Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis - PlayStation

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Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis (PlayStation)
Viewed: 2D Top-down, Static screen Genre:
Sport: Tennis
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Namco
Publishers: SCEA (GB/US/JP)
Released: Jun 1999 (GB)
Unknown (US/JP)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Analogue JoyPad, Memory Card, Multi Tap
Features: Vibration Compatible


Do not be fooled by the endorsement of the lovely Ms Kournikova. Though she undoubtedly takes her game very seriously, AK Smash Court Tennis is anything but a hardcore sports simulation. A big seller in the PSX’s budget range, this title is a somewhat traditional, nay old-fashioned, arcade-type game. This can mean only one thing: fun is definitely on the agenda, and AK Smash Court Tennis delivers in spades.

Anna is the only genuine tennis player to make an appearance in this game, however there are plenty of familiar faces to match to Christian names, along with varying playing styles. Whoever you choose to play as, do not for a moment think that you’re going to win every point, because whoever you find yourself playing against, be it in a singles or doubles match, your opponent's AI will be top-notch more often than not. At least in the doubles option, you can blame your failings on your partner. Just like in real-life, although the professionals do a much better job of hiding their frustration.

There are a variety of environments to play in, and a selection of court surfaces, clay, grass, concrete, and what some would say resembles crazy paving. Game modes include Tournament, in which extra players can be unlocked if your performance makes the grade, Exhibition, which is the ideal multi-player experience, and the quick-fix laugh-riot that is Smash Blast. In this mode, the ball is a time-bomb. Just play your shot as fast as possible, and hope it doesn’t come back!

AK Smash Court Tennis looks totally retro, but once you start to play, it’s like greeting a familiar face from way back. So get friendly with Anna Kournikova and you’ll be friends for a long time to come.