If Smash Court Tennis: Pro Tournament didn’t exist this game would probably be rated worse.
But fortunately, for Hard Hitter Tennis it does exist and is much more terrible. Making HHT a more enjoyable experience in comparison.
Now, I’m not going to lie – as any long time reader would know by now, this blog started as one thing and has been sidetracked more than a few times. I, like to consider them side quests. So, this mission to find an enjoyable Tennis game for the PlayStation 2 has become just another obsessive compulsive side quest and luckily, we’ve already improved leaps and bounds over this last fledgling piece of crap. Not that any of these games are any better than this this guy’s concert tickets.
Hard Hitter Tennis created by Japanese Devloper, Magical Company (Sqoon, Marble Madness) is the sequel to Magical: Hard Hitter Tennis which never saw a North American release.
The game does some things right. It’s relatively easy to pick up. It has multiple modes including, training, arcade and career. It even kind of lets you create your own player.
The game has no player licensing or likenesses and features a completely fictional roster but that’s okay. The create-a-player mode has you choose from one of the fourteen characters and change their shirt size. You also can perform three short mini games to determine your style of play be it, “All Arounder”, “Hard Hitter” or “Stroker” (whatever the hell that is.)
What’s good about the game is it’s career mode – although it’s fairly elementary. Basically, the mode follows your tennis player for a year, choosing different major tournaments each week and adds up your winnings with the goal of being the richest Tennis person on Earth.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where it ends. I feel like Magical missed a cool opportunity to weave a little drama into the match ups. Some lead up or broadcasting bravado before the match or maybe rivalries? At least a tally of your Tennis record against an opponent considering you play many of the same opponents throughout different tournaments.
The game feels fine, janky and frustrating at times but not impossible to adapt to. The commentary is so bad you’d wish it didn’t exist and you’ll mute your Television after a couple of rounds. There is only so many times you can hear a commentator say, “Look at that smile!” Or “You can tell, he really enjoys Tennis”
Like, yeah, no shit, asshole. I’m playing a fucking tennis video game.
Not a bad game but not a great one. A lot of missed opportunities that could have made this a really strong Tennis entry. But with such short matchs and a fast whirlwind style it never sticks around long enough to be hated.
Do you have a favorite Tennis game from that era or any generation of systems? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading.