Despite already appearing in the SNES library for Nintendo Switch Online, Super Tennis is ready to hit the court again with its very own eShop release. Boasting beautiful Mode 7 graphics and slick gameplay, Super… hang on… we’ve just got word that this isn’t the SNES game, but rather a completely new tennis title blessed with the exact same name. Confused? Don’t worry, we were too.
Super Tennis plays nothing like its seminal SNES namesake. In fact, it doesn’t really play like any tennis game. It sure looks like one, but the core gameplay actually comprises of hitting the correct combination of buttons shown on the screen at regular intervals. In doing so, your character will hit the ball back over the net towards your opponent. Complete this several times, and you’ll win the match. Miss just one time, though, and the game is over.
If you’re not prepared for this kind of gameplay going into Super Tennis, then it’s an incredibly jarring experience and one that doesn’t particularly improve much over time. There’s almost no variation to the gameplay, and the only thing the game attempts to do to mix things up is throw in some adverse weather conditions here and there. The problem with this, though, is that it doesn’t really impede on your ability to view the button prompts when they flash up, so even this is rendered rather moot.
As you work your way through the locations – including, London, New York, and (ahem) Area 51 – you’ll unlock some pretty nifty special costumes. The sheer variety here is impressive, and you can even modify the costumes further with the customisation screen – so you can have a policeman don some flashy pink shorts, if you wish. The costumes are purely cosmetic, which is a shame, as it would have been nice to include some bonus perks to at least encourage further play sessions.
In terms of presentation, the game actually looks pretty nice. The blocky, pixelated style is undoubtedly a bit overused at this point, but it works quite well here, and the bright colours and smooth frame rate make for an attractive game. On the flip side, the commentary voice-over that plays during matches is made up of a handful of generic phrases that become absolutely insufferable after a while.
Even without comparing Super Tennis to the real Super Tennis, the game largely falls flat as a compelling sports title. Once you’ve mastered the gameplay (which you most certainly will after 2 or 3 matches), it becomes incredibly repetitive with little incentive to continue other than to see the cool unlockable costumes. If you’ve recently moved to the Switch from another console and wish to learn the layout of the controller, then this is a great way to do so, but if you’re after an actual tennis game, you’ll want to look elsewhere.