Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip Game Poster Image
Fun tennis sim is a good sports game for the whole family.
  • PSP
  • $19.99
  • 2010

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Upbeat and positive (the player begins by joining the “Love Tennis Club”), the story mode has players travelling around the world to face interesting new opponents. Meanwhile, the multiplayer mode promotes social gaming via local area networks.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game features several stereotypical tennis character types, ranging from happy-go-lucky to serious and aggressive. Players will see the occasional thrown racquet and angry remark, but the characters are generally good natured.

Ease of Play

This is a fairly traditional tennis game with familiar controls. It’s designed to be accessible, but some of the matches offer a good challenge.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

Corporate logos are occasionally apparent, such as the Adidas brand appearing on clubhouse walls.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip is a family-friendly tennis game featuring memorable cartoony characters. The story mode has a positive message about healthy competition, while ad hoc local area network play promotes social gaming interaction. The action is fairly accessible, though it is at times surprisingly challenging, which could frustrate younger players.

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What's it about?

HOT SHOTS TENNIS: GET A GRIP, much like Sony’s Hot Shots games about golf, is a lighthearted look at a serious sport. The game’s fictional tennis stars are cartoony and generally quite likable; stereotypes whose personalities match their playing styles (aggressive, controlled, well-rounded, etc). The story mode allows players to travel around the world taking on new challengers and unlocking new items and costumes while an ad-hoc wireless mode allows up to four players to play together in a local area network. It also supports game sharing, meaning that a player without a copy of the software can take part in a game hosted by another player.

Is it any good?

Sony’s Hot Shots golf and tennis games aren’t taken nearly as seriously as they deserve to be by North American gamers. Their graphics may be cartoony and their cast of characters goofy, but the core play is often terrific; a refreshing antidote to some of the serious, no-nonsense sports simulators on the market.

That’s certainly the case with Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip. The tennis action is familiar but well executed. Players have a full arsenal of shot types at their disposal and can vary shot placement via a combination of nimble directional pad taps and good swing timing. What’s more, the story mode has you enhancing the natural abilities of your characters through a loyalty system and earning special items, costumes, and equipment, resulting in a subtle but agreeable sports RPG vibe. There aren’t many better family-friendly sports games for Sony’s handheld.

Online interaction: You can play with others, but only over ad hoc local area networks with friends.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about playing games in local area networks using handheld gaming devices. How does this experience compare to playing games with others using the same screen, or online where you can’t see and in some cases cannot communicate with your fellow players?

  • Families can also discuss the game industry’s tendency to show female characters with moderate to deep cleavage, even in family-oriented games such as Hot Shots Tennis. Do you think games tend to stereotype women?

Game details

  • Platforms: PSP
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Release date: June 29, 2010
  • Genre: Sports
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes

For kids who love sports games

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