Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! Review
Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Clap Hanz 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SCEA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 29, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

When compared to just going through the motions of a tournament, playing matches with NPCs adds an interesting dynamic to the game’s core aim, adding some color and character (although admittedly with some degree of silly filler) to an already personable series while significantly upping the number of players you’ll challenge.

Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! screenshot

In addition to progressing through each destination, fulfilling tennis challenges is also key to getting a leg up on your competition. Winning matches earns you experience which in turn unlocks new moves, strategies and hit types that lower level players don’t have access to. Additionally, items earned by winning level up as well, which earn you blanket stats boosts like speed or stamina to all of your party members. It’s a pretty neat little system that certainly keeps things interesting while at the same time giving some incentive to play as much tennis as possible for more than just fun or silly costumes to dress your players in (though these are both present as well). However, the archetypal RPG mechanic of introducing new party members per new destination is in full force here. Defeating a tennis boss will make them want to join you, so if you come across someone new in your travels who you want to start using, they’re going to require some leveling up before they can adequately compete with whoever you’re facing from there on out—opponents’ levels move up traditionally, not based on wherever your own levels are. However, progressing through the silly story mode yields no shortage of ridiculous tennis encounters, and you can backtrack to previous destinations should the urge strike you.

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Though the RPG gameplay can be a little tedious at some points (again, the innocuous narrative is silly, although the characters are cute and charming anyway) Get a Grip! is a great tennis title. I’m glad we’re finally getting to the point where the poor PSP is pumping out some really strong-looking titles—alongside the gorgeous Peace Walker, Get a Grip! is easily one of the lushest games I’ve seen on Sony’s portable in recent memory (although for completely different reasons). All the mischievous charm of the Hot Shots series has been crammed into this one, too, with all the goofy costumes and accessories you could want (alongside some annoyingly prominent Adidas product placement) and reactive courts (balloons pop, people and umpires fall down or react to being hit with a stray ball, fireworks go off). Prior tennis knowledge aside, if you like Hot Shots Tennis, this one’s an ace.

By Steve Haske
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
It may be cartoony, but Get a Grip! is a damn pretty PSP game.
4.7
Control
Much like all Hot Shots games, the controls are remarkably simple, though a skilled player will need some finesse to get shot timing down.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Your typical happy-go-lucky Hot Shots tracks and tennis sounds, which works well enough, though I recommend playing matches with the music off for the proper ambiance. Voice-overs are often British, for some reason.
4.5
Play Value
Hot Shots has always been a fun-yet-challenging series, and that description remains apt here. If you enjoy tennis, this is a good one.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • New “tennis RPG” presentation puts a new spin on the Hot Shots experience
  • Collect and level up a new set of characters on your global quest to spread the joy of tennis
  • Play single or double matches, or ad-hoc with your friends


  • Screenshots / Images
    Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! screenshot - click to enlarge Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! screenshot - click to enlarge Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! screenshot - click to enlarge Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! screenshot - click to enlarge

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