Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sega Superstars Tennis: popping puyos

Having played the Xbox 360 version of this when my brother visited, it was an impulse purchase when I saw it for $20 in the US. I played it a little while out there, but Professor Layton and Space Invaders Extreme, as well as Ring of Fates, meant it was put a little on the back burner. That, and the stupidly large difficulty step in the single-player game.

Now I'm stuck in Riyadh, I've had some more time to sink into the game. In particular, I've been playing through the mission mode, which puts tennis into a variety of different Sega games, including House of the Dead, Space Harrier (rather disjointed from actual tennis, it becomes more of a shooter with no returned balls), Monkey Ball (which has little to do with Monkey Ball but instead opts for a pool or billiards feel), and Puyo Pop.

The last of these is quite clever - puyos fall from the top of the screen as normal, and you must hit them with the ball to make them disappear. There's no combos, puyos don't disappear automatically when four group together. It's made difficult by the controls, however, since it's difficult to accurately judge where you'll hit apart from on the serve. In addition, it's really hard to hit anything above the top row of puyos. This last point becomes annoying when the clear puyos, which you can only get rid of by vanishing coloured puyos adjacent to them, start lining along the bottom row. Most annoying.

One of the Puyo Pop stages took me ages to clear - one where you had to keep playing for more than 70 seconds - but after that I whizzed through the rest and mission mode is now complete. There are a far few single-A scores, some double-A, and many AAA. I'm not sure I can be bothered to redo the As though. Back to the single-player tournament, where I'll once again breeze through to win the final, and then lose spectacularly on the bonus round.

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