Monday, November 16, 2015

Below the Cut: World Court Tennis (TG-16)

(Source: IGN)
World Court Tennis - Rating(5 RPP)
1) 0 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 0 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 0 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 3 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 2 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 0 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

World Court Tennis seems to have been the prototype for Final Lap Twin. It took a completely different genre, and wrapped it up in a story and open world to call it an RPG. "Combat" takes place on the tennis court with random encounters occurring in the open world. A single round of tennis against these random opponents determines if it's a win or loss, but sets and matches might come into play by the time the player reaches the evil tennis king. Oh yes, there's a story. The no-name kingdom had enjoyed many years of free tennis, but now the evil king has beaten all the tennis champs, which entitled him to the entire kingdom. Now no one is free to play whenever they want, and it's up to me to stop the evil king. The previous king provided me some basic equipment, and starting money (a pitiful sum). With that story I'm not sure how I'm able to face off in tennis matches against random people.

The tennis game is well done, although the controls are restricted to only two buttons. Considering it as the combat for the game there's not much strategy, and stats all lie with the equipment; however, equipment is graded, so there aren't any decisions to make. Winning a round rewards the player with gold, which is spent in the store to purchase new rackets, shirts, or shoes. These may improves the character's abilities in the game, but I couldn't even afford the first upgrade. The only character choice beyond naming is whether to play as a male or female. There aren't any side quests or puzzles to solve.

The world seemed to be open, although I didn't make it very far in the game. I missed this game on a first pass through, but chat mentioned it in passing. I can see why it doesn't make many lists. There's no game over screen in quest mode. In fact, when you lose the good king gives you a small amount of money, so even if you're bad you can still make progress. It probably deserves less on the story rating, but I'm feeling generous as I didn't play very far to give it a fair shake. It's definitely not an RPG though.


  1. I love how you still put a decent amount of effort into these entries about games you aren't "really" covering. Gotta love that kawaii anime girl on the arcade flyer and PC Engine cover.

    1. I probably could have put more effort, but I didn't feel like playing a Tennis game for 5 hours. I do my best to at least touch upon the game even if lightly.

  2. I've read that the story and humor were butchered in the English localization, so the US version may not fully represent the game.

    The underlying tennis engine is indeed a high-quality one, since it's a descendant (really a port) of one of the only decent 8-bit tennis games, Namco's Family Tennis for Famicom. It plays more or less identically to World Court Tennis.

    1. That's probably true, I can see some humor in the intro sequence, but not anywhere else. I haven't played many, but this was a decent Tennis game, although I enjoyed Super Tennis more than this.

  3. Any thoughts on how this compares to a more well-known "tennis RPG", Mario Tennis for Game Boy Color?

    I felt that the same elements that made Mario Tennis GBC a genuine RPG - building statistics and leveling up - also made it somewhat tedious, as the player character is a chore to control until his or her statistics are raised.

    1. I have no idea actually. I've never played any of the Mario Tennis games. There aren't any stats, and only equipment upgrades as any sort of leveling. Playing matches to win enough money to afford better gear did seem tedious though, which is why I only played it for about an hour.