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15 Jul 2022

REVIEW: Matchpoint - Tennis Championships on XBOX

Review by Jon Donnis
Matchpoint - Tennis Championships is the latest tennis game out there to try and grab your attention, released to coincide with Wimbledon, and try and pick up your casual fan as well as your tennis gamers, the first thing you will notice when you start playing is that this is a proper tennis simulation.

Everything looks incredible, the graphics are amazing. (Some of the close ups not so great)

Now if like me you are a fan of Virtua Tennis games, you need to quickly get that out of your head, as the controls are slightly different, and at first I struggled a bit with the characters as I was trying to play, I jumped straight into a quick game, and you will soon learn that everything is about precision, positioning the player, but most importantly where you are going to play the ball, once you have positioned your player and chose the shot type out of top spin, flat, lob or slice shot, a small black circle appears which you have then got to quickly put in the place where you want the ball to go. All of this needs to be done in quick order. And despite at first feeling a bit overwhelmed, I was surprised how quickly I then figured it out.

Of course, jumping straight into a quick game is not always the smartest thing to do, luckily there is a tutorial mode, which I should have tried first. This helps explain the game mechanics, gives you practice shots and talks you through everything you need to know to get you feeling solid on the basics of play.

There is your usual career mode, which you will want to get started on, as this delivers the main focus of the game. Create your character, choose your clothes, rackets and so on. As you play through career mode you can unlock special equipment and so on. 

There are training modes and a coaching system that will allow you to build up your characters strengths and lower your weaknesses.

The game features 16 real-life tennis superstars including Nick Kyrgios, Kei Nishikori and Amanda Anisimova, as well as official branding from their sponsors, so you will see Nike, Yonex and Babolat etc.

You can play online or local against real life opponents, and there are even some mini games to have some fun with.

The Good
Once you get used to the controls, the game is fun to play, the career mode has good depth, and in general this is top quality tennis game.
At the start the opponents will feel tough to beat, but this really is a game about practice, you need to watch your opponents, learn their movements, and before you know it you will be dragging them around the court to where you want them to be, so you can play that winning shot.

The Bad
Only 16 real world players in the game is a disappointment, I understand licencing players costs money, but would still have been nice to have had a full selection of new and legend players to choose from. The sound effects are also not the best.

If the developers can bring updates to the game, new players, and updated commentary, sound effects etc, then the game can become great. If this is the finished article, then the game is still good and brings enough to impress any tennis fan, but I just feel like it could do better.

I score Matchpoint - Tennis Championships on XBOX a solid 7/10

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