Replay Value: 8.1
Hot Shots Golf was by far the most critically acclaimed golf game ever. The title took the sport to the limits by making it seem more extreme. Hanz Clap did a good job of putting the fun into golf. Golf as you know isn't too exciting to watch, but Hot Shots Golf was just the opposite. Since Sony received so much praise they decided to follow up on the title, and here we have Hot Shots Golf 2. Released in Japan quite some time ago, Hot Shots Golf is basically the same game with new faces and more challenge. See how the title did, is it a worthy sequel or is it not.
The gameplay visuals look absolutely great, CG like characters are present on the screen. Since not much animation is needed for the golfers, Hanz Clap was able to put very fine detail on each character. The courses in HSG2 are very vibrant, full of bright colors and excellently detailed, the golf courses come to life as they are played. The game does have some special effects, like trails from the golf ball, but what I really like about the visuals is that the lighting effects are extremely good. When you would see the ball in the air and it zooms past the sun, you will see the rays from the sun beaming into the screen, nice touch. The visuals are very crisp in HSG2, there is a difference between the first in a positive direction.
Now let me get one thing straight, I have played HSG1, but to the level where I got very far in it. I knew how to play it and all, and I was pretty good at it. But when I popped in HSG2, the game felt incredibly hard, I don't know if it was me needing to regain my skills, or was it just that Hanz Clap really raised the difficulty. When I got the hang of the game again, I was playing fairly well in the Versus mode, when I got to the point where I reached 2 wins, the AI would just go berserk on me. They wouldn't play perfect, but even when they mess up, they miraculously made a comeback. My confidence as well as happiness would just be shattered. Another compliant is that predicting a spot at where the ball should be hit at, luckily there is a little feature in HSG2 that shows you the ground elevation when you are putting.
HSG2 is playable up to 4 players, with the Multi-Tap, if you have a few friends you should invite them a have a little party. When playing Hot Shots Golf 2 for some reason you can't help but jump for joy when after beating the opponent in a match. If by any chance you have envy for Mario's Golf 64 and want a golf game that features some PS mascots on it, look no further. HSG2 features Gex, Sweetooth and Dan Fortesque from Medievil. Along with them are ten other golfers and that adds up to 13 golfers, and if you want courses well there are 8 Clubs to play in, with 18 golf courses in each club you do the math. There is plenty of replay value in Hot Shots Golf 2 and more modes than I expected, six if you want to be specific.
To be completely honest I don't really like the tunes in the game. They are all elevator tunes, sounding too childish for me to care about them and I don't even find my self listening to them, if you have a favorite CD and a Discman then be my guest and turn it up as loud as you can. Another objection I have to the tunes is that they sound too Japanese. Before you all jump on me, let me clarify, the high pitched kick-ins in the songs are extremely annoying and they remind me of a few Japanese anime themes that I have heard a while back. On the bright side you do hear some cheering and a few voices but that's about all.
The control hasn't changed much, hitting the golf ball is still done by timing. All that is explained in the Tutorial and it is explained much clearer so you should take a look in there, therefore I will just skip to the ending. Hot Shots Golf 2 is somewhat plagued by a few things, although not enough to make it a bad sequel. Those who played HSG to the death should pick up HSG2, those who didn't should at least rent.