Davis Cup Tennis
System: Game Boy Advance
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Developer: Hokus Pokus
Released: October 2002
Genre: Sports (Tennis)
Capabilities: Game Link Compatible for up to 4 Players (Multi Pak Play)

Review Written: November 21, 2002

The Game

Of the many games available for the Game Boy Advance, there aren't too many tennis games available. That all changed not to long ago when the first two tennis games were released. First, Sega ported over its popular Virtua Tennis game to the GBA, and now we have Davis Cup Tennis from Ubi Soft.

Davis Cup Tennis is centered around the legendary tournament that has been taking place for over 100 years. This game has some promising features such as in-depth tournament play complete with team management options. Letís see how it competes with the well established Sega Sports Tennis.

Graphics

Iím impressed with the visuals in Davis Cup Tennis. They take advantage of the GBA hardware quite nicely, but the character designs arenít as crisp as they are in Virtua Tennis. The animation is fast and fluid, as all the tennis players have lifelike animations when they sprint or deliver a power smash. The courts you play on also look good. There are several types of court surfaces such as grass, clay, and sand. They all have sharp textures, with different degrees of shading are apparent. The presentation is done well with everything coming up to par of what youíd expect to see in your average tennis game on television. Some complaints I have are common among tennis games. The ball often gets too small from a distance and can be a pain to follow on the tiny GBA screen. The collision detection can be a bit odd at random points where the perfect aimed shot ends up going right by you.

Sound

Davis Cup Tennis features some fantastic audio capabilities. This game makes use of digitized speech. For the most part, you hear the ref giving the score after each shot. He has that heavy English accent you'd expect. His voice comes across clear with not much static getting in the way. I wasnít expecting a musical score for this GBA title, just average tunes that seem to be generated out of nowhere that make up most of the music for portable games. That isnít the case here, because most of the tunes having a great rhythm to them. I suggest plugging in some headphones so you can make the most out of the audio in Davis Cup Tennis.

Game play

The controls are simple enough to learn in Davis Cup Tennis. The A button performs a regular tennis shot, while the B button does a hefty lob. A + B simultaneously gives you a power shot that zooms by faster than your average shots. When serving, you have a power gauge determining how hard your serve is similar to the way serving is handled in Virtua Tennis. One feature I was amazed that didnít make its way into game play was that the players donít leap for balls like they do in Segaís game. It gets too frustrating when they miss shots that they couldíve easily got with a little jump.

There are only two modes of play in Davis Cup Tennis. First up is Quick Match, but the name is misleading because this is essentially a tiebreaker that consists of three rounds of singles play and two rounds of double play. When all is said and done, one quick match will take about a few hours to complete. I was hoping there would be some regular quick one-on-one or doubles match up where I can set the number of games or sets needed to win, but one isnít included.

The second mode is the Davis Cup Tournament, where you choose from one of over 100 countries to play as. You can name your players whatever you want to make up for the lack of an authentic players license in the game. You take turns rotating your team members in and out of rounds, and the more you win with certain players, the higher their attributes improve. The goal is to make to win each round and end it off by winning the big silver cup in the finals. Each round consists of several rounds of singles & doubles play, and with over 100 teams competing, youíll find yourself with loads of opponents. The main mode takes well over 25 hours to complete. Thankfully, the game adds a battery option so you can save your progress on the cartridge.

Replay Value

You only have so many teams available at the start of the game. If you have the desire too sit through countless rounds of tennis, you can unlock the remainder of them through cup play. The real meat of the replay value is the fact that up to four people can play this through link play. Granted, itís unlikely youíll find four GBA owners with their own copies of Davis Cup Tennis. However, if you do then be prepared for hours of madness in singles or doubles play.

In Brief

+: Great graphics all around, surprisingly good background music, tournament play will provide hours of game play

-: Playerís canít leap for balls, the ball can be a bit hard to follow on the tiny GBA screen, no real ďQuick MatchĒ is included 

RATINGS 

Graphics: 7.7
Sound: 8.6
Game play: 6.5
Replay Value: 7.1

Overall: 7.4

Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 7

Comments

Davis Cup Tennis is an all around good title. The game play leans toward the simulation side, and hardcore tennis freaks will eat this up. It may not have the fast paced game play or fun mini games found in Virtua Tennis, but it does have a much advanced single player mode. This title does have its flaws, but it sill manages to pack a decent bang overall. If you want a faster paced tennis game, then go ahead and get Virtua Tennis, but all you tennis fans might want to check out Davis Cup Tennis instead.

Back to Gruel's GameFAQs Review Page