Barely a few weeks after Rafael Nadal’s historic victory, not to mention Iga Swiatek’s huge performance, at Roland Garros, we can now try to become a great champion with Matchpoint – Tennis Championships. Released 07/07/22 and day one in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, we could not wait to get some devastating previews, especially after the few trailers and demo released on 21/06/22. The Torus Games studio, which mainly produced Ben 10, How to Train Your Dragon 2 or Hotel Transylvania 3, is therefore trying out the game of tennis. Now let’s find out if the ball stays in the net or not.
Grand slam at the end of the racket
Let’s first talk about the main menu, which is very basic. The first choice is to play solo or online. The solo allows us to start a career, start a quick fight, training, tutorial or training. The latter is composed of mini-challenges that must be achieved in order to achieve cuts, and otherwise a success. As for online modes, we can participate in ranked, leisure or with a friend matches, and finally we have the opportunity to consult a list of players who are blocked in multiplayer. For information, the quick match allows you to play with 16 professional players like Casper Ruud, Carlos Alcaraz, Heather Watson, Amanda Anisimova and even Benoît Paire, but what a shame that every time he misses a ball, we do it do not hear: “Fussen, the pussy he has, the chaaaattte !!”. It’s still quite frustrating not to have players with greater fame. Let’s focus on the My Career mode, which is without a doubt the part of the game where we want to spend the most time, and note that we can create six different ones. Of course, the time will come to personalize your avatar, which will only take us three minutes, given the few possible choices … After quickly validating, we are on the service, at the end of a very committed match in light of the position in the last tie-break. After a few exchanges, and the loss of points, comes the first expected moment in this game, the discovery of a weak point in our opponent. In this game, in fact, it is not enough to return the balls stupidly, but to discover over the exchanges our opponent’s weak points and strengths to create tactics to win the match. Here we note that after three consecutive losses, the opponent suffers a strength and precision penalty.
- One of the weak points of the opponent
Despite that, we lost the match … Probably due to lack of concentration. To top it off, we learn in the summary that we were in the final of the Adelaide Open, double disappointment. But it’s not so bad, because we get a place on the MPT rankings and thus begin our career, with the ultimate goal of becoming world number 1. The interface for My Career mode allows us to manage our calendar between tournaments, consult our world rankings or manage our player. In this menu we can change our rackets, our shoes and our appearance, consult the statistics of our career and meet our coach. We will be able to hire others during our progression in the MPT rankings, to perfect our playing style. We decide to start training, to increase our qualities, after the bitter setback we have finally suffered.
- Here we manage our professional career
We are surprised to find that the training mode in My Career is exactly the same as in the main menu, so if you ever want to master training as well as possible, and thus earn as many points as possible, do not hesitate to return to the training menu to improve your skills. After successfully completing the training, it is possible for us to choose the next tournament. Here the choice will be very simple, we go to the Auckland Open, because the Australian Grand Slam tournament, the difficulty of which is symbolized by five tennis balls, requires that we are in the top 100. so for the difficulty a tennis ball, especially since the rewards are at stake very interesting: a racket, sneakers and 250 MPT points! After the victory in the New Zealand tournament, we earn the promised 250 MPT points, a Spanish coach, but also a racket that, in addition to being radically more beautiful, increases our forehand and backhand by one point. Later, we win as a result of a showdown, another coach, and a pair of shoes that both increase our punch.
- one of the many coaches available
Time to talk about getting started with Matchpoint – Tennis Championships. All in all, she’s pretty good. Our character’s movements are fluid, the placement of the ball rebound cross becomes quite natural after a few minutes of play, and the various possible shots (flat, topspin, slice, lob and drop) are easy to place after a minimum of effort. ‘ coaching. It is still a shame not to see any difference in play between the different types of surfaces (hard, grass and clay).
Now let’s get to the soundtrack, then to the graphics. For the soundtrack, the menu music is quite fine, without being masterpieces. When watching a tennis match, there are a few different sounds: the audience, the sound of the racket hitting the ball, the rebound, the referees and the commentator. Matchpoint – Tennis Championships manage to miss them all. The public is soft, the noise from the ball quite poor, but above all the commentator is almost non-existent. The sentences he utters are triggered only in key moments, with always the same intonation, which does not help. Finally, in terms of graphics, it’s worse than the soundtrack. The public is awful, the characters very poorly modeled, as well as their animations as they move on the ground. When we talk about the court, when playing on clay, there is no trace under the movements of the players or even the influences of the ball. After all, it is possible to play with an immersive view right behind our player, and the rendering is really very interesting.
For successful hunters, apart from becoming number 1 in the world, the rest seems pretty easy to achieve.
- No need to try adjusting your screen …
Tested on Xbox Series X