Blowing that theory out of the water is the character select screen which interestingly showcases each "Ace Gal" with an anime drawing which, together with innuendo laden achievements like "Get a sexy secretary" and "She wont suck", no doubt earned the game its 3/3 sex rating. The contrast is strikingly apparent as the rest of the game seems firmly aimed at the younger gamer/family market with the in-game design returning to the family friendly Nintendo look and feel.
The crowd is full with Avatars who are regrettably not made up of your friends and family, rather a small group of generic Avatar extras have been copied and pasted to fill the stands; it's hard not to notice the repetition when the crowd doesn’t move or in fact react at all to any action on the court in any way, the classic tennis head bob would have been more than enough here. With the number of character animations struggling to reach double figues and the identical courts set in tennis hot spots like Montevideo, Uruguay its entirely possible that more time was spent shading the curves into cover girl Sarah's hot pants than anything else.
The game actually does a decent job of making the controls incredibly accessible, your character moves automatically, thumbstick movement determines what direction you hit the ball upon pressing the A button, the ball will flash at the optimal time to indicate when to strike and a circular overlay on your opponent's side of the court gives you a real-time representation of where your thumb-stick is and where the ball should go.
The combination of where the ball came from, how well you strike it and in which direction you hit it in make precise shots harder than they seem. After trying to master these controls by implementing different strategies and techniques throughout several losing matches it turns out that the key to beating this incredibly simple game was to make it even more simple. Not directing the shots and just concentrating on hitting the ball at the right time means that you will return every shot until the AI makes a mistake or you hit 4 Awesome shots in a row which results in an unblockable smash shot earning you the point. In hindsight the controls menu really did say it all, "timing is everything!"
In terms of pure matches to play there are 12 tournaments in each of the 3 difficulty levels for players to tap through. A two player mode might have gone a long way here but the only option outside of career mode is more of the same in quickmatch.
- Child friendly simplistic gameplay
- 80pts price point
- Non child friendly Ace Gals branding
- Repetitve gameplay
- Generic character models & environments
- Singleplayer only
Ace Gals Tennis Xbox 360 Review
The concept of what is esssentially an attempted port of one on the Wii's staple mini games isn't actually that bad at its core, the gameplay implementation is simple enough a young target audience interested in avatars might have had 69p worth of fun with the overly basic game play. However the Ace Gals wrapper and the generic implementation of all other aspects mean this indie game is impossible to recommend at any price.
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