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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: SEGA
Developed by: Sumo Digital
Genre: Sports
Players: 1-4
Rated: E10 (Everyone 10 and up)
Release Date: March 18, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Noel Del Pilar

In this Sega tennis installment, all of the companyís most famous characters come together once again. For those that played many of the Sega series in the Dreamcast, you are definitely going to see many of your favorites in this game including space channel 5ís Ulala, Samba De Amigo, Jet Set Radio and even older Sega characters that include Gillius from Golden Axe, Nights and many more. There is no actual storyline in the game which is a bit sad because it would have been interesting to see all Sega characters interact with each other in some cut-scenes, besides the traditional intro cut-scene. Still, does Sega manage to create a great new tennis party title? Read on and find out!

The Wii version of Sega Superstar Tennis offers 3 control types so you can choose which one you play best with. The first and default control option they give you itís similar to Wii sports: tennis game. In which, you only use the wiimote to make the motion of racquet and hit the ball at the right time. The character automatically follows the ball himself but you can also control your character with the D-Pad if you like.

The second control option is using both the wiimote and the nunchuk. The wiimote is use to perform the motion of the racquet and the nunchuk to move your character, which means the character will not move automatically. And the third control option is using the wiimote sideways where you hit the ball with the number 2 button or number 1 (one hits the ball slower and the other faster) and move the character yourself with the D-Pad.
In some of the minigames, a specific control type must be use, so eventually you will get the chance to try each type of control. All of these control options work nicely, it all depends which one you dominate more.

They are different types of modes to play including tournament, superstars, minigames and exhibition for multiplayer experience. The Superstars mode is the important single-player mode that includes different types of challenges, tournaments, exhibitions and many more in different courts of famous Sega games. In this mode as you progress, you can unlock new courts, new characters and new minigames. Most of the secret characters can be unlocked by defeating them in the tournament they appear in. They are different worlds to unlock in which each world is a different Sega game that definitely gives you excitement to see what other Sega games are going to appear. One of the worlds is House of The Dead where you knockout zombies by throwing balls at them.

Unfortunately, some worlds didnít get an official court or some playable characters. For example, in the Puyo Pop world you are popping puyopuyo balls like the classic game. However, you play this game in the NiGHTS court, not an official Puyo Pop court and they are no characters playable from the series. And this also happens with other game worlds featured in the Superstars mode. Despite that, it still manages to keep you entertain for a while and gives you some difficult challenges that will keep you coming for more.

The normal tennis games are simple, fun and offer nice controls. Each character has a unique power up move, just like in Mario Power Tennis (Power Shot). Shadow can transform into hyper shadow and every time he hits the ball, when the opponent touches the ball he is transported (chaos control) to another area of the tennis court and freezes for a few seconds. Dr. Eggman can throw spike electric balls every time he hits the ball. You can play in singles (one vs. one) or in doubles (two vs. two). There is a total of 16 characters to choose from and each of them are unique physically and in gameplay, so there is something for everyone.

Visually, the characters do look pretty good and is nice to see some old classic characters that we never get to see in 3-D or on a recent console. The court designs are decent but are missing some sort of excitement in the crowd even some look quite a bit blurry. One disappointing court is Sonicís court that even tough it features some sonic characters in the background; the rest is just simple typical grass of green hill zone. Honestly, they are more stages to represent sonic not just green hill zone that is already getting really old by now. Yet, they are some nice looking courts like Nightsí that is in a beautiful water floor.

Some of the special effects within the power-ups do look nice but the animation of the character getting ready to perform it feels a bit bland (like when sonic transforms into super sonic) because the background behind them is just a plain color. In the end, Sega superstar tennis delivers some decent graphics but does not uses the full potential of the Wii and does not deliver quite a great level of detail for the characters or the courts has it should be. Sonic has looked better in Sonic and the Secret Rings than in this game.

Has expected, the soundtrack is full of classic songs from each game series featured in the game and there is also unlockable songs so you can decide which one you want for that specific court. Yet, when it comes to the sound effects they are not in such great quality as it should be like if they were added in a rush. Same happens with the voiceovers that are not many featured considering how characters like sonic are common to have a lot. Despite a few bugs in the sound, it still manages to do a decent job.

The other versions of the game for Xbox 360 and PS3 feature online play, but strangely enough Sega decided not to include it on the Wii version. Why exactly? Nobody knows but it definitely is disappointing that is not included it on the Wii version. The game still delivers up to 4 players offline multiplayer that is always nice to invite a pair of friends and just have fun with an easy to pickup and play tennis game. However, if you want to play doubles and there is only 2 human players, they automatically put the second human player be with the other human player instead of each player having a computer player.

Overall, Sega Superstars Tennis offers a nice pick up and play tennis game similar to the likes of Mario tennis and while you wait for a new installment of Mario Tennis on the Wii, this one should do for now. If you are a fan of Sega games then there is quite a lot for you to like in this title and certainly you will feel familiar with and for the price of 30 dollars right now on the Wii, itís definitely worth it to play or at least rent it and enjoy some tennis action with Sega characters!


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