I’m a massive tennis fan, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t both excited and a little worried when I saw that the first next-gen tennis game would be developed locally. A lot of people have been craving for a new tennis game over last 3-4 years and Big Ant’s first Tennis offering is definitely a fun experience, but there’s a lot to improve on.
There’s already been a few patches deployed since I first got code late last week and each one has helped tremendously changing everything from difficulty to animations to ball movement. I can’t recall another time where I’ve physically seen a game changing drastically over such a short amount of time.
A lot of the facial details look a little bit weird, and the players clearly over celebrate way too much, but for me, cutscenes are skippable and I still enjoy playing Tennis on the NES (virtual console), so graphics aren’t all that important to me in this kind of a game. The game’s animations can be all over the place and the sound is nowhere near as satisfying as it should be but as far as Tennis games go, the core gameplay is what matters and what is here is more than serviceable and definitely quite fun.Holding down one of the four face buttons will hit you a flat, top-spin, slice or lob shot and timing is key otherwise the ball will almost certainly fly out. For me, it took a little while to get used to the timing (which is registered on a red-green indicator). To my eye, it feels like the game wants you to release the button way too early for my liking, but once you realise this, it’s not too hard to perfect the shot timing. Introduced in one of the patches, an indicator shows at the other side of the net to show you where your shot it going to go, which definitely adds a bit more control.