This is a Guest review by Steve (ShadowDancer), enjoy:Story/Concept
Well it's a tennis game so there's no story to speak of, you knock a yellow ball across various courts such as Clay, Grass, etc, and it's by Sega one of my favorite companies, creator of classics such as Outrun, Shinobi-Shadow Dancer, Sonic, etc. Besides it turns up in every arcade and bowling alley (whatís left of them) so chances are you've played it... You get to choose from 16 characters such as Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Tim Henman - in the women's tournament you have Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davanport, Venus Williams and Amelie Mauresmo plus 2 hidden characters Sega King and Sega Queen...
Whilst this may seem like an award winning formula, sports games and license games normally sell particularly well to casual gamers. However, the game has been improved by adding lots of mini games making it also appeal to the hardcore gamer and the wider audience.Gameplay
World Tour - You first create a Male and Female tennis player and you then play lots of mini games such as destroying tanks and robots by hitting them with yellow balls whilst dodging red balls, or squashing cans whilst dodging balls, to some Fairground shoot out to improve the various stats of your players all the way from 300th in the world right up to world number one. To do so involves entering (and winning) the various competitions that appear on the event calendar and improving your rank. You also play famous players and win cash to buy extra costumes etc in the shopping mode.
Shopping Mode - You buy new clothes, rackets and hire Stars to play with you in the double matches.
Quick Play - Is just that, you choose a famous player Male or Female for a single game of Tennis.
Mini Games - Four Ballgames are available in single-player mode, all of which operate on a high-score-chasing basis. Blockbuster is, as the name suggests, a game all about busting blocks that form in a wall in front of you, kind of like the old arcade game 'Arknoid'; Fruit Dash involves legging it around the court picking up giant fruit while avoiding a red ball being fired in front of you; Blocker has you protecting the blocks behind you from the ball firing machines and Balloon Smash has you trying to burst balloons of matching colours before the timer runs out. All mildly playable; and much like any throwaway modes, you'll probably not get around to playing them very much.
Link up mode - I've not tested this, if it's as good as Ridge Racer is via link up it be great.Graphics and Sound
Graphically it looks very nice, character models look like their real like counterparts with lots of winning and losing cut scenes and obviously the backgrounds don't vary much. I thought the create mode was limited expecting it to be like the WWE and Tekken with lots of costumes, Masks, Hats etc, but instead you just get palette swapped T Shirts and Shorts. It would have been a nice idea to have Sonic, Amy and Knuckles as playable characters. Sounds are used to good effect, with lots of sampled speech and spot effects.Control System
Itís incredibly easy to pick up and play, but also offers depth that should keep the most hardcore gamers entertained. There are 3 different strikes but the angle and speed varies based on where you are in relation to the ball.Overall
This is the 2nd time the game has ever appeared, it was released on the Dreamcast at the end of the consoles life so a lot of people would have missed it. It's widely considered to be the best tennis game but, if you dislike Tennis I'm not sure if this would sway you. It's by far one of the best launch games and seeing as it's in the PSP top 3 charts in Game most people would agree. It will last you forever especially in Multi Player.