After Sonic’s recent lackluster performance in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, you’d be forgiven for having low expectations for Sega’s next sports game to feature mascots: Sega Superstars Tennis. The characters aren’t all A-listers and the tennis isn’t great, but the game’s interesting court designs, minigames, and classic Sega tunes make for a good package.
Sega Superstars Tennis features 16 characters from classic Sega games. Each player is rated for speed, control, power, spin, or all-around ability. The eight characters that are unlocked from the start include: Sonic, AiAi from Super Monkey Ball, Nights, Ulala from Space Channel Five, Beat from Jet Set Radio, Amigo from Samba de Amigo, Tails, and Dr. Eggman. The unlockable characters aren’t quite as interesting and mostly consist of lesser characters from the same games, though Gillius from Golden Axe and Alex Kidd are worthy additions to the lineup. The courts on which you play and the music you hear while you play are inspired by the game’s characters and are sure to please anyone who has enjoyed Sega’s games over the years.
The characters, levels, music, and even some of the gameplay from these classic franchises are put to good use in superstars mode. This mode is made up of 14 different worlds, each of which is based on a well-known Sega game. The roster includes Super Monkey Ball, Puyo Pop Fever, Samba De Amigo, OutRun, Virtua Squad, Sonic the Hedgehog, Nights, Space Channel Five, ChuChu Rocket, Jet Set Radio, and more. Each is filled with challenges that range from winning single and doubles matches to minigames that mix tennis with gameplay from the franchise on which the area is based.