even holds true for matches with 16 players! The only minor issue I found with online play was the one-minute wait between each hole. It felt a little slow, but you are allowed to access a bunch of situation-appropriate chat features to chew the fat with your online partners. Furthermore, Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 allows you to play with up to seven other friends locally via Ad-Hoc functionality. I don't expect Ad-Hoc play to be used frequently, but it's nice to be able to play with friends in your living room or with your siblings on a long car ride.
The presentation is classic Hot Shots! The upbeat tunes, cutesy characters, and nature stills are all present and accounted for. The game, especially the courses, looks great. There are tons of great accessories to unlock, and they all do a great job making your characters look distinct.
I also enjoyed the basic control scheme of this title. It is very easy to view the course, change camera angles, and work club selection. The retro, three-button controls is a tried and true method that most will find to be very accessible. Also, Power Tuning is a very nice feature that allows you to increase or decrease the distance by pressing Triangle or Circle at impact rather than the standard X button. Finally, adding spin to the ball couldn't be easier. By pressing the D-pad in the desired direction, you will be able to fade and draw the ball as well as stop it on the green and get extra run out of your drives.
There are a lot of options you can change as well, and even some that you can unlock. For example, I really liked the data function. Video clips of important accomplishments such as Chip-in Birdies, Hole-in-Ones, and Double Eagles are saved to be reviewed later. Furthermore, a host of statistics are kept so you can keep an eye on your golfing skill. These stats can be viewed by character, course, putts, and even online results.
Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 is full of challenge and great unlockables. The 12 courses included are very interesting and boast quite distinct terrain. I had a bunch of fun opening up all of the unlockable characters and cards in the single-player mode, but the online multiplayer tournaments were the most enjoyable. Being able to customize my favorite character my way, equip him appropriately, and then head out to the links for a little friendly competition was great! It made the arduous process of opening up the goodies far more rewarding. This title is the perfect companion for the PSP and one I highly recommend. If you already own the original title for the PSP, it is still worth giving it a look because there are new courses, more collectibles, and an online feature that can't be beat.
CCC Editor / News Director