|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.
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 wont ever react to what you are doing. I guess it was just added to help keep you from dozing off between volleys.
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 dont understand why someone decided to dust off and repackage this mess. If you are looking for a good game of tennis, look elsewhere.
CCC Staff Contributor