No, we don't think Sega Superstars Tennis is a direct response to or an attempt to compete with Super Smash Bros. Brawl -- if it were, we wouldn't see Sonic in Nintendo's game. Sega Superstars Tennis is a smaller release, meant, we would guess, to bridge the gap between "casual gamers" and Sega superfans. Or, to be more cynical, to be a Virtua Tennis sequel without the likeness rights. Did Sega and Sumo Digital serve up an ace or a fault? Or is the game best analogized by some other tennis term? The reviews seem to range from the ecstatic to the nonplussed. Hit the post break for reviewers' opinions!
Official Nintendo Magazine UK -- 89%: Official Nintendo Magazine UK is down with the idea of giant anthropomorphic hedgehogs, dancing reporters, and futuristic teenage gang members playing tennis with monkeys: "This has overtaken Wii Sports as our favourite tennis experience on the Wii. It's great fun even if you're not a Sega fan, but the lack of online is an insult to Wii gamers." [Apr 2008, p.70]
EGM -- 70%*: Andrew Pfister saw less of a crazy Sega game on a tennis court and more of a tennis game with a Sega veneer: "It doesn't get much crazier than a mostly predictable "super" shot every once in a while. That leaves you with what's essentially Virtua Tennis -- though the controls feel a little looser -- which is totally fine." [Apr. 2008, p. 78]
IGN -- 62%: IGN's Matt Casamassina made no claims of the game's ability to usurp Wii Sports (though he does casually reveal that Gilius Thunderhead from Golden Axe is in it, and that therefore we all have to buy it): "On paper, the project is golden, but unfortunately the concept itself, while highly intriguing – hey, we still pick up Mario Tennis now and again – hasn't been executed as well as it might have been, and the end product suffers. The result is a game of tennis which is passable, but hardly impressive, and also one whose presentation remains sterile despite all of the colorful characters housed within."
*Metacritic has EGM's score aggregated at 58%, but we believe this is in error. Assuming that their A-F letter scale translates to 100%, each letter would represent twenty points. We converted the B-/C+/C scores to the numeric scores 80/70/60 and averaged accordingly.