Matchpoint: Tennis Championships | Review – A wasted break point

Matchpoint: Tennis Championships | Review – A wasted break point

At the end of May we told you about Matchpoint: Tennis Championships after a long preview test that allowed us to take stock of the new tennis project that many fans were looking at with curiosity. As an all-round tennis lover since he was a child, the writer had actually noticed some potential in the project , while admitting the presence of a certain technical backwardness of the work that seemed in fact unforgivable.

Eager to understand what developments could have taken place from that test period to today, we had waited for the code review thinking that the developers had in the meantime fixed some of the critical issues. With some dismay we instead learned that the version was essentially identical, without even a day one patch that could somehow certify the intervention of Torus Games.

Evidently for the Australian family-owned company that gave birth to the game, Matchpoint: Tennis Championships is already doing just fine. Taking note of all this, we simply continued our career mode and deepened the dynamics of the game to verify the stability of the title over the long term. Those who regret the times of the videogame tennis that were, will legitimately therefore be asking: “Do we finally have the tennis game that fans have been missing for too long?”.

Matchpoint: Tennis Championships, the gameplay
Not having Matchpoint: Tennis Championships any kind of tangible addition or modification to the game system, we do nothing but report what was said in the preview. In essence, it is a title that definitely goes in the direction of simulation and leaves the simplifications typical of arcades in the rear, configuring itself (even by the admissions of Torus Games) as a product that has fished with both hands from that sacred monster called Top Spin 4 , still unbeaten after nearly eleven and a half years.

In fact, many similarities are immediately evident, both as regards the mapping of the keys and the types of responses and strokes through which the tennis players can perform, and for the management of the rhythms and accuracy of physics and animations adhering to reality to a good extent .

Let’s say in good measure why Matchpoint: Tennis Championships , along the different stages of the career that you will be forced to go through, has put us in front of some opponents who have shown that they have some anomalies with the speed of the shots, betraying the premise glimpsed a little. during the early stages.

Moving up in the category, and therefore facing the most important tournaments such as the 500, the Masters 1000 and the Grand Slams (but even some 250s were not kidding, when we entered the highlight of the season), we noticed that some opponents were producing portentous recoveries , darting too quickly towards the ball and responding almost flawlessly in most cases. Those who are familiar with the dynamics of real tennis know perfectly well that arriving with momentum towards the ball causes a certain inaccuracy and a dancer dosage of power.

The best shots, therefore, are the exclusive prerogative of athletes able to solve complicated situations with crossed dampenings, straight lines and sudden reverses that, thanks to the muscle memory of the champion, still manage to end up on the line. For all these reasons, witnessing some lightning recoveries made us turn up our noses, as well as the effectiveness of some responses that appear to have significantly higher percentages than others notoriously more conservative but safe.

We are not at the point that the AI ​​cheats with the player, this is not the case, but it is undeniable that some matches are less sensitive to the fatigue of the opponent, so relentless at maximum difficulty as to require a real sporting miracle. Nothing that cannot be overcome, also because, we repeat, Matchpoint: Tennis Championships is a simulation and as such tends to reward those who never play sufficiently. The game, we remind you, is available on the Game Pass ( you can find various subscription cuts on Amazon ).

Each key corresponds to a specific shot, and you can learn with the right timing everything you need to counter your opponent through a complete tutorial and a well-focused training mode. One button is used for lob, one for top spin to play safer balls, one for forehand and the other for damping. To this we must add the use of the shoulder frets that modify the length of the response and the times with which it can be hit (will you expect a rebound or will you often play volleys?).

The possibilities of responses and shots that can be performed in Matchpoint: Tennis Championships are quite wide, and all combine to provide varied and suitable solutions to modulate your style of play according to the situations and opponents you will face. One of the most interesting game features is the possibility of discovering – during the game and insisting on the most successful attacks – which are the most blatant weaknesses of your opponents.

If, for example, in Matchpoint: Tennis Championships you understand that the other tennis player has too many difficulties on some answers, you will want to insist with certain schemes, it being understood that (we confirm what was said in the preview) there remains a low percentage of fallibility under the net. with short and counter-damped balls , with serve and volley and with some powerful straight down the line when the opponent is in the middle of the field and can in fact still respond or hint at a reaction. Ultimately, these are small breaches that can be opened in the AI ​​and that the most consumed players will be able to use to their advantage by abusing some shots.

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