Released October 17th 2013 on the Mac, SEGA Superstars Tennis follows the same Arcadey style as All-Star Racing and aims to recreate the formula of the legendary Mario Tennis (man, how many controllers didn’t we destroy while playing it in college!). We loved Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing so much, we consider it one of our go-to party games when friends come over. It managed the almost impossible and recreated an experience similar to Mario Kart’s (one of the greatest party games ever). That said, how does SEGA Superstar Tennis fare? Does it capture the fun Mario Tennis once did? Did SEGA and Feral pulled it off again?
Get it from the Mac App Store.
Enter Sega Superstars Tennis for Mac
SEGA Superstars Tennis is what Roger Federer probably uses for training. Winning 14 Grand Slams requires something special and SEGA Superstars Tennis is special. It’s a good old, back to the basics arcade game, and you can’t really wrong with that recipe.
With characters across the SEGA universe starring in the game, you’re guaranteed hours of entertainment. The simple controls and the bright vivid colors really bring a smile to your face. Tennis is abstracted to it’s most simple bits, which are also the best bits. Just serve and return. Playing games of virtual tennis never gets boring because you get to discover the myriad playing styles of the many characters, and each game plays out differently because of that. Sonic has Speed, AiAi has Spin, Amigo has Power and so on.
There are a few modes to choose from, and you can instantly jump into a singles or doubles match, or even a tournament. In a Doubles match, when characters of different attributes are paired up, the results can be quite interesting. You can also command your partners position on the court. Either telling them to stay close to the net, or the baseline, or giving them full freedom. Not only do you have to play skillfully, you can also use your Superstar mode strategically to win in a break point situation, or to press home the advantage if the match is stuck in deuce.
In addition to the usual tennis matches, there are also plenty of mini games which we will talk about in a moment. You can either play a random match, enter the career mode, or launch Superstars mode, where you get to play on different courts against players across the SEGA universe.
In Planet Superstars mode, you not only get to play tennis, but also the many mini-games available. The mini games are a great way to have some fun in a non-competitive environment and also to hone your tennis skills. Simply put, Planet Superstars allows you to visit player worlds, and play on their courts, so each court has its own quirks and challenges. It’s a bit like clay and grass courts, only the variety is much more noticeable here. You have to hit zombies in one, or avoid electric spike balls in another or even try not to get caught by the police.
Although the whole experience is enjoyable, it doesn’t manage to hide a glaring omission: The lack of online multiplayer. For sure, you can play with upto 4 players on a single Mac, but it would’ve been impressive if there was some sort of online multiplayer!
If there was one thing we all cribbed about arcades, it was the graphics. Not anymore you can’t.
Although Sega Superstars Tennis is an arcade game, the graphics are good. The colours are bright and vivid, leaving no doubt that you’re in the SEGA universe. As you play through Planet Superstars and finish missions, you will also unlock new players and music for that particular court. So the next time you play on that court, you can choose which soundtrack you want to play to.
Every court represents the home court of a different SEGA character, and they are so detailed they really manage to diversify the experience. The sounds and music are distinctly SEGA, and they genuinely recreate the feel of an arcade. Just that the arcade is not in a stuffy shop with terrible graphics. It’s in high definition, and on your Mac.
Another nice touch is that the in-game loading times are really short, so jumping into a game takes no time at all.
The game runs smoothly with no frame skips or lag. Although on older Macs, they could become an issue with the highest resolutions.
There are no other options in-game to lower any graphics settings, so lowering the resolution is the only option available to make the game run smoother on older hardware. It’s a shame Feral didn’t include more options but it’s still manageable.
Minimum System Requirements:
- Mac OS X 10.7.5
- Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel
- RAM: 4 GB
- Hard Disk: 3 GB
- Graphics: 256MB
My MacBook Pro 13”:
- OS: Mac OS X 10.9
- Processor: 2.9 GHz
- Graphics Card: 512 MB
- RAM: 8GB
- Great Presentation
- Drives home the Arcadey gameplay and feeling
- Good Replay Value
- Lack of Online Multiplayer
- Mediocre mini-games
Feral Interactive has bought another great port, and SEGA has done a great job with this game. It’s a great way to experience arcade games, and it’ll be a lot of fun when your friends come over to play it with you. Apart from the lack of multiplayer and graphical settings, it’s a nice game that promises hours of fun.
Get it from the Mac App Store.