Smash Court Tennis 3
Namco's PSP-only tennis game is so-so.
Namco / SCEE
Well this one caught me off guard - the Smash Court Tennis games (numbers one and two, at least) were longstanding personal favourites, and though ignoring the PS2 titles it was still something of a pleasant surprise to find out about Smash Court Tennis 3 on the PSP.
"It would have been even nicer without Virtua Tennis 3; this falls short of its contemporary in a number of aspects."
Those with money to throw around and that are bored of VT3 are presented with a decent enough game, however. SCT3 plays quite a bit less arcadey than other recent tennis titles, and though it would be a mistake to refer to it as a simulation, it is certainly leaning more towards that end of the spectrum. What this means is the game is harder to pick up and play than certain other recent games, and techniques and tactics have to be learned and re-learned for success - the game can be quite difficult at times as it is, and when you're not used to it the computer can punish you something rotten.
"It would be a mistake to refer to it as a simulation, it is certainly leaning more towards that end of the spectrum."
If enough time is invested the game can be mastered, but it always feels as if the player is fighting a losing battle. The computer has the uncanny knack of always being in the right place - especially on the higher difficulties - and the unresponsive nature of things makes it feel like playing with a constant handicap. Even with the higher-rated players and the characters maxed out in the world tour mode it can still prove unnecessarily hard. It's infuriating. Never good.