Hot Shots Tennis

Reviewed by Martin Henely, Posted on 2007-08-11


Developer: Clap Hanz Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: July 17, 2007 Also On: None

Hot Shots Golf is a reasonably well-known arcade-style golf game. Naturally, then, it was only a matter of time before the company that created that game would try its hand at other sports. Hot Shots Tennis is the result of that further experimentation. But is Hot Shots Tennis a tennis game that is worth playing or is it better left on the shelf? Read on to find out.

Graphically, Hot Shots Tennis is pretty good. The game is meant to give off more of a cartoonish look rather than striving for absolute photorealism. Still, the courts look very nice and the characters in the game also are good-looking and animate well. Everything looks just like it should for a tennis game, especially a tennis game of this type, and I have no major complaints to harbor against the game in this category.

On the sound front, the music is nice, but is generally unobtrusive to the experience, as it should be in a game like this where you need to be able to pay attention to what you are doing and make split-second moves. The sound effects likewise are done decently well. The game even features a few one-liners that the characters will say during various circumstances. The sound then is also done very well, as were the graphics.

In terms of gameplay, Hot Shots Tennis is a tennis game, in case you havenít figured that out. It is more of an arcade style tennis game than a simulation, but it is not so far on the arcade side that it resembles Mario Tennis. Indeed, fans of real tennis will probably appreciate just how close to real tennis this game comes. This, naturally, will mean a lot of frustration for those people who are not that familiar with tennis.

Why do I say that? Tennis is a game that inherently is a tug of war in which each player is trying to put the ball somewhere where the other player canít get to it. When that happens to you, thereís nothing you can do about it. And, unfortunately, from the very beginning of the one-player mode, it seems like the computer players are reasonably good at putting the ball in such positions, meaning that the learning curve is a bit steeper than it should be, in my opinion. The game does come with somewhat of a tutorial, but it is a tutorial that seems meant more to help you improve your skill at the game than to teach you how to play the game in the first place.

At the same time, however, the game also comes with more of an exhibition-like mode that can be played with up to four players. In this mode, and in this mode only, you can play doubles tennis with two players on each side of the net. Personally, I think a campaign mode for a two-player team would have been a nice addition to the game, especially since my friend and I were far better as a team than either of us was individually.

Still, despite that omission, this game has a lot to offer the casual tennis fan, and probably even the hardcore one. The one-player campaign mode is reasonably lengthy and is certainly challenging enough. The controls are simple enough that they wonít take days to learn, but in depth enough to give you control over what youíre doing. And the exhibition mode can provide for many hours of tennis fun with multiple people.

What then is my conclusion? If you are a fan of tennis, there is no logical reason not to at least consider picking this game up, and in all likelihood, little reason not to actually do so. Tennis games donít come out nearly as often as games involving other sports, so when a good one like this one comes along, tennis fans should take it seriously and support the companies that make them. Even as someone who isnít a tennis fan, however, you can still get entertainment value out of this game. I know I did. Therefore, I strongly recommend that anybody who is a fan of tennis or anyone who just likes fun sports games seriously consider adding this game to their collection.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7.6
Written by Martin Review Guide

Reviewed by Martin Henely