Matchpoint - Tennis Championships Xbox Series X Review

Matchpoint - Tennis Championships has all the makings of becoming a spectacular tennis game in a given time.

By Rayan, Posted 25 Jul 2022

Tennis simulations haven't been a constant in recent years, so it's good to see developers investing in a game to bring quality experience. The new tennis sim Matchpoint - Tennis Championships has been launched in an attempt to fill that gap. The game features realistic ball mechanics, plenty of animations, and an innovative mechanism for transitioning between them all. Developed and published by Torus Games and Kalypso Media and it's made available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Matchpoint - Tennis Championships is a potential tennis sim that offers an intriguing approach to playing and living a real professional tennis game. Despite this, the game still falls short of addressing the numerous flaws that hinder the overall experience.


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With regards to video games in general, licenses are a crucial factor for sports games. In this sense, Matchpoint - Tennis Championships falls short in every category. Not one of the notable names was included in the roster. There are several well-known brands littering the courts, but you won't be playing in legitimate ATP venues, and even the competitions don't have official titles. Among the sixteen recognized players who have made it to the pitch aren't considered among the big guns in tennis. Some recognizable names are Hubert Hurkacz, Taylor Fritz, Hugo Gaston on the men's side, Amanda Anisimova, Madison Keys, and Heather Watson on the women's side. Legends like Tim Henman and Tommy Haas are available through the Legends DLC pack.

Sadly, however, their faces don't seem much like their real-life counterparts during matches. All eighteen registered players are Andrey Rublev, Benoit Paire, Kei Nishikori, Nick Kyrgios, Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Daniil Medvedev, Hubert Hurkacz, Hugo Gaston, Madison Keys, Pablo Carreño Busta, Taylor Fritz, Tim Henman, Tommy Haas, and Amanda Anisimova, Heather Watson, Garbine Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka.


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However, the control of Matchpoint - Tennis Championships will immediately stand out. It's responsive, relatively comfortable, easy to use, and most importantly, offers a wide variety of alternatives, such as shots, spins, lobs, and topspins. One of the game's most appealing features is that we can direct the trajectory of the ball after it has been struck. Due to all these, the game offers a vast range of techniques that may be used while playing, pushing the other player to their absolute limit and even allowing one to identify potential weak places in their play. In most cases, AI players seem more vulnerable on their backhand, and it's easy to win matches if they're constantly forced to play on their weaker side. Check out my gameplay video below and see how easy it was to win a tournament when you figure out the opposition's weakness.

The gameplay of Matchpoint - Tennis Championships, however, becomes reasonably easy when you get the hang of controlling the aim, but sadly, it severely restricts the gameplay too. Everything becomes flawless; no balls strike the net or go to unlikely places. In addition, despite the difficulty levels, the AI plagued by low-level IQ makes the gameplay effortless. There are three different difficulties available in this game: Rookie, Semi-Pro, and Pro. When playing at the highest level possible, winning matches quickly becomes a chore not long after you begin playing, which lessens the excitement of competing against the AI. As a matter of fact, even the Pro difficulty is so easy that you do not even have to mix your shot selections. You can win any match using only the basic and conventional moves without worrying about complicated strategies.


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At first glance, the main menu of Matchpoint - Tennis Championships seems to include everything a tennis game requires; nevertheless, there are some notable gaps once you explore the game further. Three different playing surfaces are available for the Quick Match, but there are no venues with distinctive architecture. There's a no Double Matches mode, even though men and women can play against one other in the same bracket. Player creation for the Career mode has certain limitations as well. It's not a big deal that there aren't many options to modify the player's look and outfit, but the problem comes after you confirm the creation and start the career mode. Players' costumes can never be changed; only the racket, shoe, and coach can be updated. The only good news for those who find it hard to win matches is that the difficulty level can be adjusted at any point throughout a match since the difficulty selection option is placed in the settings instead of the main menu.

Matchpoint - Tennis Championships has a few different game modes, both online and offline. Unquestionably the career mode is the one that stands out the most. After making a player, you work your way up the rankings via winning matches and training. The majority of the matches will be exhibitions or competitions. Winning competitions unlocks new types of kit and improve players' stats, which can also be enhanced by participating in training matches. However, given that matches may go on for a very long time and are often played slowly, the tournaments could be stretched out over a more extended period to accommodate shorter playing sessions.


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Though it's great that you can leave the game at any moment of the play, even during an ongoing match, the game will start right from there once you begin to play again. It's a pity that there isn't an option for doubles in the career mode, but perhaps there will be one in the future. The multiplayer is more than satisfactory, and when played online, the matches run reasonably smoothly and have little latency. The game's online feature is likely a significant part of the game's attraction. In this mode, you can compete in friendly matches against other players or in qualifying matches to better your position in the game's overall online ranking.

Sadly though, the game's visuals are quite mediocre, and the current-gen consoles deserve a far more impressive appearance than this. Apart from a few shots, most of the animations are missing a human-like approach, and the characters often act too stiffly. The face motions aren't very expressive, and it seems the audience isn't that engaged either. The overall graphics of Matchpoint - Tennis Championships give the impression that the game's budget wasn't too high for this particular segment. The audio quality, on the other hand, is much better. Sound effects such as the ball hitting the bat, running footsteps, and shoe skidding are well-executed, giving the impression of an actual tennis match. Even the sound of the ball hitting the ground varies on different surfaces. There's also a British commentator, but sadly he doesn't have too many words in his bag.



 

Matchpoint - Tennis Championships has all the makings of becoming a spectacular tennis game in a given time. Even though the AI lacks depth, the gameplay is still entertaining and captivating. It has the potential to be a much more captivating game in future updates or releases if all the issues are addressed to improve the overall experience. It's been years since we've had a tennis game that came this close to being recognized as potential. Perhaps the lack of effort on the overall delivery makes it seem like the game took a step backward. Torus Games and Kalypso Media still deserve much credit for giving fans the hope for a great tennis simulator. It took years for EA, Konami, and 2K Games to deliver their finished games to the fans, and they're still improving, so why not allow more time to Torus Games? You'll still have much fun playing this game if tennis runs in your veins.

 

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Publisher(s): Kalypso Media Digital Ltd.
Developer(s): Torus Games
Genres: Tennis
Themes: Sports, Simulation
Release Date: 2022-06-21

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