THE ORIGINAL EVERYBODY’S TENNIS came out in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and was a light-hearted and enjoyable tennis simulation. Four years later, Everybody’s Tennis hits the PSP. Although the Everybody’s Tennis games may lack the inclusion of real-life tennis stars such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or the Williams sisters, the game’s cutesy appearance will be enough to attract many tennis gaming fans. Its overall presentation is bright and colourful and the character designs are sure to make you laugh.
One of the characters looks eerily similar to Roger Federer… One disappointing aspect is that you cannot create your own character from scratch; you can only customise the appearance of the premade characters already included. Luckily, the characters are all unique and very likable. Apart from the aforementioned Roger Federer lookalike, there’s also a younger Mel Gibson clone. He comes complete with a strong Aussie accent too!
Customisation options are pretty in-depth. Not only can you change the outfi t and hairstyle of each character, but you can also choose whether you want to play left-handed or righthanded. Once you play through the story mode you can unlock racquets that help improve the stats of your chosen player as well.
The story mode is arguably the best thing about Everybody’s Tennis. It plays kind of like an RPG game as you walk around challenging other players to a game of tennis to test your skills. Once you are good enough, you can challenge the end-of-level boss. Beat the boss and they will then become a playable character. There are even non-tennisrelated missions you’ll have to undertake as well, such as fi nding a person’s dog or trying to obtain medicine for an injured person, among other things. The story mode is diverse and I guarantee you’ll play it for hours.
The controls are surprisingly deep yet still accessible for any casual gamer. There are your standard topspin, slice and lob shots, but you still have to make sure you position yourself fi rst before make your shot. Unlike the Virtua Tennis series, where you can almost hit every ball that comes to you, in Everybody’s Tennis you’ll have to time your shots according to where the ball bounces, resulting in a more rewarding game of tennis. It may not be as realistic as Top Spin 3, but it’s much more fun and accessible for beginners to pick up and play. Surprisingly, there’s no tutorial section; tips and tricks are only shown during loading screens.
Sadly, the multiplayer is only limited to an ad-hoc connection, so you won’t be able to take your tennis skills to opponents from around the world. If you do manage to find a mate with a PSP, however, you can not only challenge them in singles or doubles, but you can participate cooperatively in the story mode. This isn’t a separate campaign, though, as your partner is only there to support you during doubles matches.
Everybody’s Tennis on PSP is a fun and light-hearted approach to the sport of tennis. It may lack the licences to have all the grand slams or any professional players, but the humorous character designs are sure to make up for these minor mishaps. It’s a game that can be enjoyed by the whole family, and even those who don’t care for tennis will love it.