[Review] Tennis Open 2020 – Nintendo Switch

Written by Kieran Fifield

Go Dark –

  • Developer: Inlogic Software
  • Publisher: Forever Entertainment
  • Release date: 19/03/2020
  • Price: £8.99 / $9.99
  • Review code provided by Forever Entertainment

Introducing: Tennis Open 2020 Switch review

Tennis – there’s nothing quite like it. The smell of freshly cut grass invigorating the nostrils as the ball bounces back and forth. Ahhh!

Tennis Open 2020 on Nintendo Switch – there’s nothing quite like it. That’s about the nicest thing I can say about this title is that despite not being one, the game feels like a port of a mobile title that simply doesn’t work on Nintendo’s hybrid system. So, join me on a verbal rally as I make a racket trying not to serve up too harsh a verdict.

Fifteen – Love

The good, let’s start with that. Tennis Open 2020 looks like Virtua Tennis on the $*G^ Dreamcast, which – despite this being 2020, I am absolutely fine with, as Virtua Tennis is a bonafide classic and the pinnacle of Tennis simulation on any video game console. Unfortunately, the similarities end here. There is a training section, but unlike Virtua Tennis’s glorious array of mini games, all that is present here is a basic tutorial that sees you hitting the ball back into highlighted, green zones. This does nothing more than familiarise you with Tennis Open 2020’s seemingly incredibly basic yet strangely convoluted control scheme.

Once you are up and running and feel confident enough controlling your personal player, it’s time to hit the courts. The career mode in Tennis Open 2020 is very much lightweight and sees you playing quick matches of tennis against opponents who all feel eerily similar, which is a shame as one of the selling points of Tennis Open 2020 is the individuality of the AI. Unfortunately, this never really seemed like the case and instead, monotony soon crept in.

Thirty – Love

Tennis Open 2020 has an incredibly minimalist approach. All you’ll ever need to get a rally started is the left analogue stick. Yep, this title utilises just a single input mechanism, which sees all shots controlled with nothing more than a deft flick of the stick. Aside from selecting options on the menu which is handled with the A button, it’s a one hit wonder, in more ways than one. Due to the constraints of input, movement is handled automatically, with your character running around the court entirely of his own volition.

To serve, you flick the left stick forward twice, once to throw the ball in the air and again to strike it. Aiming is dependent on your position on the court and again, handled entirely by a single input. To perform a drop shot, you hold down on the left stick. For a mid-range shot, you flick down, and for a long-range hit you flick forward. Aiming is incredibly sensitive and it does require some trial and error to learn how to successfully participate in a meaningful rally.

While this does allow for singular focus on timing your shots, at the same time, it feels like a strange design choice, give the number of buttons and triggers on the Switch controllers. Admittedly, it took me a handsome while to get to grips with the controls, and during my time with Tennis Open 2020, I never really feel like I mastered the control scheme.

Fourty – Love

Tennis Open 2020 performs amicably in both handheld and docked mode. With the graphics harkening back to the early days of 3D gaming and the audio being minimal at best, there really isn’t much for the Nintendo Switch to have to deal with. Frame rates are consistent and games of tennis, however short lived they may be, don’t suffer as a result of the game’s technical performance.

Game, set and match

Tennis Open 2020 won’t appeal to everyone. It’s an incredibly basic package that offers a laissez-faire approach to the sports sim genre. While it tries to be intuitive with its unique control options, it instead comes across as a featherweight offering. While the Nintendo Switch is bereft of high quality tennis titles, Tennis Open 2020 does very little to change that. The game modes are lifeless and the Lucky Wheel feature feels like an afterthought to bulk out content, offering nothing more than a few free bucks every six hours, for absolutely no challenge.

Pros

  • Unique control system
  • Nostalgic, if somewhat basic, legacy graphics

Cons

  • Lightweight in nearly every department
  • Simply put, not overly enjoyable

Verdict
Tennis Open 2020 left me feeling the love. Wait, no, scrap that. Tennis Open 2020 left me feeling like I’ve just been beat, to love.
2/5

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