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April 3, 2005
Outlaw Tennis - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
23/9/2005Take TwoHypnotix1-4, 4 $29.95

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Courts are in superb locations.
If you're looking for a real-world tennis simulation I suggest you head elsewhere (Namco's Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 would be your best bet) however if you're looking for a fun title filled with hilarious characters then Outlaw Tennis may be the game for you. Developed by Hypnotix this game promises quite a bit - not only in terms of courts and players but also the promise of online gameplay. Yes, this budget title will include support for online gameplay on the PS2. So what else has it got...

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That's one fine Russian!
In total Outlaw Tennis includes 16 playable characters - 15 regular and one surprise! Each of these characters has customizable outfits (including tops, bottoms and shoes) as well as customizable accesories. As with any sports game the players attributes can be improved including power, endurance, control, serve, accuracy and speed. Nothing to extraordinary there. 12 courts are available in the game including 10 regular unlockable courts, 1 drill court, 1 surprise court. These include different surfaces sucha as concrete, black top, polished wood, indoor carpet, clay, grass and snow among others. I guess the first change from real tennis is the dynamic weather with matches taking place in sunshine rain (with thunder and lightning), snow and fog!

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Playing on the ranch...
In terms of game modes the developers are including the fairly obvious such as Tutorials, Drills, Exhibition and Tour which includes 50 matches in total. A little more unique is the Random Play as well as Network Play which will be the first time Playstation 2 owners can compete in a game of tennis online - and about time too. While the network play is confirmed for 4-players on the XBox the number of players online in the PS2 game is a little less clearcut. Three different match types will be included such as singles, doubles and Canadian (which is where it's two players against one).

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Nice outfit!
Not only are their different game modes, but also different styles of gameplay. The first if Classic Tennis - nothing too special here it's just normal tennis, with outrageous outlaw behaviour. Casino allows money to rack up depending how long rallies last for - if you win the point you win the pot. Hot Potato sees the ball become a time bomb, if it goes off on your side of the court, you lose. Football and Baseball are two game modes that play on the American Sports by winning bases, or gaining yardage. Crash Zones leave spots over the court which are worth money, so aiming for those zones is a priority while Ping Pong style plays with ping pong rules. Yes, there are some crazy modes in Outlaw Tennis - but that's what makes it so interesting.

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A little humour.
In terms of gameplay Outlaw Tennis includes a wide varity of shots. Each of the four face buttons corresponds with a shot (slat, slice, top spin and lob) while another button adds extra spin to a ball. One interesting addition is the addition of a Turbo Meter and button which allows players to perform a Turbo Run, Turbo Serves, Turbo Shots and Signature shots. This meter fills up with winning shots in the game, but will also slowly regenerate so those on a losing streak can still pull out a big winner when needed.

At only $AU29.95 Outlaw Tennis looks like great value and with online gameplay it's exceptional value. Hopefully the humour and gameplay come together to make this a winner. Keep an eye out for a late September release in Australia.