Monday, May 27

Review: Super Tennis Blast [Nintendo Switch eShop]


In general one of the areas that isn’t so well-represented on the Switch is sports. Outside of Nintendo’s first-party offerings and a few random games here and there despite the popularity of family-friendly local multiplayer titles like Wii Sports there just hasn’t been much to choose from on the system thus far. Looking to take advantage of this situation we now have Super Tennis Blast, a budget title where you’ll hit the court and work to dominate the world (or perhaps just your friends) with what amount to some pretty solid core gameplay and a few nice surprises as well.


In terms of core gameplay Blast really hits all of the key notes pretty well. You’re armed with a number of different shot choices, whether just looking to get it back over the net or put something extra on the ball to throw off your opponent. It’s the ability to charge and aim your shot that really makes the game work mechanically though. If you think you’re in a reasonably good position to return a ball charging up will make you move a bit more slowly but it then affords you the chance to really put the ball where you want it and make your opponent work for it. Whether playing singles or doubles, stand-alone matches, in a tournament, or building up your solo player in a world tour the gameplay may end up being somewhat repetitive (by its nature) but it feels pretty good.


In order to throw in some extra fun a few different mini games and gameplay variants are also included. Whether hitting targets, trying to make precise shots between barriers, or a few different flavors the mini games will allow you to practice your accuracy and are a nice distraction. While there are only 2 choices for changing things up in Blast mode, allowing the court to continuously resize itself or having the net randomly change heights in different spots, these do add an element of unpredictability and challenge to things and are implemented pretty well. You’ll really need to work on your lob shots or position carefully to contend with that net in particular. Top it all off with a pretty extensive player editor and everyone can feel like they’re well-represented on the court, which is a nice touch.


In terms of complaints there aren’t many of note. Though there are a variety of modes if you’re only ever going to play the game solo it’s likely to get stale more quickly. While the enemy AI can be adjusted it’s always hard to find the competitive balance between too easy and soul-crushingly hard but the game does pretty well, forcing you to really make the most of your aimed shots. Playing doubles with an AI second can be pretty frustrating though, as it seems to behave a bit inconsistently at times.


All in all for a budget-friendly price Super Tennis Blast delivers a very solid traditional tennis experience with a bit of extra flavor thrown in to boot. While it obviously lacks the depth and complexity of the likes of Mario and his friends it implements the fundamentals very well and is obviously just a fraction of the price. If you and your family or friends have been looking for a multiplayer sports game to play against each other it’s definitely worth considering.


Score: 8

Pros:
  • In general it controls well and allows for a good deal of nuance on your shots
  • A few mini games and court variant options add some extra flavor
  • Everyone can customize their own player with a pretty solid editor

Cons:
  • If you’re only playing solo it may not remain fun or challenging for long
  • The AI can be a bit inconsistent, especially if you’re paired with a virtual partner in doubles play