Namco Bandai is promoting Smash Court Tennis 3 quite interestingly in other parts of the world (pictured, above). After getting our hands dirty with a preview build of the game, we have to admit that this game deserves the attention. Although tennis is a fairly simple game to understand, we appreciate the more simulation-based gameplay of Smash Court Tennis. Unlike its nearest competitor, Virtua Tennis, each hit is a lot more difficult to pull off, and each stroke can be decisive in a match. Although daunting at first, a well-designed, and incredibly thorough tutorial mode teaches the various strategies and techniques hidden within the game.
We're most impressed by the game's stellar production values. The menus simply look gorgeous. The camera moves in a nice, cinematic way, and the text overlays border on sexy. Load times are incredibly brief, rarely interrupting gameplay. The graphics look solid on PSP's diminuitive screen, and the animations, for the most part, are detailed and fluid.
There's a lot of potential in Smash Court Tennis, and we're sure that its various game modes will offer a lot of value. The tutorial mode has been excellent, and we've enjoyed playing simple matches of tennis. Arcade, Pro Tour and Challenge modes look to offer a significant amount of gameplay. The build that we've played does have some very noticeable glitches, though. There are some missing animations and graphics, especially when playing near the edge of the court. At times, it appears that there's no way to exit back into the menu. We're hoping that these issues get cleaned up by the game's final release -- if so, we could be looking at a winner. We'll be giving you more info on the game as we get closer to its release.
[Image source. Thanks, Robert!]