Parents' Guide to

Sega Superstars Tennis

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

A mediocre sports game for die hard Sega fans.

Sega Superstars Tennis Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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While both Nintendo and Sega have broad and respected game libraries, Nintendo's advantage is a higher level of familiarity. Even people who don't normally play games recognize icons like Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and perhaps even The Legend of Zelda's Link, which is part of the reason why Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. games are so popular. Sega's characters, on the other hand, aren't quite as well known. Certainly, everyone remembers the loveable blue speedball Sonic, but almost all of the other characters that appear in Sega Superstars Tennis are more aptly identified as cult video game figures rather than legitimate gaming icons. Outside of dedicated gamers of a certain age, how many people really remember the crazy Mexican monkey from Samba de Amigo? Or Ulala, the orange-clad space reporter from Space Channel 5? They're undoubtedly loved by a handful of older gamers, but unknown to almost everyone else.

Of course, if a game is lots of fun, then it matters little how recognizable its characters are. Unfortunately, Sega Superstars Tennis is a bit too simple and shallow to stand on its own. Matches and tournaments, though usually quite short, start to seem long and repetitive once you've mastered the few available shots. The special abilities given each of the game's characters (they can hit shots with wild trajectories and send troublesome obstacles like mines to the other side of the court) add a bit of excitement, but they take so long to charge that you'll rarely be able to use them more than once per match. Perhaps the greatest shame, though, is that while Sega Superstars Tennis feels like it could be just the right skill level for younger gamers, the inclusion of a few horror-themed elements based on the series House of the Dead -- including a mini-game in which zombies attack the tennis players -- keeps the game from being suitable for kids under age 10. Bottom line: It's good for stirring up memories of classic Sega games in the heads of the developer's longtime devotees, but younger players and those just looking for a good game of tennis can take a pass.

Game Details

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