Matchpoint: Tennis Championships Review – IGN
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios is the tennis world’s top – spun maverick, a controversial happy Gilmore – like figure who does not so much march in time with his own drum as partying on a pair of bright red basketball sneakers and shamelessly trampling over Wimbledon’s dense, all – white traditions. His prominent position on the front page of Matchpoint: Tennis Championships sets the expectations that developer Torus Games’ debut tennis simulation is ready to finally shake things up for the stagnant tennis genre … but unfortunately that has not turned out to be the case. A steady but unbalanced style of play, uninspiring career mode and surprisingly limited multiplayer support means that the only trait Matchpoint shares with its provocative cover star is an overall sense of wasted potential.
In honor, Matchpoint’s neat control layouts make it extremely easy to pick up. Your player’s movement is strongly assisted so that you only need to push your thumb in the general direction of a returned ball, and they will automatically be guided to the ideal position to meet it. This allows you to stay focused right on the opponent’s side of the court, where you can steer around a reticle the size of a dinner plate and take off a standard series of tennis shots with a level of accuracy that goes beyond Djokavic to the limit of Jedi levels of precision.
It is a rally system that is absolutely reliable and gives you a lot of freedom, but it is also one that is a little too easy to master since it is all a reward and very little risk. The window for timing your shots is extremely generous, and you are not really penalized in any way for overcooking a shot or serving. There are probably computer-controlled ball machines that have made more forced mistakes than I have made in my 20 or so hours playing – you almost have to go out of your way to actually hit the ball off the lines, and can hit the court with impossible shots. angles without tilting an eyelid. So yes, Matchpoint makes me feel like a kind of hard-tuned tennis terminator … But when you’re sure you can hit a passing shot from almost anywhere, it results in competitions that have about as much excitement as a tennis racket drawn with spaghetti.
Ball too light
The ability to paint the lines so effortlessly is also detrimental to Matchpoint’s career mode, as it makes the progression system seem almost completely unnecessary. While my created player started with modest levels of shooting power and spin, his accuracy was laser controlled from the start. This meant that from day one of the tour I met about 50 clear winners for each who landed wide. The size of the crosshairs and your flawless ability to hit it remains consistent throughout, and even with the difficulty level turned up to the highest setting, I stormed to seven consecutive tournament victories and became world number one during the first months of my career. ; this despite having completed only one of the state-reinforcing training mini-games along the way.
Admittedly, it is a blessing that these training mini-games can be skipped, as they are either completely mundane (like when you have to play Simon Says for downhill running) or clumsy implemented (like the drill for serving aces that sets you up against a receiver who stands so far from the service box that they are just as happy to sign autographs). But completing these simple training exercises is about as deep as the management aspect of Matchpoint’s career goes, which made me feel quite uninvested in the player’s success. There are no sponsorship deals to consider or injuries to consider, and instead you basically roll from one obscure, unlicensed tennis tournament to the next, and snatch up more silverware than a butler with sticky fingers in Buckingham Palace.
Matchpoint – Tennis Championships – Hands-On Screenshots
I guess at least the trophies are silver, because Matchpoint never actually shows them to you. While the animations of the players are smooth and the details on the court are sharp, there is a noticeable lack of life and no real sense of opportunity permeated in every competition, with every tournament culminating in the same static results screen. There is no trophy presentation after a final, no handshake between players, no statistical overlays in the broadcast presentation, and the small handful of faces in the audience are so much reused that it is almost as if the stadium tickets had a “buy one get two free” promotions for sets of identical triplets.
Similar cosmetic restrictions have also been imposed on your created player. With only a handful of heads and haircuts to choose from, and no ability to customize service movements or grunts of exertion, it is almost impossible to produce anyone other than either John or Jane Smith from the United States of Generica. Even worse, while the 18 licensed professionals at Matchpoint each come dressed in branded equipment from the likes of Nike and Adidas, the clothing and equipment available to the player are of the strictly nameless variety. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when you strut out on the center court surrounded by billboards from big names like Asics and Wilson, and you’re dressed in a t-shirt and shorts that seem fresh from your mother’s sewing machine, and hold a marked tennis racket that appears to have been purchased from a dubious ad on Facebook.
The play of the weak
While you occasionally encounter real weapons like Daniil Medvedev and Taylor Fritz on the men’s tour, and Victoria Azarenka and Madison Keys on the women’s, an overwhelming number of matches are played in Matchpoint’s career against fictional opponents. While it’s quite difficult to distinguish these carbon copy competitors from being cut from the same limited set of character creation tools as your avatar, Matchpoint at least tries to inject some individuality into each of them by giving them a handful of strengths and weaknesses that can be revealed during a match.
You do not get to intuitively identify these features, mind you, but rather they are spelled by a distracting splash of text that appears in the upper right corner of the screen in the middle of the rally. An opponent may become impatient during a prolonged exchange and tend to rush the net, for example, while another may start earning harder the more aces they get in a service game. It’s an interesting idea on paper, but in practice it had very little effect on how I approached each point, and because of that it felt like an artificial way of forcing a change in strategy that was never actually necessary. Every AI opponent I met may just as well have had a weakness for red velvet cupcakes despite the difference it made to how I played against them, since I consistently worked each of them out of position before I got another perfectly placed winner. few millimeters within. baseline.
Desperate for a small challenge, I finally tried to deactivate the aiming cursor completely in the options menu, but targeting by feeling alone moved the shooting difficulty so far in the other direction that it only forced me into a more conservative and exhausting style of play; knocked the ball back towards the middle of the field until my opponent inevitably made a mistake, which soon became boring. I wish the developers had been able to find some sort of compromise between the superhuman sniper that the aiming marker provides and the nebulous guesswork involved in going without it.
Of course, there are significantly more nuances to be found when dealing with human opponents, and it’s like a multiplayer game Matchpoint is at its best since it pits you against a player theoretically equipped with the same skills to look on the sidelines as you. It is a pity that the options for multiplayer are so sparse. Online gaming is limited to either informal or ranked one-off matches, with no ability to create or participate in tournaments. Even worse, all multiplayer matches – both online and offline – are strictly for singles only, as if you were signing up for a tennis club membership, but accidentally ended up on the eHarmony registration page.
It seems almost inconceivable that a tennis game released in 2022 lacks what has long been such a pleasant and expected feature of the genre in the form of doubles, but it is not the only Matchpoint design call that must be challenged. I also wonder why I’m forced to play a qualifying set at the start of every career mode tournament, even when I’m ranked number one in the world, or why there are 13 licensed male players included and only five women. And of course the most ironic challenge I want to challenge: why haven’t I had the opportunity to challenge any of the judge’s requests? Line-call challenges have been a part of professional tennis for over 15 years, so it’s weird that they’re not included here – especially when Matchpoint’s line judges tend to miss more calls than a dead man’s phone.