Real Tennis 2009 Review: Even Federer Would Lose Playing This

I’m a big tennis fan, so I had high hopes going into Real Tennis 2009. The memory of Federer’s win at Wimbledon is still fresh, and the summer weather outside now is perfect for a friendly game of tennis. But could Gameloft put this great sport into your pocket? My first impression was positive, but after spending more and more time with the game I ended up giving up because of the impossibly hard difficulty.

Several different locales from around the world are playable, spanning through each of the different court types like grass and clay. There are no licensed players, and only a handful to choose from. Each game mode you’d expect makes an appearance, such as the championship mode and instant play option.

Likes

Accurate animations: My character would always have very realistic animations when diving or reaching for balls. The start of the sequence would be a bit choppy at times, but once it started it looked good.

Ball control: The ability to control your shot was very helpful and helped diversify the gameplay. There’s a spot on the screen to touch when you want to hit your shot, but by touching and dragging a certain direction, your shot changes. For example, when I wanted to hit a lob to the back of the court, I’d just drag my finger up and the player would nail it.

Dislikes

Way too hard: I had to stop playing this game because it was just impossibly hard and frustrating. Even at the easiest setting, I could barely score a point, let alone win a game. The opposing player would never miss a shot, and not hold back when given the opportunity to drill a ball back in my face.

Real Tennis 2009 looks good, and would have been a really impressive title were it not for the ridiculously hard difficulty. If you’re a tennis fan, it’s worth a look. I’d hold off on getting this though until an update adressing the difficulty comes out.

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Real Tennis 2009 was published by Gameloft and is available for $4.99. I played through version 1.1.2 on an iPod Touch 2G. There’s also a lite version to try.  Full disclaimer: I may be an awful tennis player.

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