|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 games 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 youll challenge.
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 dont 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. Its 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, theyre going to require some leveling up before they can adequately compete with whoever youre facing from there on outopponents 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.
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. Im glad were finally getting to the point where the poor PSP is pumping out some really strong-looking titlesalongside the gorgeous Peace Walker, Get a Grip! is easily one of the lushest games Ive seen on Sonys 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 ones an ace.
CCC Freelance Writer