Hot Shots Tennis ReviewJason Leyanna
Clap Hanz (no, don’t clap your hands just yet) is the developer behind the popular Hot Shots Golf series. They are back in the foray with this exclusive PlayStation 2 tennis game named Hot Shots Tennis (no surprise there). The game is initially at Love : Love, let’s see where it goes from there.
There is a training mode that you can start off with to get a feel for things while learning to volley, smash and get general practice. If you aren’t used to the game or have trouble just jumping into a match, give this a try first. There are singles and doubles matches to choose from, and you can play with up to four players at a time if you have a multitap.
The main mode of the game is Hot Shots Challenge. This is where you play to unlock other features and characters, as well as increasing your stats. There are 11 different courts to choose from. Some seem off the wall. It goes from the beach, with the sound of the waves crashing against the sand and the sound of sea gulls gliding through the calm air, to the Wild West. The environments are all in 3D and look quite nice for the most part. Though some things seem a bit unrealistic, overall that is just the intended effect. I’m still wondering how the ball bounces off of the sand at the beach.
The Triangle button will return a Lob, the Circle a Slice. Topspin is put on with the X button. Flat and Drop shots are performed by using a Directional Button and X or Circle, respectively. Serving takes two button presses, one to throw the ball, the second to hit it with your racket. Different buttons cause different actions to take place. The players will learn as they go along which moves are done by what.
There are occasions when the sounds seem odd and don’t really fit, but generally the sound effects are good. The voice acing is OK, though a few of them have a foreign accent in them.
Sometimes you can’t run as fast as you would like (to reach the ball) and will lose the point. There are colored markers on the court that show where the ball is supposed to land, but they can be turned off in the options to make things more of a challenge. The characters, 14 in all, have a cartoonish 3D look to them. This is their own style and may or may not be your idealistic portrayal of the characters. A player starts as either Ashley or Cody. Little images appear over your character’s head to show if you hit the ball just right or were a little early or late.
The game comes with an E for Everyone rating from the ESRB, indicating that it is a fair game for all ages to have fun with. So if you liked Clap Hanz’s previous games of golf, then give this a try for something a little different.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.