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Critic Reviews

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Operation Sports (Jul 30, 2007)
If someone told me that I was going to find great sim style gameplay in a tennis game, I would have been skeptical based on recent experience. If they threw in the fact that it would be on the PSP, I would have thought they were insane. Instead, I’m the one who is pleasantly surprised, even shocked, at all that Smash Court Tennis 3 has to offer. It is easily among the top sports titles available on the PSP.
90 (Jul 20, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis is a brilliant game. Unfortunately it may suffer from two serious setbacks. Reviewers might not get it - it's simple to make the assumption after thirty minutes play that it simply isn't as good as Virtua Tennis, this gets stuck fast, said reviewer enjoys the whole experience less and this reflects in review. Good writers will see past this beginning, however.
The realism of the game and nice presentation doesn't change the fact that Smash Court Tennis 3 is a niche title. The three mini-games do a lot to create some crossover opportunities, but buying the game for those features would be like buying a 100-page book only so you could read 10 pages. Tennis fans will really like that their favorite players are available and looking realistic, and creating a player makes for some welcome customization. The areas for improvement include true online play, which would be a blast with the three mini-games. A more aggressive camera during play would also be nice to see, more like a newscast than a static, bird's-eye view. These grips aside, Smash Court Tennis 3 does a fantastic job translating tennis action to the PSP. "Pock!"
While it’s traditionally been overlooked in favor of Top Spin or Virtua Tennis, Namco’s Smash Court Tennis has been a strong franchise over the years. This PSP version excels with solid fundamentals, crisp graphics, a deep character development and career mode, and some inventive minigames that feature Namco properties like Pac-Man and Galaga. The lineup of pros has a few holes (the Williams sisters are MIA), but they’ve got the world’s greatest player, Roger Federer, plus Nadal and female standouts Henin and Sharapova. A very solid contender that will give PSP tennis fans more than their fill of racket action. Highly recommended, although online multiplayer would be a welcome addition in the next sequel.
Yahoo! Games (Jul 09, 2007)
The package, then, is balls-out fine. It's a bumpy court to play on at times, but one that's ultimately rewarding. Game, set, and match to Smash Court.
As far as portable tennis games go, you're not exactly spoilt for choice. But Smash Court Tennis 3 comes highly recommended for those looking for the most in-depth tennis experience.
AceGamez (2007)
Smash Court Tennis 3 smashes the idea that tennis games have no longevity. Hosting a Pro tour mode with a potential 250 players to beat, three fun and original tennis mini-games and a fully customisable character to build with individual talents, Smash Court Tennis 3 is one of those games that you can just pick up and play or really devote time to in a long session. The load times (as with many PSP games) can get a bit tiresome at times and now and again you might feel like the controls could be a little bit more responsive, but neither of these are big problems and the game is so entertaining and challenging that it really is worth serving straight into your PSP!
GameSpy (Jul 19, 2007)
Despite being possibly the greatest invention of all-time -- okay, that's just my bias -- the PSP has always suffered from an inconsistent roster of available games. The tennis crowd, though, has nothing to complain about. Earlier this year, it got Sega's Virtua Tennis 3 and now it gets to volley away with Namco Bandai's Smash Court Tennis 3. Both are excellent games. The pace of things and the more demanding controls in Smash Court Tennis 3 may bum out those expecting more of an arcade tennis experience, but anyone looking for a truer-to-life sim-style take on the sport should definitely check this one out.
Worth Playing (Aug 10, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis 3 is a solid tennis title with enough play modes to keep most enthusiasts entertained for hours. My only reservation is that it can be a bit frustrating at first because of the moderate learning curve; it's difficult to win a match against the computer unless you've built up a player's skill attributes, nailed the shot control sequences, and mastered the timing. Luckily, Smash Court Tennis 3 contains a comprehensive tutorial and enough training aids to bring players up to speed in a reasonable amount of time. Without a doubt, I would recommend Smash Court Tennis 3 if you have the patience to go through the tutorial and get acclimated to the game. It's a quality offering that doesn't disappoint.
Game Chronicles (Jul 24, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis 3 helps to fill a much-needed gap in the PSP library, although I have a hunch that Sony’s recently released Hot Shots Tennis on the PS2 will be sneaking onto the PSP soon enough, but that will be more about fun than simulation. With the exception of being easier to find in the store, Smash Court Tennis 3 is on pretty equal footing with its competition. It doesn’t offer or do anything the other PSP tennis games have or do it any better, but it does have those cool mini-game and some really solid gameplay. If you have any love for the sport of tennis and own a PSP then Smash Court Tennis 3 is a great game to add to your library
NZGamer (May 29, 2007)
The frame of Smash Court Tennis 3 is well formed, but the accessories draped off it are ugly and weigh it down. The Pro Tour mode is well laid out with the experience point system, but the gameplay itself is repetitive. Fans of tennis are in for a good time; but anyone else should probably sit this one out. On a technical level, the game is adept in every way - but its lack of any substantial variety is a serious weak spot. Overall there’s nothing to really set it apart from other tennis games. It plays well, it looks good, and it’s pretty accessible - but that’s about it. The developers appear to have ticked a lot of boxes in the features department, perhaps in order to make up for the lack of real variety. If executed well, this could have been a stand out title; instead it hurtles straight towards the net of mediocrity.
73 (Jun 22, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis 3 entfaltet erst nach einiger Zeit seine Suchtwirkung. Wer ein im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes schnelles Tennis für zwischendurch sucht, ist mit Virtua Tennis 3 deutlich besser bedient. Auch längerfristig konnte mich die Sega-Konkurrenz eher an die PSP fesseln. Doch auch das Namco-Tennis macht nach einer zähen Einstiegsphase eine Menge Spaß. Besonders motivierend ist der Umstand, dass sich die Charakterwerte einzelnen Kategorien zuordnen lassen und sich spürbar auf die Spielweise auswirken. So könnt ihr euren Schützling genau so aufrüsten wie ihr es wollt. Ein klarer Minuspunkt ist dagegen die einschläfernde Spielgeschwindigkeit. Außerdem ist es auch nach längerem Training und mit einem Profispieler sehr schwierig, die Bälle gezielt in die gewünschte Hälfte zu spielen und seinen Gegner herumzuscheuchen. Wer neues Tennisfutter für unterwegs sucht und ein wenig Geduld aufbringt, wird mit Smash Court Tennis 3 aber insgesamt gut bedient.
VGNZ (Jul 01, 2007)
I enjoyed the career mode because of the myriad of options available that also hid the fact that deep down the basis of the game is to hit the ball back one more time than your opponent. Only for the medium to serious die hard fans of tennis games.
Gameplanet (Jun 28, 2007)
While there are more options to Smash Court and deeper controls than Virtua Tennis, the decidedly J-pop feel to the game puts each component in its true context: Namco isn't trying to kid you into thinking this is a sim, but it will indulge you if that is how you'd like to believe it to be. And with a lack of more realistic alternatives in the market, Namco's is a fair angle to take.
Smash Court Tennis 3 is a beautiful, fun arcade tennis game with a pretty long career mode. If you can avoid the annoying flaws in the gameplay and the slightly imprecise controls then you’ll have fun with this.
Don't get this game for the variety of modes. Get it for the simulation. If you're a big fan of Virtua Tennis, you may not appreciate the slower pace. The arcade modes are little more than a diversion, albeit a welcome one. This is a game for serious sports fans so give it some respect and play it under its own terms to get the most enjoyment out of it. Otherwise you might just want to haul Pong out of your Granddad's closest.
70 (UK) (Jun 25, 2007)
In the end, it's certainly decent enough, but it's not good enough to unseat Virtua Tennis from its position as the best game of tennis on the PSP.
Pocket Gamer UK (Jun 14, 2007)
A good tennis game for the dedicated player looking for a sim-like gaming experience. But for most, Virtua Tennis 3 is more appealing, accessible and, ultimately, fun.
IGN (Jul 05, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis is one of the few tennis series to try and take the sport seriously, but it falls a little flat in terms of overall excitement. Some developer needs to establish a medium between over-the-top, arcade action and a simulation of real tennis. Smash Court Tennis does a good job of building a functional career mode with sponsors, fan letters, challenges on the court, and an experience point system that allows you to mold your own style of player. It’s just too bad that the actual tennis can’t keep up the same level of quality.
Concluyendo ya el análisis, debemos lamentar que este título se haya quedado a medio camino. Se combinan apuestas arriesgadas e interesantes, con discutibles implementaciones, y defectos obvios que afectan notablemente a la jugabilidad, lo que provoca en definitiva que el que pudiera haber sido un rival formidable de Virtua Tennis 3 se quede en una mera curiosidad reservada para los fanáticos del deporte de la raqueta.
68 (Jun 04, 2007)
While a solid title with plenty to play through Smash Court Tennis 3 is let down by sluggish player movement around the court. Even the fastest professional players seem too sluggish to me and it does bring the game down a couple of notches and certainly makes it the weakest in Namco's series to date. One good thing to note though is that, like many other Sony titles, this game sells for only $59.95. This is a true disappointment overall, but one which tennis fans may get some enjoyment from.
GameZone (Jul 24, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis 3 scores decent marks for its excitement level but loses points on gameplay responsiveness, problematic AI, and a troublesome presentation. The flaws and repetitive nature of the Pro Tour mode are hard to forgive. I enjoyed Smash Court Tennis 3 initially and am tempted to keep it in my travel bag just incase I get the urge to play a match or two while on the go. The fact that I’m still thinking about it after all this is pretty impressive – most flawed games don’t hold my interest for that long. But if I do play it down the road, will the words of my review come rushing back? Will I regret that this is one of the games I chose to carry, taking up space that could’ve been devoted to a game with fewer technical issues and higher replay value?
65 (Jul 07, 2007)
En choisissant de s’éloigner de son postulat d’antan, Smash Court Tennis 3 pourrait en décevoir plus d’un. Pour autant, il reste la meilleure alternative à ceux qui n’apprécieraient pas le style trop débridé de Virtua Tennis 3.
GameSpot (Aug 07, 2007)
The biggest problem with Smash Court Tennis 3 is that it doesn't really do anything that the two Virtua Tennis games on the PSP don't already do better. The arcade-style minigames are fun and the pro-tour mode is decent, but there's little reason to give the game a look when there are other, better options available.
PlayFrance (Jun 05, 2007)
Au final, le grand retour de Smash Court n'est pas aussi réussi qu'escompté. Si le titre de Namco reste irréprochable en terme de réalisation ou de modes jeu, il pêche par son gameplay, qui renouvelé pour son passage sur console portable, perd tout ce qui le caractérisait en le rendant mou et imprécis. Plus que jamais, Virtua Tennis règne en maître incontesté sur Playstation Portable !
GamerDad (Aug 08, 2007)
Overall the game is acceptable but falls short of both Virtua Tennis games in pretty much every way but most importantly it is lacking in 'fun'. Because while it is challenging and satisfying to work on developing your skills in a technical simulation, having them randomly fail or watching your opponent return a shot they couldn't reach just isn't fun - when you are working on a technically accurate game, maintaining consistency and believability is very important. And when that fails so does your game - so while in many ways Smash Court Tennis 3 is an excellent game, the fact that it double-faults at match point makes the number '3' in the title symbolic of it being the third best tennis game for the PSP (out of three).
Video Games Daily (Jul 18, 2007)
The more patient out there can persevere, but it's a bit of a niche market - PSP owner, bored of VT3, spare money, patient, doesn't lose temper easily. That means there's about three of you out there that can buy the game. Hmm.
Video Game Talk (Aug 30, 2007)
If you're really dying to play a new tennis game for the PSP then I'd definitely recommend Smash Court Tennis 3. The game modes are fun, the gameplay, though flawed, is solid, and there are many elements in between that separate it from competitors like Virtua Tennis. Unfortunately your time with the game will not last very long and the little flaws become frustrating far too quickly. I'm going to recommend the game for tennis lovers but everyone else could easily get by with a rental to see if it's their thing.
So there you have it, really. There's your Pac-Man tennis for the tennis lover that has everything, and there's a strong reccomendation to stick with Virtua Tennis for everyone else.
GamePro (US) (Aug 22, 2007)
All in all, Smash Court Tennis 3 has all the pieces that should have made for a well-rounded tennis game. It sports great graphics, an in-depth Pro Tour, and plenty of customizable characters. It's too bad, then, that this title suffers from the unfortunate reality that the individual parts are better than whole. Sure it has a ton of great options and modes, but it simply doesn't have the action packed excitement of the Virtua Tennis series. Sports games, tennis included, are supposed to give you an intense feeling of excitement while playing, and SCT3 simply can't pull that off.
Game Shark (Sep 26, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis 3 isn’t an awful game – there’s just not a whole lot here to keep your attention. There is a lot of depth in the game but will you keep coming back to play it? Unless the thought of playing Pac-Man on a tennis court interests you—in that case, pick it up …otherwise it is a rental.
1UP (Jul 16, 2007)
Smash Court isn't resoundingly bad, by any means -- it just feels a bit irrelevant. Between the extensive career mode, minigames (both training and arcade, including a few that incorporate classic Namco franchises to moderate success), and ad hoc play, the game offers loads of playtime, sure. But after you've busted out of your fifth or sixth tournament because your player just refuses to take a freakin' swing at the ball...well, if you're not ready to throw the game out a window, you're much more forgiving than I am.
Gamekult (May 21, 2007)
Dommage, car Smash Court 3 est assez irréprochable sur le contenu, avec des têtes d'affiche souvent bien modélisées, un didacticiel détaillé - et il y a de quoi -, et un mode Pro Tour avec personnalisation d'avatar et achat de compétences. Le multi jouit en plus d'une option partage de jeu qui, quoique limitée à deux anonymes, permet d'enchaîner rapidement les parties. Pas suffisant pour coller un passing à Virtua Tennis 3.
Gaming Age (Aug 28, 2007)
Smash Court Tennis 3 would be a good game overall if it weren't for the bad controls. It gets extremely frustrating when your player doesn't do what you want, especially when the game is on the line. This game could have definitely used a little more fine tuning and unless you are a hard core tennis fan, I would say pass on this game.