Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip
Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
Tennis is a sport that is enjoyed by many, but it really requires talent to be any good at it. Thankfully, for those who can’t play the sport well in real life, the selection of tennis video games has often delivered fun and varied experience from a number of different developers. Clap Hanz have taken the same formula that has made their Hot Shots Golf franchise a success and has carried it over into the sport of Tennis with Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip. If you’re a fan of their Golf series and/or love arcade style tennis, it might be time for you to grip your PSP.
Hot Shots Tennis plays itself similar to the Hot Shots Golf series, offering a cartoonish, yet deep representation of the sport of Tennis. The game’s main mode is the single player campaign mode, which sees you starting off as a young, fledgling fan of sport and tasked in spreading the same love or helping people understand why the sport is popular. While definitely not impressive nor very linear, there is a lot offered in the campaign. You begin with only two tennis players, but after progressing additional characters and courts will be unlocked along with tons of other goodies.
On the court, getting accustomed to the controls will probably only take a game or two before you’re smashing balls on the line and easily winning matches. Just the same as Hot Shots Golf, there is a loyalty system in place here. The more you use a character, the more abilities you will unlock. All players start off with the basics of lob, spin and slice shots but after progressing through the story and using characters more frequently, additional serving types, more shot choices, and of course, additional gear to wear will unlock. This reward system has always been welcomed and once again, while you may enjoy using one character over others, you will definitely see yourself switching it up to improve all. Thankfully, even with the fairly uninspiring story mode, there is a valiant effort placed in having you mix up the characters you choose. This is done by either giving you bonuses for using a specific player or having matches where a certain play-style must be used.
Doubles matches are also included in both the story mode and exhibition play. If you manage to play with a friend on another PSP, it can result in some really fun matches as the opponent AI is fairly competent and will certainly offer a challenge. On the other hand, if you decide to (or have no choice but to) play with an AI partner, their intelligence often comes into question. Too frequently, the computer partner will make dumb decisions, get in the way of a shot, or completely fan on what should be an easy shot. It can be frustrating at times, especially when the playing a close match. You might not be able to avoid these matches; but thankfully, they don’t happen that often.
In the sights and sounds department, Hot Shots Tennis continues the cartoony style the Hot Shots franchise is known for. The characters are well varied, with a good collection at your disposal. On top of that, there are tons of unlockable hairstyles, costumes and accessories to collect and customize with; it’s quite simple to completely transform a once generic character into a truly extravagant Tennis player. On the audio end, the cheesy lines of dialogue from the characters in match do tend to get repetitive rather quickly, but fortunately aren’t frequent or overbearing. On the court, there are plenty of interesting cues - thanks in part to the interactive environments. Every unlocked court is filled with spectators, objects, and other little trinkets here and there. If you happen to smash a shot at a particular object, the ball might hit something that reveals a little surprise. Only a few objects will actually factor into a match, but they do add some much needed flair to each court.
The Hot Shots franchise already had a strong presence on the PSP with its Golf series and Get a Grip brings the same enjoyment to the sport of Tennis. The story mode might not be as enthralling as it could have been though it won’t pose too much of a problem for most gamers. The unlockables, easy controls, and deep options do more than enough to keep players occupied. Considering the $20 price-point, getting a friend to play with shouldn’t be a problem and will most certainly lead to some long rallies and plenty of smack-talk.
+ Responsive controls
+ Lots of content to unlock
- Story Mode leans on the dull side
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Release Date : 2010/06/29
System : PSP
Publisher : SCEA
Developer : Clap Hanz
Category : Sports
ESRB : E
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