Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Sega Superstars Tennis takes the full console version and brings it down to the smaller DS level. This is a challenge for the tennis part - but does quite nicely in the minigames area.
On the tennis side, it's hard to really fault the game. The DS only gives you little arrow buttons to move, unlike the more full joystick controls of a console. It's just hard to play an active sports game with arrows. The game does the best it can, and the graphics are nice, with the different characters and courts. They do the best they can with the system.
You do lose a lot of the "coolness" of the console version, where there is a ton of detail and sound to immerse you in the different worlds. So between the graphics and the controls, I would definitely be playing the tennis part on the main console, not the DS. There are enough other fun DS games to play while I'm traveling, to not have to try to suffer through the tennis game in here.
That being said, I really enjoy some of the mini-games in the set. Just like the console version has a variety of themed mini-games, you get a *different* set of minigames here on the DS. You get Jet Set Radio, ChuChu Rocket!, Curien Mansion, PuyoPop Fever, Virtua Squad, Super Monkeyball, Space Harrier and Sonic.
So in PuyoPop you are hitting tennis balls into vertical piles of PuyoPops, trying to clear them. In Space Harrier you are running along the ground, dodging enemies and trying to hit them with your tennis balls. In ChuChu Rocket you are trying to hit arrows with your tennis balls, aiming the little ChuChus towards the rocket.
Some of the games are similar to the console version - but where on the console they are sidelines to the main tennis game, here on the DS they really do wonderfully with the DS format. It's a lot of fun to play tennis against PuyoPops or to smash away at zombies. What's great is you can take two minutes to have a ton of fun on a given mini-level, while you're waiting in line, and then pop the DS in your pocket when you get up to the counter. So it's a great time filler.
Should you buy a game just for its mini-games? Heck, a lot of DS games *are* just mini-games :) That's where one of the DS's strengths is. And sure, you can actually play the tennis side of it. It's not that the tennis part is bad - it's just not nearly as much fun as on the main console. It's sort of like trying to play full out Wing Commander on a DS. It's just not what the system is made for. But with the minigames being so much fun, and so perfect for the system, I do recommend enjoying those!
Sharing Note: There seems to be no way to erase games or stats. So if you unlock things, and then want someone else to be able to "start from scratch", there is no way to do that.
Buy Sega Superstars Tennis from Amazon.com