Tennis 2K2 (Dreamcast) review
"I'm not a big fan of tennis, so I wasn't expecting much from Tennis 2K2. I didn't think that repeatedly hitting a ball over the net would be too fun. "
I'm not a big fan of tennis, so I wasn't expecting much from Tennis 2K2. I didn't think that repeatedly hitting a ball over the net would be too fun.
I'm glad I was wrong.
Tennis 2K2 is a blast. The first time I played a match in the game, I was screaming at the TV. I was gasping with the crowd, going ''OHHHHHH'' when a player would dive and just barely hit the ball. I was screaming obscenities at my player when I didn't hit the ball like I wanted. I was just having a good ol' time.
Once I got used to the controls and such by playing through the unimportant exhibition and tournament modes, I decided to enter the ''World Tour''. I was surprised to find out that I was able to create my own player. I played around in the create-a-player screen, disappointed that there weren't very many ways to change the look of my player. It was certainly not up to par with the current sports and wrestling games' similar features. Despite its shortcomings, I managed to make someone who somewhat resembled myself. I called him ''Shady'', of course.
So I pushed the ''finish'' button, ready to see what the world had to offer. But ahhhh, I had to create a female player as well. I made her look all nice and pretty and named her ''Shadette''. Sorry, I couldn't think of anything better.
OK, so now I was on my way to GLOBAL TENNIS DOMINATION! MUAHAHAHA!
I gave my two tennis soon-to-be-gods a home in Iceland. I then spun around the globe to see what all of my choices were. There weren't any tournaments to enter, at least not any that accepted players of my poor default ranking (300th). That left me with a bunch of training exercises as my only options. I decided to have ''Shady'' enter the first exercise I saw - tank attack. This exercise claimed that it would help me improve my stroke.
When it had finished loading, I was presented with myself on one side of the court, and two tanks on the other side. The screen claimed that the goal of this exercise was to defeat the enemy tanks in 30 seconds. Okay, nothing too hard. I was ready for this.
Or so I thought, anyway.
The tanks began shooting gigantic tennis balls at me. I frantically began hitting them. I managed to knock out the little green tank pretty fast, but I was just way off with my aiming at the second tank. I got about half of its health bar down before time ran out.
My skill attributes improved marginally after such a weak outing. I put my head down in embarrassment and headed back to the world map. I figured I had a lot more training to do before I even thought about entering a tournament.
I tried out every training mode the game had to offer (eight total), occasionally giving Shady time to rest. After doing terrible at just about all of 'em, I decided to enter a tournament. It was a regular 2 round, 2 game affair. I managed to win the first round, two games to none. I got my ass kicked in the finals though, and was sent home packing. I made $10,000 out of the mess, so it wasn't all bad.
I went to the shop afterward to see what I could purchase with my money. I browsed through the expensive rackets, outfits, and courts (which presumably become unlocked in exhibition and tournament modes when you buy them), not seeing anything worth my time. I noticed that a men's doubles tournament was coming up soon, so I paid $10,000 on a partner. I hadn't heard of any of the tennis stars, so I just picked the first one off the list (Patrick Rafter).
He pretty much won the tournament single-handedly for me. The combination of my created player having low skill attributes and myself still learning the game didn't offer much help to Rafter. Oh well, I still won $20,000.
I then went on playing the World Tour mode, spending most of my time as Shady. After participating in several rigorous training exercises and after winning numerous tournaments, I became quite the star. I kind of just left ''Shadette'' in the dust, however. While Shady was rising through the ranks, Shadette wasn't doing much of anything. Maybe next time I will put an equal amount of time into both.
Every now and then when I wasn't playing in the World Tour, I was playing as the pros in the other exhibition and tournament modes. The game includes 16 real tennis players, but I only recognized a few. Both Venus and Serena Williams are in the game, as are Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport. Anna Kournikova, Andre Agassi, and Pete Sampras (among others), however, are not. It's a shame that you can't play as Anna and hear the crowd cheer when she bends over to tie her shoe. Think of the possibilities!
Still, even with its lack of some of the most recognizable players in tennis, Tennis 2K2 excels. It may take a while for you to truly rock your opponent's socks, but once you're able to do so the game gets even more fun.
Tennis 2K2 is still a beautiful game, even today. The players all look like their real life personalities (well, at least the ones I recognize do). Animations are fluid, with no awkward glitching to be found. Watching a player dive for the ball, then hurry up and jump back to their feet, is lifelike. Even the crowd looks good. In closeups, you can actually see different members of the crowd wildly moving their arms in the air while they cheer. GREAT STUFF, YO.
I was kind of shocked when I noticed that the game didn't have commentary. There is a guy that calls out the score after every play, like ''15 - LOVE'', but that's it. Instead of commentary, some mediocre techno music plays in the background. Blech. At least the sound effects are good. The crowd sounds excellent. They will gasp when a player dives for the ball. They'll cheer when a player wins a set. When a player wins a game, they clap politely. The crowd really adds a lot to the atmosphere. I love it. Just next time ditch the techno music, okay, Sega?
In the end, I can safely say that Tennis 2K2 is a great game. The excellent World Tour mode actually makes you feel as if you are a tennis star, since you are always training week after week to improve your skills (plus you get to travel all over the world). Tennis 2K2 is fun, and it is easy to pick up and play, so even non-game fans can enjoy it. I would have liked a more in-depth create-a-player mode, as well as more recognizable professional players, but you can't always get what you want now can ya? As it stands, Tennis 2K2 is very enjoyable. Hell, it even taught me a lot about the game of tennis itself. If you get the chance, buy the game. It's cheap and it's fun.
Best Feature - OMG U GET 2 CREATT URSELF N PLEY N WERLD TURD
Worst Feature - Lack of the more popular players; weak create-a-player.
Community review by shady (January 28, 2004)
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