WTA Tour TennisSomething strange is going on! Tennis on the Xbox? Well, it is true because Konamiâ€™s WTA Tour Tennis is out on store shelves trying to make a big splash on the sports gaming market. Unfortunately, WTA Tour Tennis is going to make a big splash in the bargain big. Read on to find out just why Konami didnâ€™t put enough push into their tennis title. November is upon us and most of know that Microsoft is closing in on the one year anniversary of the Xbox. Now donâ€™t get me wrong, the Xbox has had a very impressive year and looks to get even better with the ever so near launch of Xbox Live closing in. Taking a closer look, genres have been pretty much supported to a great extent. I happen to be a great fan of the sports genre. In my wide range of Xbox games in my collection, half the games are sports titles. I can pretty much say I have bought every different sports title. The only thing missing was a Tennis title to add to the collection. When I saw WTA Tour Tennis, I decided to give it a shot, not because it was womenâ€™s tennis, but because it was a tennis game and Konami is the first to release one. While there is no one else to compete with WTA Tour Tennis, my search for a tennis game will continue down a long road of waiting. Features: â€¢ Play as 20 different women tennis players â€¢ 1-4 players can play â€¢ 10 different and unique world courts â€¢ Courts such as clay, grass, and hardcourts change the dynamics of the game Gameplay: I can assure you right now, this isnâ€™t how tennis should be presented. The game moves around at a slow place and rarely picks up at all. The game is disappointing right from the beginning. There isnâ€™t much offered in WTA Tour Tennis except a handful of women tennis players, a few courts, and sloppy gameplay. The most disappointing aspect of WTA Tour Tennis is the bland and unintelligent opponents Konami has put into the game. On the brighter side of the game, the lineup of women tennis players is quite nice. The following are some of the tennis players featured in WTA Tour Tennis: â€¢ Martina Hingis â€¢ Lindsay Davenport â€¢ Serena Williams â€¢ Monica Seles â€¢ Jelena Dokic â€¢ Justine Henin â€¢ Jennifer Capriati WTA Tour Tennis offers some basic gameplay modes such as exhibition singles, doubles, tournament, and Main Tour. The â€˜Main Tourâ€™ is the only mode that might offer you exciting moments in this game. You set off by choosing one of the 20 tennis challengers and set off with the obvious challenge of become the #1 ranked player in the world by defeating your opponents. You go through many tournaments attempting to come out of it successful. In order to increase your rankings, you need to earn money and points. The difficult part of this objective is that the top ranked players are ranked really high and it takes time to join the top ranked players. Konami does make you work from the very beginning because as you start, youâ€™re ranked at the bottom of the pack. Donâ€™t worry, a few match wins will slowly bring up your rank. The controls are an area of the game youâ€™re not going to have any trouble adapting to. After a match, or two, you should be able to get the full swing of the game. The good thing about the control system is that each button represents a different shot which offers a little more variety to what each tennis player can swing at you. A well developed control system, but it doesnâ€™t save the game.
If the game doesnâ€™t sound so bad yet, it will now. The onslaught of difficulties will soon slowly start to appear as you continue to play. As said before, the game moves so slow and gets boring quickly. What can turn out to be a friendly match of tennis can easily turn to out to be a quick match or a match where those in attendance will need to bring sleeping bags. This is exactly how the game plays which is two ways: It can either go quickly where youâ€™ve defeated youâ€™re opponent within minutes or the other way around where youâ€™re playing the same opponent for an hour trying to finish off the match. One of the most disappointing areas which can have you stomping back to the store wanting to exchange the game is the saving system. At some points I thought Konami didnâ€™t fully understand what â€˜savingâ€™ is. Then after I fully finshed playing the game, I realized that maybe they thought it wasnâ€™t needed or maybe they could get away with it without someone noticing. Itâ€™s always smart to save your progress once you get far in a game, but WTA Tour Tennis only lets you save once you have completed a tournament. The frustrating part is that a tournament takes an hour to complete, and many people just want to sit down a play a match in the tournament. Overall, the gameplay has some serious issues that have been left unnoticed and unchanged. For example, you can be playing in the finals of a tournament and your opponent comes out flying in the first set and easily takes a first set win. Donâ€™t be surprised if your opponent can hit anything in the second set. Thatâ€™s how the gameplay works in WTA Tour Tennis. Graphics: WTA Tour Tennis does do well in the visuals area of the game. Tennis models are sharply done and represent the real player well enough for you to recognize. While half the bodies of the players look decent, Halloween comes to town early when you see some of the faces. Thereâ€™s some serious work that needs to be done in that area but you can still make out who the player is. Animation is a science project gone terribly wrong. Everything is out of proportion and looks very rushed. As a player goes to hit the ball, as you look at the screen, you can clearly tell itâ€™s going to be hit to the left side of the court but the result is the ball is hit towards the left side. The game has a lot of problems and the flat crowds arenâ€™t even worth discussing at all. While there are a few areas that look good, the rest looks absolutely frightening. Sound: The sound featured in WTA Tour Tennis is basically a split both ways. I like the noises coming from the players as they hit the ball back and forth as well as the movement from the court. As the matches get more and more important, the crowd will let you know because they get into the matches more and more. As players get ready to serve, the crowd yells out the playerâ€™s names, just like in the pros. There are no announcers, just line judges in the game. In game music is absolutely horrid, so I would suggest turning on the radio and save yourself. Replay Value: The game will give you a decent challenge and will have you playing for hours, thatâ€™s if you actually want to play the game. Thereâ€™s nothing really special that will actually have you wanting the game. Thereâ€™s no customize your own player feature, just exhibition modes and a tour mode. Thereâ€™s nothing else you can get out of this game that would qualify for a worthwhile purchase. Overall: WTA Tour Tennis is not how tennis should be on the Xbox. Itâ€™s absolutely wrong in every way possible. I would not recommend you to purchase this game, I would not recommend you spend the few bucks to rent this game. Thereâ€™s no way anyone can get a fun experience out of WTA Tour Tennis. That is unless youâ€™re laughing at the game itself. I recommend sitting in the sunshine outside praying that Sega bring tennis to the Xbox. Look for this baby in the bargain bin in a few months. Chris Banovic