Sega characters, powerups, minigames and racquets. It's Sega's answer to Mario Tennis, blessed with the considerable advantages of being built on the excellent Virtua Tennis 3 engine and featuring intuitive motion controls on Wii. We caught up with developers Sumo Digital to find out more.
Can you explain how the motion controls work?
We take the Wii remote's speed and direction and use this to determine the shot you get. But of course, as with real tennis, the better your timing, the better the shot you'll do.
Hit it too early or too late, and you'll wind up pushing the ball out to the sides of the court. We also see which way the Wii remote is going, so let's say you do a quick upwards move at just the right time, you'll see this get translated in game to a sharp lob shot.
Can you tell us about some of the Ball minigames?
We have a Space Harrier Ball game, where you'll be trying to hit the classic Space Harrier enemies with your serve, while dodging enemy fire.
There's also a Puyo Pop Fever ball game, where you have to clear a wall of Puyos. All the Ball games can be played either in single or multiplayer on the Wii too.
How do the Superstar Powers work?
For each good return you make, or point you win, you charge up your Superstar move. When it's fully charged, you can then go into Superstar state for a short period of time.
Depending on who you are playing as, this then give you unique abilities. Let's take Sonic as an example, he transforms into Super Sonic. While he's powered up, you can run faster, hit shots harder - when your opponent returns Super Sonic's shots, they get pushed back out of the court!
Each character has signature moves and abilities, all based on their original games. We're hoping that the players really enjoy discovering these and using them tactically.
Which Sega characters are in the game?
I've got to be careful who I mention, as we've got some that have to remain secret for now... I think the ones I can mention are Sonic, Ulala, Amigo, AiAi, Tails, NiGHTS, Shadow, Reala, Beat and Gum.2 We've tried to go for a good mix of characters from past and present, so if you're a Sega fan, there will be someone who you really want to play as.
Were music and sound effects taken from other Sega games?
We've been really honoured and allowed to access the Sega archives for the music and sounds. On top of this we've also had the services of Richard Jacques to revisit certain game themes to bring them right up to date, as well as add his own brand new music to tie the whole game together. We've got over 80 pieces of music in the game, a real fan pleasing soundtrack!