Barely a few weeks after Rafael Nadal’s historic victory, not to mention the enormous performance of Iga Swiatek, 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 couldn’t wait to pull off some devastating forehands, especially after the few trailers and the demo released on 06/21/22. The Torus Games studio, which notably 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 will stay in the net or not.
The grand slam at the end of the racket
First let’s 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, launch a quick match, training, tutorial or training. The latter is composed of mini challenges to achieve in order to obtain cuts, and incidentally a success. As for the online modes, we can participate in ranked, leisure or with a friend matches and finally we have the possibility of consulting a list of players blocked in multiplayer. For information, the quick match allows you to play with 16 professional players such as Casper Ruud, Carlos Alcaraz, Heather Watson, Amanda Anisimova and even Benoît Paire, but what a pity that every time he misses a ball we don’t don’t hear: “The pussy, the pussy he has, the chaaaattte!!”. It is still quite frustrating not to have players of greater renown. Let’s focus on the My Career mode, which is undoubtedly the part of the game where we will spend the most time, and note that we can create six different ones. Of course, the time comes to personalize your avatar, which will only take us three minutes, given the few possible choices… After having quickly validated, we find ourselves on the service, at the end of a very committed match in view of the score in the final tie-break. After a few exchanges, and the loss of the point, comes the long-awaited first moment of this game, the discovery of a weak point of our opponent. Indeed, in this game, it is not enough to return the balls stupidly, but to discover over the exchanges the weak points and the strong points of our opponent in order to create tactics to win the match. Here we notice that after three consecutive losses, the opposing player suffers a strength and accuracy penalty.
- One of the opponent’s weak points
Despite that, we lost the match… Surely because of a 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 that’s not too bad, because we get a spot in the MPT rankings and thus begin our career, with the ultimate goal of becoming world number 1. The My Career mode interface allows us to manage our calendar between tournaments, consult our world ranking, or manage our player. In this menu we can modify our racket, 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 ranking, in order to perfect our style of play. We decide to start training, in order to increase our attributes, after the bitter setback we have suffered finally.
- Here we manage our professional career
We are surprised to discover that the training mode in My Career is exactly the same as on 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 having successfully completed the training, it is possible for us to choose the next tournament. Here the choice will be very simple, we will leave for the Auckland Open, because the Australian Grand Slam tournament, whose difficulty is symbolized by five tennis balls, requires us to be in the top 100. so for the difficulty a tennis ball, especially since the rewards at stake are very interesting: a racket, sneakers and 250 MPT points! Following the victory in the New Zealand tournament, we earn the promised 250 MPT points, a Spanish coach, but also a racquet which, in addition to being radically prettier, increases our forehand and backhand by one point. Later, we will win as a result of an exhibition match, another coach and a pair of shoes, both increasing our punching power.
- 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 reticle becomes quite natural after a few minutes of play, and the different 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 surface (hard, grass and clay).
Now let’s come to the soundtrack, then to the graphics. For the soundtrack, the menu music is quite nice, without being masterpieces. When watching a tennis match, there are few different sounds: the audience, the sound of the racket hitting the ball, the rebound, the referees, and the commentator. Matchpoint – Tennis Championships manages to miss them all. The public is soft, the noise of the ball quite bad but above all, the commentator is almost non-existent. The sentences he pronounces are triggered only at key moments, with always the same intonation, which does not help. Finally, for the graphics, it’s worse than the soundtrack. The public is awful, the characters very poorly modeled, as well as their animations when moving on the ground. Speaking of the court, when playing on clay, there are no traces during the movements of the players, or even the impacts of the balls. Despite everything, it is possible to play with an immersive view, just behind our player, and the rendering is really very interesting.
For success hunters, aside from becoming world number 1, the rest seems pretty easy to achieve.
- No need to try to adjust your screen…
Tested on Xbox Series X