It's a racquet isn't it...
Having slammed every competitor with Virtua Tennis - still the best, most intuitive and downright gripping tennis game on the market Sega was in a perfect position to seduce console fanboys and sports fans alike with its latest retina-sizzling simulation.
But while a selection of hilarious minigames and oddball characters make Sega Superstars Tennis a decent weekend rental, it wont be long before used copies are cropping up on Amazon Marketplace and in every second-hand store across the land.
For Sega nuts, Superstar Tennis is an opportunity to test your favourite heroes racquet skills, the roster of players including characters from legendary titles such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Super Monkey Ball, Samba De Amigo and Jet Set Radio. And while you can use each characters individual skills to play a normal game of tennis, the main attraction is a selection of minigames that use concepts and set-pieces from a variety of Sega classics, whether it be the Virtua Cop-style shootouts using tennis balls, using volleys to change the direction arrows on a Chu Chu Rocket board, or collecting the golden rings that appear on the court when playing as Sonic.
But while the minigames are fun and will inspire a nostalgic glow in habitual Segahounds, the traditional tennis action elsewhere in this package is slow, clumsy and unresponsive, the characters struggling to hit shots in situations that would be a cinch for Virtua Tennis racqueteers. The dodgy intelligence of your rivals also means the game doesnt put up much of a challenge in the single-player mode, and while mastering the on-court action allows you to unlock a variety of secret skills that riff on Sega heritage, these special powers are crude, awkward and best avoided as they add nothing to the high-speed action.