PC Gaming PlayStation PlayStation 5 Xbox Xbox Series X

Tennis World Tour 2 Is The Worst Sports Game In A While

Tennis World Tour 2 Title
Courtesy of NACON

Tennis World Tour 2 Complete Edition

Developer: Big Ant Studios
Publisher: Nacon
Release Date: March 25, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical

Tennis World Tour 2 -- A Sequel Or A Scam?

This will be a different “first look” from my previous previews because it’s going to sound more critical than usual. I couldn’t help but feel that the entire game felt...off. It was then after researching more about the Tennis World Tour series that I realized how shady everything was, beginning with the first game and leading up to whatever this is.

The first game in the series, Tennis World Tour was notoriously panned for only being, and I quote, 20% complete on launch and was purposefully released so as not to lose the sponsors lined up with the game itself. The plan was to release the game in the state it was in now, then fix it up with patches at a later time. Tennis World Tour 2 was meant to be the more “complete” game that the first game never was. 

So, after such a bold move and cementing themselves as cheapskates in the Tennis gaming world, does the second game seem to make up for its terrible reputation? No. Not even by a margin.

Rafael Nadal Gameplay Tennis World Tour 2
Tennis World Tour 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Tennis World Tour 2’s Victories Are Fleeting...

For starters, let’s begin with what worked. The installation process was smooth and quick enough, the game loaded pretty fast too, as going through the menus and into a match was fairly quick. There’s a sizable amount of characters, as is the case for the self-boasting “Complete Edition,” yet some Tennis legends are missing including some mainstays like the Williams sisters, Naomi Osaka, and Novak Djokovic among other big names. Perhaps it was for the best that they didn’t make the cut, because those who did make it in are not themselves.

It was so bad to the point where I held the cover of the game, which had real-life renders of both Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, and compared them to the in-game models which looked nothing alike. Throughout the entire “first look,” I was calling Federer “Johnny Cage” because he looked more like a Hollywood star from Mortal Kombat rather than one of the best tennis players alive.

Tennis Gameplay 2
Tennis World Tour 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Who ARE These Players!?

It was also at this point that I realized all the player models look like they wouldn’t be out of place in a Mortal Kombat game, which isn’t to say that MK’s art direction is bad. Far from it. But for a game that is supposed to be based in a fantasy setting to be compared to a game that is supposed to thrive off realism is just terrible. There was a moment where I even attempted to create the most “alien-like” character I could within the game’s character creation and I had little to no challenge in doing so.

The graphics are comparable to a very early PS4 game and it’s obvious that this was based on the game’s previous engine, but there were still some graphical glitches even within the game itself. Nadal’s jersey, for example, would clip through his skin at random intervals. The “shadows” are all over the place as the game would darken to the point where I couldn’t see much of what was going on. In a later match, indoor matches proved to perform a lot better, eliminating the problem for the most part.

Gameplay Tennis
Tennis World Tour 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Tennis World Tour 2’s Gameplay Is Fifteen Steps Behind

The biggest offender is the gameplay itself as I can excuse the poor grammar within the game’s help text, the glitchy graphics, and the very off-putting character models. I cannot excuse the fact that I can’t control my character try as I may. No matter where I was on the field, if I was near the shadow of where the tennis ball was supposed to be, the character will hit the ball automatically. This throws me off a lot as I don’t have any control of my shots outside of timing, which I have to plan long before the ball hits my opponent’s tennis racket. The problem is that if I guess incorrectly where the ball is headed, I’m a sitting duck and I lose a rally unintentionally.

For curiosity’s sake, I had it set so the CPU would play a set on their own and even the CPU struggled to keep up with the game’s own system. It was a frustrating mess and this was from someone who has played tennis games with sensible controls like Mario Tennis, Virtua Tennis, and even Hot Shots Tennis, a game that is a spinoff of a golf game!

Tennis World Tour 2 Character Create
Tennis World Tour 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Elements Of Microtransactions Are The Final Nails In The Coffin

This isn’t even mentioning the game using a “card system” that buffs and debuffs the player and enemy conversely, which does nothing but make gameplay that’s already confusing, even more so, with a needless mechanic that encourages you to spend money to procure cards on.

Honestly, considering that the series began as a cash grab, I am inclined to believe that the sequel is more of the same as the prequel, just a cash grab for a video game market that has long been dormant. All it tells the industry is that a new Virtua Tennis or even a Top Spin is long overdue.

Tennis World Tour 2 Complete Edition is available on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

Leave a Reply