I was in a bit of a nostalgic mood a few nights ago and booted up Mario Tennis: Power Tour on my mister. good lord that game is easy!! still, it was a fun part of my childhood and got me thinking about tennis games in general.
so now I’ve been flipping through whatever I’ve got in my library to try and find something that feels correct, as a person who spent a large chunk of their youth playing this strange and addicting sport. here’s what I found so far:
Super Tennis: I think brandon or frank mentioned this on the podcast and while I do like it, I think it’s too difficult to get the timing right. it feels like the kind of game that would be really rewarding to learn over time, but once you do you’d be so much better than any of your friends and none of them would want to play
Super Final Match Tennis: really love the pixel art in this game, and all the little animations they put into it, like your character’s reaction to a passing shot or all the ball-boy/girl stuff. I thought it was pretty jarring that a bunch of characters are available but no matter what you choose the sprites don’t seem to reflect your choice. the movement, timing, and shot options feel really good though, and nothing feels unfair. the serve is hard to time properly but I guess they were going for realism
Final Match Tennis: this is by far my favourite I’ve found so far. the timing of the groundstrokes and volleys feels intuitive and easy enough for new players, but also really deep. games also go by really fast, with no extra animations and just some simple charming buzzer sounds for when you make an error. it makes playing a 3-set match much less daunting! there is a wide selection of actual tennis players with different stats that seem to make a huge difference. it feels like this game should have a big competitive scene but all I’ve found so far is a janky-looking german fansite that mentions a local tournament that was played in 2012.
recommend me some other tennis games!! I would love for there to be something that feels as good as Final Match Tennis with a bit more visual charm and flair, some kind of weirdly dialed-in mascot game, but I haven’t yet found it. is there a good Prince of Tennis game??