There is nothing super about this
What can I say about Sega Superstars Tennis? Probably the best way to sum it up is that it’s a representation of every game Sega has made post-Saturn: something that shows a ton of promise, but only delivers in non-key moments.
The most commendable thing you could say about the gameplay here is that there is a level of variety. You can choose to play the main single player mode, named Superstar Mode, you can play a single or multi-player match or you can play mini-games. Superstar Mode is where you’ll unlock new characters and courts, and other than that there’s no real incentive to play it. There are a bunch of different “planets” that are based on famous Sega games, such as Sonic the Hedgehog or Puyo Pop. On each planet you’ll play a basic tennis tournament and then some mini-games. The tournaments are pretty standard, and you’ll get through them quite quickly. The less I say about the mini-games, the better. Just about every one (with exception to the excellent Curien Mansion one) is broken. Mini-games are supposed to be fun, and these are not fun. Also, the game forces you to use the remote on it’s side during the mini-games.
If I had to choose one word to sum up the gameplay it would be this – avoid.
You’d expect that a tennis game on the Wii would have motion control support for every feature, but Sega has inexplicably decided that motion control can only be allowed during the tournaments or in the multiplayer. Talking of controls, they too are pretty terrible. Wiimote flicks are rarely registered, button placement on the sideways remote is laughable and don’t even get me started on when you take the nunchuck out and let the computer control for you. The only reason I gave gameplay any points at all is because of the Curien Mansion stage, which is basically the only point in the game that I had any fun. If I had to choose one word to sum up the gameplay it would be this – avoid.
Graphically, there’s little improvement. There’s almost no detail put into the characters, which is a shame because Sega really did bring in an awesome list of retro Sega mascots. The stages also suffer the same lack of attention to detail. Also, there are some game breaking glitches in here. Some mini-games won’t register that you beat them. There are times when your character will half-heartedly swing at a ball less than a foot away and somehow still miss. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to be down 40-30 in the last game of a tournament and lose that way. It feels like Sega looked at the gameplay, saw that it basically summed up to a pile of crap, and then decided to not even bother with the rest of the game.
There is nothing good about the sound, but there’s also nothing as annoying as the stuff gameplay and graphics suffered through either. The taunts characters yell out to each other are laughable in a way that isn’t good at all, the background music is pretty abysmal and the different sound effects do nothing to enhance the experience. It’s very mediocre, which somehow ties into what is seemingly the theme of this game.
Overall, this is a poor effort by Sega. It’s saddening to think that the people that bought us greats such as Rez, Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star and NiGHTS have sunk this low. To sun it all up, if you’re pining for a tennis game and this catches your eye, then you’ll probably do better to keep on pining.
The Bad: Controls are broken; Some glitches; Voice acting is horrible; Every stage other than Curien mansion sucks; No online mode; No Mii support; Too many mini-games;