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XBOX 360 Video Game Review: SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS

“Finally, a tennis game featuring Sega video game characters with mini-games galore and some wacky fun that I would come to expect from Sega.”

TITLE: SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS

CONSOLE: XBOX 360

RATING: EVERYONE – Mild blood, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes

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As a person who buys a lot of tennis video games, I’ve been waiting for a tennis game featuring the characters from Sega video games.

With Nintendo’s popular “Mario Tennis” and “Mario Power Tennis” (or Mario Tennis: Power Tour for the GBA), Nintendo tennis games have been very addictive and fun.

So, I figured that Sega’s entry featuring characters from the popular “Sonic the Hedgehog” series plus characters from the “Samba de Amigo”, “Space Channel 5”, “Jet Set Radio”, “Nights” and “Super Monkeyball” series, we would get one hell of a tennis game.

One thing I enjoyed about “Mario Tennis: Power Tour” was the ability to start with a boy and girl and then train and develop the characters and take on character bosses and later on take on some of the Nintendo All-Stars.

Another game, “Tennis no Ojisama Crystal Drive” for the DS featured characters from the popular anime and manga series and taking on rival schools utilizing special tennis attacks and strategy.

So, I was wondering what direction “SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS” would take.

The overall gameplay of SST features Sonic and 15 friends in a game where you select a character and visit various courts that revolve around Sega video games and you play various mini games until you get to a tournament match which if beaten, will open up a character and additional stages.

Within these stages are mini games such as Puyo Pop which you must eliminate Puyos or certain colors of Puyos; Sonic’s court which feature mini games where you collect rings and dodging attacks; a “House of the Dead” court which you take out zombies with a tennis ball and collect various tennis balls that show up on screen which give you multiple tennis ball hit attacks and so forth.

So, for a tennis game, the approach is much different compared to other tennis games which rely on building statistics and taking on various tennis opponents. And because it was made by Sega, by no means was I expecting a Virtua Tennis clone but I was expecting more tennis challenges rather than wacky mini-game challenges that may or may not include something tennis-related outside of taking place in a tennis court.

The object is to beat about a dozen mini-games and then you get to a tournament. With each mini-game beaten, you open up more songs or the next level of that world. And then the main tournament to open up more characters.

And this is where things become a bit so-so. You really have to be a hardcore Sega fan to know who these characters are. Where Nintendo had tend to bring their other characters together for various video games, Sega on the other hand hasn’t really done that. Part of the enjoyment is knowing and enjoying the characters and fortunately, being a Sega fan, I know who the characters are but are they really that exciting?

When I opened up the porkly Gillius, an axeman from “Golden Axe”, my first thought was… “No way?”. Not that dislike Gillius but he’s not a character I would really want to play in a tennis game.

And through the tournament, each character has a special, crazy super move which is a bit more blinding and crazy compared to other characters with super special attacks from other tennis video games.

But for all it’s worth, it is a different tennis game compared to others and I would give them that credit. The colors of some of the courts are just beautiful, crisp and colorful.

But for an XBOX 360 game, what makes “SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS” a winner is the amount of achievement points one can rack up just by playing this game. And also interesting was to see how quickly this game dropped in price from $39.99 to $19.99 in a matter of a month or weeks. So, at $19.99 for the console version and $14.99 for the DS, it’s a very good price.

J!-FACTOR:

Well, if you enjoy Sega music, with each mini-stage beaten, you earn music. Sega hardcores will no doubt like that.

But for the J!-ENT factor, I guess having all these characters together in one game is a fun. But where’s Shenmue? Just kidding.

I’ve opened up so many character worlds and really stoked to have gotten this game cheap and to find out how gracious Sega is with the achievement points.

Granted, many people will probably want the Wii for the interactivity of the Wiimote but my major reason for not getting the Wii version was a bit of the frustration of playing Wii Sports Tennis and not getting the control that I wanted.

With the XBOX 360, the controls were easy to use (especially since you just really deal with one button and the right trigger for a special attack move) and again, the amount of achievement points you get from this game is just insane.

So, all in all, it’s an average tennis game at most. A lot of cool mini-games and so, this is more of an all out party game that is fun, colorful and wacky but just felt that maybe more cooler characters would have been nice. Not that Gillius isn’t a cool character, its just for a tennis game, not a secret character to get excited about. So, wished there were more cooler Sega characters included.

A fun game for its price point and worth playing for its generous XBOX 360 achievements points.

+ A tennis game bringing together the Sega characters

+ Very colorful and cool stages

+ Fun and whacky mini-games from the Sega video game universe

+ XBOX 360 achievements galore!

– Wish it was a little more in-depth of more of a tennis game where you feel achievement of starting from a tennis character and accomplishing tasks to be a better tennis player than just playing a dozen mini-games to get to a tournament.

– Secret characters were ok but wish they had more characters in it.

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