SEGA Superstars Tennis Review
Extra Support: Progressive Scan
Once again Sonic and his friends are involved in another genre that we would never expect them in, but thanks to the other Sega characters that come along for the ride there is much nostalgia for classic Sega fans this time around. "Tennis" may be in the title, but this game is much more than just another tennis game.
The main game is comprised of several different worlds from classic Sega franchises. A few are unlocked from the start then the rest must be unlocked from winning tennis matches or mini games. Most worlds have a mix of mini games and tennis matches while some worlds simply have mini games. Worlds such as the Virtua Cop area and Space Harrier area contain only mini games while worlds such as Golden Axe and Nights only contain tennis matches.
The actual tennis matches are pretty basic. There is really nothing displayed in the tennis matches that you haven't seen in any other game except for the special moves that each character has. Special Moves are built up through a star meter below your character allowing you to activate them with a R1 or L1 button press once the star begins to glow. Each character hits the ball differently once the special move is activated. Sonic gathers the chaos emeralds and becomes Super Sonic and at that time the ball will curve in a tricky pattern toward whichever side it is hit. Some special moves actually make hazards pop up while the ball moves toward the opponent’s side - Gilian's special move gives him control of his axe. Once the ball is hit, lightning will fall near the ball and the ball will slow down quite a bit. Gilian's special move is about the only one that will trick the computer. The CPU can hit pretty much any other character's special move hit just like it was a normal swing.
Speaking of Gilian from Golden Axe, the game has a nice lineup of Sega characters to choose from - it has Nights, Sonic, Tails, Amy, Shadow, Dr. Eggman (Robotnik), Pudding, Ulala, Alex Kidd, Ai Ai, Beat, and Gum, just to name a few. Characters all share different attributes such as speed, spin, power (how hard they hit the ball), and all around. Most character have a different feel but some seem much like the other character that they share games with.
The mini games are really the main highlight of the entire game. These are the main features that give you the feel of each world and the game that they represent. Some do a good job while others are mediocre and there are a few that have you questioning why in the world was that stage even in the game? Stages such as the Virtua Cop stage and the Puyo Pop stage do a great job at mimicking the actual game that they are taken from. The Virtua Cop stage has your character hitting enemies with tennis balls as they pop up in the background - you have control over a cursor while aiming and the targeting cursor even appears over the enemies as they prepare to shoot much like the old Virtua Cop game! Hit the enemies' guns for a justice shot and be sure to watch out for civilians - this world perfectly gives a Virtua Cop feel. Puyo Pop isn't bad either. It has your character hitting Puyos that fall in a block. Hit them to break the Puyos as they fall and stack. I've also got to mention the House of the Dead stage here - hitting zombies with tennis balls has never been more amusing!