(Sony for PS2)
By Mike Delano
Hot Shots Tennis! makes the regrettable mistake of not being cute enough. Sure, you can play as an aw-shucks toddler, a giggling schoolgirl, or an endearingly super-deformed muscle-bound Native American. You can play on a beach or in the Wild West, and your character emotes a happy symbol above his or her head when they make a good play. But the character and environment concepts are all over the map and don’t adhere to any theme that could help this title stand out in the crowded tennis field. For cute, simplistic tennis, Mario Power Tennis remains the game of choice, but for Playstation users, Hot Shots is a pretty good substitute. The crisp, colorful presentation is great and the silky smooth gameplay is what we’ve come to expect from the Hot Shots name. It won’t take long for experienced gamers to crave the depth and less hyperactive tone of established series such as Virtua Tennis, but for younger gamers or those with an undying devotion to the Hot Shots games, this should give you a happy symbol above your head.