Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hot Shots Tennis

Developer: Clap Hanz
Publisher: Sony/SCEA
Release Date: July 17, 2007
System: PS2
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Hot Shots Golf ... now with more tennis!

0:01 The tennis-outfit-wearing faceless colored blobs on the menu screens are simultaneously the cutest and most disturbing things I've ever seen.
0:04 The balls have big Xs, Os and triangles to indicate what type of shot has been hit. Nice, but a little distracting. I prefer the subtle colors in Rockstar's Table Tennis.
0:05 The controls are pretty intuitive -- point the analog stick where you want the ball to go when you hit it. I love the lunging animations when you miss the ball.
0:07 I just got smacked in the face. A little "CONK" appears above my head. CUTE!
0:09 When the ball hits the net, a little "THOP!" word balloon appears. The little things matter!
0:11 I thought I was doing well, but I get an E for the first practice session. Only 7.7% sweet spot hits. What does that mean?
0:14 On to serve training. Holy crap it's hard. Everything seems to go out or just barely hit the line. If I hit the O button it's a little easier, if less effective.
0:15 I get an F on the serves. An F! I can't seem to get my serves to go in, and I can't figure out why. This game is mean!
0:21 I feel like I do a lot better at volleys, but I still end up with an E rating. 28.3 sweet spot hits though... not sure what I'm doing differently.
0:28 I get through all six levels of smash practice, but just barely. I love the on-court interface that shows just where to stand for smashes. Some more serve practice and I'll be ready for the real thing, I think.
0:29 Ah ha, I think I got it! The little rabbit means I'm too fast, and the turtle means I'm too slow. A little music note is just right! Now I'm on the trolley.
0:32 Armed with my new knowledge, I improve from an F to ... an E. I'm not used to having to be this precise with my timing just to get the serve in. It's kind of nice.
0:33 "Meet Ashley, a tennis beauty." Hi Ashley! "Let's have a good match." "Let's be friends." Man, what a cutthroat competitor.
0:35 The replay shows a pretty distinct upskirt shot of Ashley. Hell-looo Ashley! What's this game rated again?
0:39 I have to get used to not hitting the button before the ball gets there. Most other tennis games I've played don't care as much about timing. Again, kind of nice.
0:40 I win four games without breaking a sweat. The ball really responds well to placement commands, and the interface makes it easy to tell where balls coming at you are going to go. "Tennis is just so ... mmm .... wonderful!" Yes it is, Ashley. Yes it is.
0:43 Beginner difficulty is a little easy, so I go to the Fun Time Tennis Challenge. My opponent is at "Tennis Level 5," whatever that means. I put on some weights to make it harder for me and turn on some of the wacky rules -- slow motion and odd bounces.
0:46 Wow these weights suck. Luckily the slow-mo helps my reaction time.
0:47 A soccer ball just bounced through the court for no apparent reason. You won't see that in Virtua Tennis.
0:53 My last smash left a hole in the concrete. Nice!
0:55 After three games that go to deuce, I get used to the weights and run circles around the guy. It's still too easy. Why aren't the harder difficulties available right out?

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes
Why? Great interface, accurate controls and cute graphics. I just hope the difficulty picks up.

This review based on a retail copy provided by Sony.


Leonardo Melendez said...

Nice blog dude.

Ruth Anne said...

Did you get to see the dog?

(Experiment #7)

Kyle said...

I... do not recall a dog, no.


Good Morning Breakfast... said...

nice blog.

RJ12 said...

Nice Blog but long but I sure like it nice job