SEGA Superstars Tennis Review (Wii)
For some odd reason, Sega Superstars Tennis is one of those games that you will love and then hate all within a span of a few minutes.
The good feelings start when you begin to reminisce about classic games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Jet Set Radio, Super Monkey Ball, et. al. Then your smile will grow bigger as you and your friends take these characters into multiplayer singles or doubles competition. Unfortunately before you know it, your friends are going to leave and you are then going to be left with a frown as the single-player action is barely passable.
Sega Superstars Tennis is a game built for a couple of very specific audiences. One, the children and two, people who will buy anything Sega. I think the game serves its purpose for both of these crowds but will fall short for anyone looking for a great game of tennis.
The game features three controller configurations for the Wii, standard, nunchuck and traditional. I prefer the nunchuck style myself. Moving around the character with the analog dial in your left hand and using your right to perform the various types of swings seemed to be the best control blend for the game.
The single-player offerings are pretty much bare minimum. You have the standard singles or doubles match, the obligatory arcade tournament mode, and then you have the game's core mode, Superstar Mode.
Superstar mode challenges you to beat a variety of challenges through the various titles represented in Sega Superstars Tennis. Each game features different mini-games that all seem to be the same type of challenge no matter which world you are playing in. If the mini games were more varied and if there was more actual tennis to be played (the matches are few and far between in Superstar Mode), the mode would have been much more enjoyable.
The action on the court with friends is a blast as there are no obvious AI shortcomings to be had, and you can just have a ball. However, once you put the AI itself to the test, the fun begins to dwindle. The action itself is solid performance wise, as there aren't any weird happenings that bend the rules of tennis; but, a perfect simulation of the game of tennis this is not.
Each character has a special power and “superstar ability” that you can activate as you get hotter throughout the match. Each superstar ability will result in a wacky shot that will be tough to return and almost always results in a point. Since this is an arcade game through and through, I think this is a good thing as it gives the game a bit of depth as you have to pick when to use these shots very carefully.
Another strange quirk to me is that the ball goes pretty slow even when it is hit the hardest. There is no doubt that this was done to make the game more accessible, but it is something that needs to be mentioned as some will find the slow ball speed to be a deal breaker.
The game is also very easy. You will be playing the game at a very high level the minute you master the Wii controls, which may take you half an hour. If you want to feel like a superstar and win over and over again, even on hard, this is definitely the tennis game for you.
In the end, it's hard for me to recommend this game with so many other quality arcade titles out there on the Wii. I'd buy this game if you want to get your kid interested in tennis, the Sega characters, or if you want to take a trip down memory lane yourself and play with some old favorites. Otherwise, it would be easy to look by Sega Superstars Tennis.
On The Court: Each character offers a new level of strategy and the action is passable, perhaps even good when played with friends. Playing against the AI leaves a lot to be desired.
Graphics: The colorful style is adequate, but it is not a gorgeous game by any means. Some of the character animations seem weird and the characters themselves could use a bit more detail. Each level looks unique and there is plenty of detail. It's merely average in terms of looks.
Sound: Some of the songs are absolutely terrible and some are actually not too bad. The tennis sounds aren't so bad either, as with everything else with the game, it's merely average.
Entertainment Value: Playing with friends is fun, playing against the computer isn't all that fun. Superstar mode will bore you after you play through a couple of levels and realize how repetitive it is.
Learning Curve: Simply put, I was playing at a high level and rarely lost within 20 minutes of picking the game up. It's very accessible but also very easy, even on the hardest difficulty.