Venus Williams Tennis E3 2004 Hands-On Impressions

We give Venus' new mobile tennis game a practice serve.

This is another title in the new Mforma line of licensed sports games, and the preview version of Venus Williams Tennis showed a solid but not standout bit of mobile entertainment. The graphics are very much 2D, with Venus at the bottom of the screen and the chosen opponent at the top. You move around the court by using the nav pad or the keys. It's possible to direct the shot by pressing a key just before the ball arrives, but letting the auto-return feature do the aiming works fine for the first couple of levels.

The animation is smooth and speedy, and the producers were particularly proud of the lifelike grunts of the women players, but there’s not much more going on here. Yes, when you win a match you get skill points, but that’s standard procedure for mobile these days. Multiplayer is limited to high-score posting. You don’t dive for a drop shot or drift back for a lob. How about letting Venus argue with the umpire or at least adjust her outfit? Venus Williams Tennis struck us as a game from 2002 played on a new phone. Here’s hoping the Serena license gets more built into it.

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