In the context of tennis-based video games, there is no title that has risen to the ranks of Madden, NBA 2K, or FIFA. Several tennis sports have emerged in recent years, such as AO Tennis and Tennis World Tour franchises, but none has been able to step into the genre and become the undisputed leader. A new contender matchpoint – the tennis championship recently came to the fore. This new tennis game from Torus Games and Calypso Media looks to be breaking out with a unique gameplay engine, a career mode, and authentic tennis players that fans will see in real-world, competitive tennis. We’ve spent some time with this and can help you decide whether the team is successful.
Matchpoint – Tennis Championships come with a good amount of hype, featuring over a dozen professional athletes including Daniil Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios and Madison Keys. Additionally, the gameplay system includes a wide variety of different serve and shot options, as well as many different and unique movement-based animations. At a press event earlier this year, the Calypso team told GamePur that hundreds of different animations were added to Matchpoint as part of its development.
However, don’t expect to see ATP or WTA branding in the game. Neither league is part of the Matchpoint-Tennis Championship, although Calypso stated in a previously mentioned press event that there were some discussions between the sport and the major tennis tours about a possible branding agreement. It may come in the future, but nothing concrete yet.
Gameplay that’s a Simple, Clean Shot
Screenshot by Gempur
As far as the gameplay is concerned, Kalypso Media and Torus Games have put together a better product. Player movement is solid and fluid, and there don’t seem to be glitchy running animations. Additionally, tennis players who need to run from side to side of the court to track the ball simply won’t warp it. Running needs to be ready and you’ll need to be set in a good position to cover the space, so it’s important not to be too lazy on that front.
The other important aspect of the gameplay is the shooting system, and this is where things can get a bit awkward. Matchpoint – Tennis Championships uses a shooting system in which users press and hold one of four buttons, which then fills a meter to determine power. It’s not the confusing part, but it’s easy to get the hang of it because just a little power on regular, flat shots can relatively easily result in an out and a loss of a point. Balancing that issue should, in my opinion, be a priority, especially since tennis is really a sport that requires the right balance between power and accuracy. Not being able to use even a little power doesn’t feel right.
Plus, the shooting system is easy to understand, with nothing in the way of complicated combos that require learning aside from one- or two-button ones. Matchpoint – Tennis Championships also have a targeting function that uses the left stick. Although it took a few minutes to get used to, it never felt overly complicated.
not much flash, just tennis
Image via Kalypso Games
Matchpoint – Tennis Championship offers several different game modes, but nothing too wild to choose from. Users can enter a quick match against CPU or Head Online to go face-to-face with other players. Kalypso Media’s tennis game includes training sessions and a tutorial feature, as well as a career mode. Here, players can create their own custom avatar, and try to move up the world rankings and become a tennis superstar.
Matchpoint – The career mode of Tennis Championship is not flashy. Really all that can be done is to go through training sessions to upgrade your player before matches and then play those events. Career Mode is, overall, a “meat and potatoes” feature. Nothing extraordinary, but trying to wow with engaging, off-the-court actions, compared to the actual gameplay and game focus.
Screenshot by Gempur
Calypso Media keeps it short and simple with Matchpoint – Tennis Championship, and that’s probably not a bad thing since this is their first foray into the franchise. Rather than trying to grab attention with the ATP and WTA or official licenses with a large pool of real tennis players, the game’s focus is really on the gameplay itself. The gameplay of Matchpoint – Tennis Championship is not very difficult, but the controls are easy to understand. Instead, it’s a game of trying to figure out where the shot will fall and react, which is exactly what tennis is all about.
While Matchpoint doesn’t have amazing graphics, it’s serviceable, and the gameplay is more than passable. The engine is actually quite enjoyable and fun once you get to know the nuances of the game. It will be interesting to see where Calypso goes with Matchpoint, as it seems like a good, firm first step into the world of tennis games. There is some void in this genre and it seems that Kalypso is all set to fill it.