Despicable Super Sonic Me

About a year back, when we bought our Xbox 360 (for research purposes), we got some crappy games bundled with it. One of those crappy games was SEGA Superstars Tennis. I’d occasionally glance at it on the shelf, but never even bothered to pull off the plastic wrapping, let alone put it in the Xbox.

Today that changed. I can now add myself to the list of self-hating individuals who have spent time with the game. In short, it’s not good. It’s a terrible tennis game with no obvious skill involved and then a whole lot of minigames based on the idea that, having made the various tennis courts, the developers ought to milk as much mileage out of the environments as possible.

Thus, we have minigames where you run around collecting things on a tennis court; minigames where you dodge objects on a tennis court; minigames where you collect things while dodging objects on a tennis court; minigames where you use a powerup to collect things on a tennis court; and so many other variations of exactly the same thing that it’s kind of astounding. I set myself the task of finishing just one set of minigames and in the end it defeated me. I was driven away by the sheer shock of how many trivial activities could packed onto a tennis court.

But this brings me to my sleazy admission. I played the damn game for at least an hour, probably more. Why? Couple reasons. First, it has a series of minigames and therefor one really owes it to oneself to beat at least one set of them, right? That’s what humans do. Each minigame is a mini Everest, but moreso: it’s just there. Not “there” in a cosmic, God-sky way, just… there. Like a speed-bump. So climb the damn thing an get it over with. Second, I had this strong feeling that I ought to milk some Xbox achievement points out of the stupid game and one of the achievements was to finish a set of minigames. It’s a testament to how awful the game is that I couldn’t even bring myself to complete the task.

It’s also a slight mystery to me as to why I might care about the achievements. They have peppy names (“Zombie hunter!” “Top Gun!” “Cameo Appearance!”). They have, well, points. And that’s it. I have about four friends on Xbox LIVE, so it’s not like I’m impressing anyone. And yet, like a dog chasing a stick, I want the points. I just want them. I want them enough to play SEGA Superstar Tennis for over an hour.

And that’s saying something. On a tennis court.

18 November 2010
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