Everybody's Golf was a smash hit on both PlayStation 2 and PSP (PlayStation Portable) thanks to its combination of cuteness, fun and excellent play mechanisms. Now tennis fans rejoice as the series moves off the links and onto centre court with all of its best features intact, and a whole host of new characters, modes and bonuses to keep even the most die hard tennis fanatic smiling.
The world of Everybody's Tennis is a happy one, full of sunshine, blue skies and happy faces. The emphasis here is definitely on fun with a cast of wacky and lovable characters ranging from TV gunslingers to Geishas-in-training and a cartoony look and feel that is sure to make you smile.
Beneath the cuteness and fun lies a tennis game of real depth and substance. It's easy to pick up and play but, as you get further into the game, opponents start getting trickier and you'll need to angle your shots, cover the court and utilise forehand, backhand and lobs to their fullest to win matches. Characters also have stamina which is worn down by running, lunging and powerful shots, meaning you'll have to pick your moments wisely.
The Challenge Mode, where the heart of the game lies, is full of varied and interesting challenges for you to undertake to unlock cool extras like extra costumes for your existing players. The character progression is excellent with each tier of characters having their own particular strengths and weaknesses. Top tier characters are amazingly powerful and agile, but require precision timing to pull off their signature shots. A mid or lower tier character may lack the cutting edge of the higher players but you can be sure that the ball will go where you want it to, even if you're slow or fast with the timing of your shot. Put simply, there's a character for everyone, regardless of skill level.
Gin and deuce
The game has a great learning curve, that sees the challenge slowly increase, and manages to keep progression interesting and compelling. Despite tasking you with playing the same opponents more than once, you are constantly rewarded with secrets and new characters that slowly go towards making you a more accomplished tennis player. As you get comfortable with the characters and find your tennis groove, you start to pull off more difficult shots, and really get a feel for the game. It's a wonderful learning experience that'll keep you coming back until you've unlocked everything there is to see. These include 14 characters, five umpires (including a robot umpire from the 1980s) and 11 courts to unlock, each with its own unique theme, ranging from an indoor tennis court in a plush mansion, to a dusty court in the middle of a Wild West corral.
And that's not where the fun ends either. The multiplayer game is just as good as its single-player counterpart, and doubles play with four players at once is as fun a multiplayer gaming experience as you're likely to find.
So grab a racket and a sweatband and head for the court. The title says it all - this is tennis for everybody.