Outlaw Tennis Xbox Review
The crazed cast of the outlaw games have been around since 2002 and have managed to garner their own set of fans in the three year time frame since their release. Playing a multitude of sports ranging from Volleyball to Golf they have now set their sight on the civilized game of tennis! Wimbledon is shaking in its metaphorical boots!
As with all “Outlaw” games, Outlaw Tennis plays with an arcade feel but its feet stay firmly in the realms of simulation. The arcadey aspect never seems to get too far out of control. If you have played any tennis game recently, especially Top Spin then the controls in Outlaw Tennis should already be very familiar to you. Each of the four face buttons is mapped to accommodate a different type of shot. “A” flat shot/flat serve, “B” top spin shot/kick serve, “X” slice shot/slice serve, “Y” lob/fight. The Left/Right trigger are mapped to spin/turbo.
Tour mode is the main aspect of the one player experience in Outlaw Tennis and it offers a set of around 80 events for you to play in. These events range from normal courts, if you could call anything in Outlaw Tennis “normal” to courses in the wild west. After you complete each event, another event plus some extra accessories and clothes for your characters are opened up. You win a prize after every match so there is always something driving you to win each match. In addition there is a selection of drills and mini-games that will help you develop you character’s skills when playing in tour mode
There is a lot of different variation on matches in Outlaw Tennis. Classic is your normal tennis match, Hot Potato results in your tennis ball turning into a timed bomb which counts down during the course of each point and will explode after a set time. Casino gives you money after each point, although you cannot use this money outside of the normal game. In Baseball you score runs. In football you must gain metaphorical yards after each point is won and then reach the end-zone. In Pinball, bumpers are added in which you have to hit to score points. Finally in Ping-Pong mode you play tennis according to ping-pong rules.
The visuals in Outlaw Tennis are of a high-quality and there are a lot of added effects used in the game to make everything look that bit better. There is a nice selection of different courts included, each with their own styles and quirks. There are many animated off-court characters on each stage that add to the appeal and help make each court have its own distinct feel. There are lots of partial effects used with nice explosions happening while playing the “hot potato” game. The cutscene’s that happen pre, mid, and post match are of a high respectable quality and help set the scene for each match. The animations are also well done and look great while you see your characters in movement. A few of the textures could have done with some work though.
As with all the “Outlaw” games all of the characters have been given a respectable set of one-liners with some of them being slightly more aggravating than others! The game is filled to the brim with jokes with each characters, and at times the commentator making funny quips during every game of every match. Sadly most of these jokes are terrible, with less than 10% of them getting any kind chuckle out of me. Now the soundtrack: There is no doubt most of the songs fit with the style of the game but most of the selection is just slightly above average, but in the end none of this matters as the game supports custom soundtracks so you can toss any kind of music you want onto your hard drive to listen to during your trip through tour mode and the rest of the game.
For a budget title there is a lot of game in here for your money. Tour mode is where most of your time will be spent while not playing the game with friends. Tour mode has a large selection of about 80 different matches putting you against different characters with different match rules and scenarios. There is a also selection of mini-games and drills too which add some more longevity to the game. Couple this with up to 4 player multiplayer and you have a title which is good value for money.
The bargain price of the Outlaw series does without doubt raise the appeal of games, and Outlaw Tennis is no different. Although the game may seem “over the top” at times, under all its crazed 15+ rated antics there is a very well developed tennis game. Although it does not rival the godly Virtua Tennis it does offer around the same level of fun as the recently released Top Spin abet with a more arcadey feel. It does however make the GameCube version of Mario Tennis its own personal bitch but that isn’t really that hard of a feat to accomplish.
7.3 out of 10