PS2 gets Smash Court 2 this summer
Wimbledon makes it in, but what of... that tennis guy... from here... him?
Sony continues to horde all the Namco toys in the PS2 pram this week with the announcement that Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 will also appear exclusively on Darth Vader's Toaster sometime over the summer.
And, crucially for the season, this is a game with at least some of the right licenses. All the championships are in, including Wimbledon, and real players are in too, including Serena Williams and Lleyton Hewitt. And if Tim Henham's name doesn't make it onto the list, there's always the create-a-player mode (Not that they've confirmed such a feature, but I'll be surprised if there isn't one).
As you'd expect, the game caters for all the obvious pursuits - Tutorials (from shots and serves to advanced techniques), Exhibition games (including multi-tap support for doubles games), Challenge mini-games like Impact Shooter (power shots) and Hurry Step (return balls to coach), and of course Arcade and Pro Tour modes. Pro Tour has you working your way up a world ranking system by competing in Grand Slams and earning points along the way, whilst Arcade mode will just let you pick a tournament and go, by the sound of it. We can also expect a Watch Mode for those long summer days when you're paralysed beyond the wrist and fancy watching the CPU sweat against itself for an hour.
Sony is promising screenshots and more details in the months leading up to the game's release, but we'd imagine it follows the genre conventions - two or four players whacking the ball back and forward until one of them misses. The real question is whether it will be able to compete with Virtua Tennis 2, which remains the PS2's best Slazenger-'em-up, or on a wider scale Power & Magic's Xbox Live enabled Top Spin.