SEGA Superstars Tennis: On Paper it Sounds Great

SEGA Superstars TennisIn practice though, not so much. I had every intention of giving this title a full review. I was sort of out of town for half my rental period though (hey, we're just starting, no review copies just yet) so I couldn't give it a fair shake. I did play enough to tell you that it feels like a complete wasted opportunity though.

I've never been much of a SEGA fanboy at all, but the concept behind the title still piqued my interest. Take the Mario sports formula of tossing a bunch of SEGA mascots, wacky courts and power-ups and add the Wii Sports controls and call it a game. It really does sound like a great idea on paper and Sumo Digital, the developer behind this game has an excellent track record with tennis games (Virtua Tennis). I guess all of that is what made SEGA Superstars Tennis such a disappointment for me. Read More...

I guess I was looking for a Wii Sports 2.0, as I'm sure a lot of others were too.  Again, on paper it's all here. The game has a fleshed out career mode for unlocking new courts and characters, though unless you've owned every SEGA console and even some more obscure titles you'd probably never recognize most of them. There's a tournament mode akin to Rockstar Presents Table Tennis and being a Wii title, they just had to waste a bunch of disc space on minigames. The presentation was pretty good for a Wii title too, bright and colourful and running consistently smoothly. SEGA's traditional early '90s arcade style tunes were in full effect.

Here's where the game fell apart. The controls simply were not as tight as Wii Sports. As an owner of every current system, the draw to a Wii version of a multiplatform title is the controls. Maybe it's because I game on an HDTV, but there was severe lag between me swinging my wrist and my onscreen character's response.

I also found it next to impossible to do a quick snap-back shot like in other tennis games. Even using the nunchuck control scheme that allows you to move your chracter, I still felt like I was always playing catch up. There's also AI issues, bad collision detection and stuff, but the crux of what makes this game a let down is the sloppy controls.

I guess we'll all just have to sit back and wait for Nintendo to do it right with an inevitable entry in the Mario Tennis or Wii Sports series.