SEGA Superstars Tennis Review
I've played the many different Mario forays of real sports, and what Sega Superstars Tennis lacks is the lasting charm of the Nintendo efforts. It's strange because the characters out of Sega could provide a different type of appeal than the Mario brand, but this game fails to capitalize on Sega's offbeat cast of characters and only offers a poor tennis game sprinkled with miserable mini games.
From the intro movie you get feeling that there will be plenty of offbeat wackiness to go with your tennis. However, that movie is where the presentation peaks and falls. The menus, the character selection, and the weak intro into each game just make the title feel unpolished – like you miss a countdown before a match, or some kind of flavor to the start of a cartoony tennis game. Characters do offer their minimal efforts to liven things up, such as celebrating a point, but the game never does shake off the taste of dullness throughout.
You select from a starting cast of eight of the most notable characters from Sega's library of games: Sonic, Tails, Eggman, AiAi, Amigo, Ulala, and others. The unlockable characters are best described as characters you only knew if you played the game of origin. The characters are represented by only a few different courts, but they are only different in appearance, but not their "feel." That is, they look different, but they are all just a basic tennis court with aesthetic bells and whistles around the edges that don't make much of a sound or look particularly shiny.
Your goal in the main game is to get through the starting courts, unlock more, and unlock all the characters. Mainly you'll play in short singles tournaments and upon winning you get the final character you faced. There are also short doubles matches, tournaments, and then there are the mini games. That is where the main game losses any kind of steam. The mini games force you to complete a challenge, not always tennis related. Some require you to just run around; others ask you to hit zombies; and some have target hitting. No matter what the task, they are all underwhelming and not fun in the slightest. This is mainly due to the fact that the aiming is not precise no matter what method you use, so it's a matter of luck and willpower. Sadly, you need to complete these to open some courts, unless the music track unlocks satisfy you enough.