REVIEW: Super Pocket Tennis
Tennis games have been around since the start of gaming, the simplicity of knocking a ball back and forth while trying to get it past your opponent makes for a great genre to play when you’re home or on the go.
Super Pocket Tennis is an entry in the PSP mini line from HuneX that gives you quite a bit of content for your two dollars.
The first thing you’ll notice is that while this is an entry level game there’s quite a few game modes to keep you busy. The game opens in a pro shop and a character is standing next ot the various game modes which are as follows…
- Solo Entry: This is the single player campaign, you have a choice of either playing an exhibition match or a short career that involves you playing the four major matches each on a different surface.
- Tutorial: In reality it’s an instruction manual, it goes over all the controls in the game.
- Network: This mode allows up to four players to play a game together, it also allows a user to send a demo of the game to someone else wirelessly.
- Mini games: Five different games that help you practice the basics of the game.
Playing a single player match is pretty straightforward. You select either exhibition play or a tournament and from there you pick single or doubles, what pairing you’d like, and the AI difficulty. From there you’ll enter the player select screen that offers ten male characters and ten female characters that have various levels of speed, power, and technique. While this isn’t a licensed game featuring real professional players you will see that they skirted that a bit by offering slight twists on players. For example, this game doesn’t have Andy Roddick but it does have Andy Mobbick, are you a fan of Andre Agassi? How about Andre Nagassi?
This is about when you’ll start to notice the graphics of the game, even though it’s an entry level PSP game the graphics are done very well and the characters resemble their real life, correctly spelled, counterparts.
When the game starts you’ll have the court presented from a vertical viewpoint wiht your character in the lower right hand portion of the screen if you’re serving and the top portion if your opponent is serving. Gameplay is as simple as selecting a strong or weak shot with either the circle or X buttons while moving your character with either the directional pad or the analogue stick. There’s a marker on the ground where your opponent’s shot will land and you can determine where your shot will land by moving a circle on your opponent’s side of the court before every shot. It’s takes a few volleys to get used to but once you do it’ll become second nature.
The mini games are a nice diversion and will help you practice but that’s about it, each one focuses on a particular talent you’ll need on the court. For the most part they’re easy to pick up and play and work on the “beat your own high score” system, this isn’t a mission based set of events. The different mini games are…
- Bullseye serve: Try to hit targets
- Whack an alien: Knock down aliens on the other side of the net
- Wall Smasher: Knock back approaching walls which look like Whomps from Super Mario
- Hit and run: Hot 1000 balls back onto the other side of the court
- Robot Returns: Return a series of serves without hitting robots that wander around the court
All in all they’re varied enough to keep you busy but I can’t see anyone working hard to master any of these.
The sound is well done in the game giving the appropriate sound effects for what is happening on the court and the music is the usual upbeat sets of music you would expect in this sorts of game.
COULD BE HELPFUL WITH ANXIETY BECAUSE
- Easy to pick and play
- Mini games plus a tournament mode keeps things varied
COULD BE UNHELPFUL WITH ANXIETY BECAUSE
- Nothing in the game could be seen as unhelpful for anxiety
WHY YOU SHOULD BE PLAYING THIS
For a mobile system pick up and play games are a necessity and it doesn’t come much more “pick up and play” then tennis. The game is easy to learn and has enough content where it really appeals to anyone who likes this genre. It’s certainly more of a bite sized portion when it comes to tennis but for two dollars it’s certainly a game that will you see you though a summer trip or two.