Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 Review

The Tiger Woods games make for some great videogame golf play, but the series has always been focused more towards serious gamers and golf enthusiasts rather than casual players.  Luckily for that overlooked latter group there's Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 which is decidedly geared towards lighthearted fun.

The game's casual take on golf comes at the cost of an overdose of cute, though.  Big-headed, giggling characters abound and repetitive peppy music is played throughout.  The game's twelve courses are pretty straightforward affairs and make you feel like you're playing your way through a series of municipal golf courses, but this probably won't matter much to the casual golf crowd.  As long as you don't mind that the graphics would probably appeal most to ten year old girls, the game delivers some solid arcade golf action.

The game can be played as a straightforward round of golf in competition against a field of computer-controlled players or in a challenge mode that awards you with bonus cards for your performance on the links.  These cards can be used to unlock new golfers, courses, and equipment and accessories.  However, sticking with the same character awards you with loyalty points that can be used to improve that golfer's skills.  You'll also be able to find some new stuff on the courses by pausing to look around when prompted to by your caddy,  If you can locate something shiny then you'll add that bonus item to your stash.  The downside the this whole card system is that you'll need to play the same course with the same golfer a number of times in order to unlock new golfers and locations.

The game uses the same mechanics usually found in golf games.  You press X once to start your backswing, press X again to begin moving the club forward, and then X again to make contact with the ball.  An on-screen meter will help you monitor the power of your swing and the ball's sweet spot while you're doing all that X pressing.  Helpful information appears elsewhere on the screen to help you judge your swing, so you'll always know how much power is appropriate for the next swing or how far you'll hi the ball with a particular club.

Open Tee 2 opens the gameplay to online multiplayer, supporting up to 16 players per game.  Thankfully, if you manage to get that many players together you won't have to play in turn and wait for 15 other players to take a shot before you can take your next swing.  Then again it's not much of a multiplayer experience when you're just comparing scores at the end of a hole.  The game provides a basic but functional lobby for locating other gamers and to chat with each other via an odd collection of canned phrases.

Open Tee 2 is not for everyone.  If you're a serious golfer or sports gamer, then you should probably stick to Tiger Woods.  Also, if you have a low tolerance for overly cute, big-headed characters then Open Tee 2 should be avoided at all costs.  However, if you're looking for some casual golf play and like games with plenty of items to unlock, Open Tee 2 will provide you with plenty of entertainment. 

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 76%. If you've always thought that Tiger Woods PGA TOUR wasn't a cute enough game for you, you'll love Hot Shots: Open Tee 2.


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