But i'm willing to stick up for an underdog. Behind the shameless trying-to-be-bad attitude of the game, there is a lot to like here.
Controls are fairly easy and intuitive. Four types of shots are mapped to the four face buttons, with spin and turbo placed at R1 and L1, respectively. The left analog stick controls movement, and can also be used to alter the balls trajectory off of shots, if used in conjunction with your shot buttons.
The game controls really well, although hitting the ball is a little different here than in other games. Rather than having to time your shots when the ball nears you, you can pretty much hold the shot button you want from the time your opponent hits the ball. While this may take some difficulty out of timing countershots, you still need to be in the right place in the right time on the court to return the ball. This can sometimes be harder than expected, thanks to good spin and placement control over the ball.
Graphics are okay, but nothing great. Characters animate fluidly for the most part, with some stilted junctions where animations fail to meet properly. The framerate is an almost constant 30 fps, but it does tend to drop when there are a lot of particle effects on-screen.
Sound is a mixed bag. None of it is very clear, and the commentary from Stephen Colbert falls completely flat. I love his show, but this just isn't the right role for him. There are reports that some sounds are missing from the PS2 version, when compared to it's X-Box counterpart. However, having not played the other version, it wasn't a hinderance on my part.
Overall, the cheese factor is what could really destroy this game for most people. However, i didn't find the "Jerry Springer" facade to be as big a drawback as some reviewers of this game have noted. That isn't to say I liked it, I just turned off the fighting and character reaction cutscenes, said goodbye to Stephen Colbert, and settled in to play the game for the reason I bought it: to play some tennis. And in that regard, it definitely pleased, and then some.
Oh yeah, the price doesn't hurt either (admittedly, i'm not a hardcore tennis fan, so putting out a lot of money towards a tennis game didn't rank high for me). Available for around $10-15 in most places, this is a great budget title that is fun to pop in every now and then.