Sega Superstars Tennis
- Sega characters, some cute themed mini-games
- Crummy lob recovery, obnoxious special moves, more suited for lounging at home
Sega Superstars Tennis' character roster has potential, but the tennis here is just too gimmicky and frustrating to recommend.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
There's nothing wrong with having a Sega character sports game. In fact, it could be cool to take advantage of series with unique characters from Sonic the Hedgehog to Ulala of Space Channel 5. Maybe the mice from Chu Chu Rocket can't play tennis, but they can definitely feature in a mini-game! Sadly, while the characters add style, they really don't do much for the faulted gameplay you find in Sega Superstars Tennis.
We had heaps of fun playing with Mario Tennis, so we were excited at first to see the similar two-button approach to hitting different types of shots: A-B for a lob, B-A for a drop, and B or A for slice or topspin respectively. Alternatively, you can use the stylus to move while tapping to swing, but it's about as imprecise as you might imagine. Sometimes placing shots was troublesome, but it could've just been our character type – Amigo (Samba de Amigo), for instance, is a power player, while Beat (Jet Grind Radio) specialises in speed.
Instead of just letting players focus on playing good tennis, there had to be some sort of gimmick. Unfortunately it comes in the form of Superstar abilities that you can't turn off. If these special moves had even the slightest ties to the individual characters' personalities, they might have been interesting, but as it stands, Sonic going Super Sonic and hitting the ball at a weird angle isn't very compelling. Whacky bounces and physics-defying trajectories are good for annoying friends in multiplayer, but against the computer it's just disruptive.
An even larger frustration, though, is everyone's inability to recover lobs. In most tennis games, if you hustle you can often find some way to smack the ball back over the net, even if it's behind you. Here your characters just give up even if you are clearly within a reasonable rescue range.
After abandoning the tournament modes, you can punk around in multiplayer with friends (multicart or shareable single cart options) or explore eight different mini-games based on Sega titles like Virtua Squad, Space Harrier, and Super Monkey Ball. You'd think the mini-games would be good training for your serious matches, but often they employ completely different aiming mechanics. Whacking zombies in Curien Mansion is cool for a minute, as is eliminating Puyo groups in Puyo Pop Fever, but running around for rings in the Sonic level is old before you start. As with any mini-game collection, it's pretty hit or miss.
The final thing to keep in mind when avoiding Sega Superstars Tennis for DS is that the game looks better on consoles. Also, the play style isn't really suited to handhelds, since there doesn't appear to be a way to save your progress in a tournament. While the character roster has potential, the tennis here is just too gimmicky and frustrating to recommend.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 2 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 3 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 4 HTC One (M8s) review: Better value for money than HTC's flagship
- 5 ZTE Blade S6 review: A dual-SIM, 4G smartphone for less than $300
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Batman: Arkham Knight (PC) review: Holy squandered potential, Batman
- Batman: Arkham Knight: How bad are the issues? Pretty bad.
- Sony doubles PlayStation 4 storage ahead of big game releases
- Nvidia outs GeForce GTX 960M and GeForce GTX 950M GPUs for thin gaming laptops
- New hardware spurs strong growth for video games sales in Australia
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.