The inevitable consequence of having a very successful console with a lack of a certain type of game in its infant library is the appearance of developers coming up with cheap, uninteresting shovelware titles in order to capitalize on such a drought just so they can get a cheap buck from starving genre fans. That can easily be seen on the Switch, an already hugely successful console that’s currently lacking in family-friendly sports titles. While the console already features a few decent sports simulators like FIFA 18, there aren’t any family-friendly sports titles for it; not a single Mario sports game so far (even though a new Mario Tennis will come out this year), not a single spinoff with Sonic, and you definitely can’t call 1-2 Switch‘s ping pong mode a “sports game”. The only thing that can barely be considered a family-friendly sports game here would be Infinite Minigolf. Enter Tennis, a very unoriginally-named Switch exclusive aimed at sports fans. All I can tell them is: don’t bother.
Feel the (lack of) excitement
Tennis, as the uber-original name implies, is a tennis game. Amazing line, don’t you think? It resembles those typical kid-friendly sports shovelware titles that were a dime a dozen back in the PS2 and Wii days. The game features extremely underwhelming graphics (there are many Dreamcast games that look way better than this), a mediocre soundtrack and an abysmal overuse of voice samples every time a character hits a ball. The only remotely decent aspect of the game’s artistic department is the large amount of colors, but that’s just me being extremely generous.
Gameplay-wise, there’s not much to talk about, and that’s exactly the game’s main problem. You see, Tennis “focuses” (if you can say that game focuses on anything) on hitting the ball, not on character movement. Be it on the input lag-infested normal controls or the subpar motion controls, your character moves by his/herself, making the game completely devoid of strategy. Being a massive tennis fan, I like using a good old serve-and-volley strategy both in real life and when playing tennis video games. This game doesn’t let me do that. In fact, the only thing you can do in order to make things a bit more interesting is hold the analog stick to a direction and hope your character will send the ball to that direction. Suffice it to say, Tennis gets boring extremely quickly. There’s just no fun to be had with its normal modes or its underwhelming career. It does feature a rush mode, in which the main objective is to maintain a long passing streak with your opponent, and it can be a little bit fun for a couple of minutes, but that’s all you’ll get from it.
They just won’t shut up…
As bland and uninteresting as its severely uninspiring title suggests, Tennis is a very forgettable shovelware game that boasts subpar graphics and gameplay. Even though the game isn’t expensive at all, there’s no reason to get it, especially when you consider the fact that a new Mario Tennis game will be released in a few months. Definitely avoid it.