Everybody's Tennis - PS2 Review
Tennis games are fantastic in their simplicity. The rules are simple, anyone can pick up and play the games, and they can be a lot of fun. Indeed tennis games have been around since the earliest days of gaming with the release of Pong in the arcades. We've seen dozens of tennis titles over the years, most are fairly entertaining but as Clap Hanz brought the fun into golf games with their brilliant Everybody's Golf they are looking to do the same with this game. Sure it doesn't have licensed players, or courts, but as long as it is fun it could be worth a play. So what do we think of this effort being released through Sony? Well, it's ok...
|These screens are all we could get.|
One of the greatest things about Everybody's Tennis is the ability for anyone to instantly 'pick up and play' the title. Even a novice gamer will be able to pick up the controller and hit the ball back to the opponent. The gameplay is also exaggerated for more effect so don't expect any realistic simulation - this is firmly arcade styled in nature. As with most tennis games though, getting the basics down pat is easy, it's trying to master the wide range of strokes, and how to defeat the AI opponents. In all Everybody's Tennis includes 14 players to unlock and use, 11 different courts and range of other items and accessories.
|C'mon, smash it!|
In terms of the actual gameplay the serve is carried out simply by pressing a button (either the X, circle or triangle depending on which serve type you want) to release the ball and then hitting the button again when it is at the peak of the toss. There's no meters or bars to follow which is nice. The players move around the court pretty rapidly and have a dash when they are getting close to the ball when attempting to play the shot. There's nothing special here, but what it does, it does as expected.
The meat of the game comes in the Challenge mode which is where you have to compete in a series of matches. By doing so you will move up the rankings and also unlock new abilities and players for use throughout the tournaments. There really is little here to get excited about and there aren't any engrossing mini-games like those found in Sega's Virtua Tennis titles so don't get your hopes up. Multi-player is also supported in the 'Tennis with Everybody' mode with up to 4-players able to participate in doubles matches. This is certainly a pretty entertaining way to play Everybody's Tennis and is a welcome inclusion.
|One of the unique courts.|
My biggest issue with this game is that it really wasn't too hard to get past the challenge mode. Seasoned gamers will breeze through this game, but this probably isn't a game for seasoned gamers anyway. Another very big disappointment is that there is a complete lack of online gameplay - surely for a game being priced at $AU79.95, and this late in the systems life, the least we could ask for is some online gameplay.
This late in the PS2's life I expect games to be fairly polished in terms of graphics and indeed Clap Hanz have this looking fairly impressive. The anime styled graphics are lively enough with each of the characters animated fairly well. The game also includes a wide variety in courts to keep the game looking interesting, and in many of the matches in the challenge mode you can even select the court. Audio also keeps up a similar lively theme, but isn't going to win any awards. There's some speech littered throughout but it's hardly top quality, while the music is basic, but upbeat.
|Just makes it in time.|
Overall Everybody's Tennis is an average title, but nothing more. This certainly isn't as well crafted or polished as Clap Hanz's Everybody's Golf titles, but perhaps it was only to test the waters for something bigger and better down the road. If you like tennis games, and are up for some more entertaining gameplay then this game is for you, but those looking for realism should look elsewhere.
Review By: Dave WarnerOrder your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
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|GRAPHICS||The anime styled graphics are pretty nice with solid enough animation.||70%|
|SOUND||Solid commentary, sound effects and crowds, needed more music.||61%|
|GAMEPLAY||Certainly an arcade styled tennis game, but it can be fun at times.||73%|
|VALUE||No online and little challenge. Probably one more suited to youngsters.||45%|
|OVERALL||Everybody's Tennis is a fun game that ticks all the right boxes, but never manages to pull itself above ordinary. One only for those desperate for some anime styled tennis.||63%|