Smash Court Tennis 3 Review
Xbox 360 | PSP
Smash Court Tennis 3 box art
System: X360, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Namco Bandai Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 19, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In this mode, stamina plays a very large role. The more you run around and the longer it takes for you to put your opponent away, the more your stamina meter will diminish. When at full stamina, your character will move quicker, have more powerful shots, and be more accurate.

Smash Court Tennis 3 screenshot

Conversely, if your meter is empty, it becomes incredibly difficult to pull out a victory. While this is an interesting mechanic, one of the power-ups you can purchase fairly quickly completely negates its effects. Once purchased, players will perform the same whether they have any stamina or not. The stamina meter could have really added a sense of realism and depth to this mode but, unfortunately, the game sells itself short by allowing players to easily bypass it.

Another thing worth mentioning in the “what were they thinking” category is characters’ celebrations. After almost every point, players are given the option to press one of the face buttons to cause their characters to react to the situation. These usually range from happy to angry, with some really odd options like touching when playing with a doubles partner. While that last one sounds a little disgusting, none of these reactions matter in the least, besides the challenge option which challenges a ruling on the court. Players often celebrate before these options even appear and most look remarkably similar. There is also no benefit or consequence to any of your decisions. Whether you celebrate, taunt, or just remain solemn, you will never get anything from doing so, and your opponent won’t ever react to what you are doing. I guess it was just added to help keep you from dozing off between volleys.

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While Smash Court Tennis 3 managed to get a few things right, the negatives far outweigh the positives. Sluggish controls, sloppy animations, and the general feeling that you are playing a PSP game through your Xbox 360 make this game fall far behind its competitors. With games like Top Spin 3 already available on the system, I don’t understand why someone decided to dust off and repackage this mess. If you are looking for a good game of tennis, look elsewhere.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.8
Graphics
While it does look better than its PSP counterpart, it doesn’t look that much better.
2.0
Control
Everything feels very sluggish and unresponsive, which is only further exacerbated by the game’s poor animations.
2.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound of the ball thudding off of the back wall is satisfying, but much of the game is devoid of music and all but the slightest of sound effects.
2.5
Play Value
If you can manage to deal with stupid A.I., bad controls, and sliding around the court, the Pro Tour mode and online multiplayer add a decent amount of longevity to this flawed experience.
2.4
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Making the most of the power of Xbox 360, Smash Court Tennis 3 boasts enhanced graphics, including improved player animations, realistic shadows, skin shader, and High Dynamic Range rendering which combine to deliver a greater level of realism and immersion for the player.
  • A host of customizing options allows players to choose rackets, shoes, hairstyles, skin tone, and clothing to create their own unique star of the courts.
  • New gameplay includes a system that lets all players, no matter what their skill level, benefit quickly from the powerful shots and finely honed skills of the star players.
  • Gameplay modes include Tutorial, Arcade, Pro-Tour, and Exhibition mode where up to four players can go head to head offline.
  • The game also features an online mode allowing players to play online via the Xbox LIVE online game service.
  • In addition to Xbox LIVE voice chat and rankings, players can take on opponents in online tournaments and in a range of different matches.
  • Online doubles matches let players team up side by side for a long distance match against another pair, bringing the action and interaction alive like never before.


  • Screenshots / Images
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