Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Review: Tennis in the Face (PS4)


Review copy provided by 10tons

Ever since the birth of Angry Birds physics based games have become rather popular. The only issue is that not many change the formula and what you end up with is a very poor clone. Tennis In The Face does not want to be placed in that category - it adds some interesting mechanic which not only makes it stand out against the rest but creates a fun experience along the way!
The story of this game is quite amusing; it involves a former world class tennis star, Pete Pagassi, whose career is destroyed thanks to the energy drink Explodz and the events in Tennis in the Face is his way of seeking revenge. As a drinker of (maybe too many) energy drinks myself, this set up did bring a smile to my face.

Gameplay is very similar to other physic based games but instead of flinging objects across a screen you are confined that is completely blocked off. There are many different obstacles on screen too as well as a spread of enemies to defeat. Now the stage is set up, the only thing you need to defeat them - you are placed in a certain spot and all you need to do is hit the enemies with tennis balls. You can tilt the angle of your shot using the left analogue stick and by pressing X you serve the ball. The aim is to use all the obstacles and angles to clear the level using as little balls as possible (levels will have restrictions in how many you have in the first place). The first few levels are very easy, as you would expect but as the levels increase, enemies become tougher and some levels look impossible to get your balls around. As well as obstacles there are additional tools that aid you on your progression. They range from canisters containing more balls to crates of explodz that explode upon impact. The one feature of this game which really stands out for me is the ball physics. As soon as you hit the ball it starts acting like a real ball with real momentum - you see as time goes on the ball start losing speed and the bounces off surfaces are less powerful. With this in mind, it leads onto my biggest issue of the game. It is clear in some levels that there is a clear path to completion but some can be cleared with luck alone. I think this is due to how good the ball physics are and some of the results can be hilarious to watch.

After completing a set amount of levels, another area is opened up which will introduce you to a new enemy type or a new power to aid you on your way. At the end of each level you are scored and if you get the best possible score you will "crown" the level. This adds a little replay value to any levels you did not crown but other than for personal satisfaction, there is no point in doing so.

The graphics are not going to blow you away as it looks like a comic strip but i think this was the aim and to be fair Tennis in the Face is all about the gameplay. The only thing that i will warn you about is the background music. It is basically a looping 10 second sample constantly playing in the background. It is surprising how much you notice it when you are trying to solve a level. I think annoying would be an understatement.

Tennis In The Face adds a fun twist to the physic genre. It may have a wacky story and a comic book style but at the end of it all Tennis in the Face offers some hilarious gameplay. Watching tennis balls bouncing around an enclosed space can be rather therapeutic, especially if you get a laugh from them bouncing off people's heads!
With over 100 levels to play through and the chance to better your score on each level, there is a lot of content on offer here. I am sure that players will find something in this title and if anything, it is a fun "pass the controller" title to play with a friend!


Who Should Play This?

  • Anyone looking for a time killer
  • Any gamer looking to lighten their day
  • Gamers who like to solve puzzles with balls!

Who Should NOT Play This?

  • Players that hate Angry Birds and games like it should give this a miss
  • Not a huge fan of crude humour? Skip this one
  • If you are looking for a deep game, with a deep (interesting story) you will not find one here - sorry

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