Plain and Basic
I didn’t know what a Smoot was either so I had to Google it. Apparently a smoot is a unit of measurement and there is also an entry in the Urban Dictionary. Further investigation revealed that there are more Smoot games other than this tennis title and smoots are basically a bean shaped Mii. Smoots World Cup Tennis tries to appeal to the casual tennis fan with all the customization options but there just isn’t enough meat on the bone to recommend or make worthwhile.
Smoots World Cup Tennis is basically Wii Sports Tennis only you move your Smoot with the analog stick instead of having your Mii be automatically controlled. Gameplay is rather bland and boring as it does not have an arcade feel but isn’t detailed enough to be a simulation. The end result is something awkwardly in the middle and features some strange design choices. There are no super moves, items to use, controller map, and unlockable bits of clothing are cosmetic only; playing with a meat stick or baseball bat doesn’t make the game any fun when they play exactly the same. There is an RPG leveling feature but I couldn’t tell my character was getting any better when my stats increased in level.
Watch my stream of Smoots World Cup Tennis embedded here:
Gameplay options are just as limited as the gameplay itself. For example, there is no option to not view the stupid instant replay after every point. The player cannot choose to always have the camera behind the player in the near court as playing the far court always seems to have a disadvantage. Making matters worse, the camera often doesn’t pan high enough during a lob so the player cannot see the ball during these shots. Also, even though you might be playing as a male Smoot, all characters feature the same annoying female grunt each time the ball is hit. This is especially strange when playing as a Mr. T or Chuck Norris clone. Hitting the ball also makes this suction cup noise that stands out for all the wrong reasons. Learning how to actually hit the ball has a learning curve since the player cannot move once any of the three shot buttons are pressed. However, if the character is close enough to the ball’s trajectory, the Smoot slides into place automatically. This auto-but-not-really control is rather strange and never feels quite right.
When playing through the campaign, the player will eventually unlock mini games but they are never fun, feature the same animations, and are usually based around accuracy in some way. Exhibition matches can support up to four players but in a local setting only; there are no online features at all. Making matters worse, computer AI does not fill in the blanks of missing players in a four player match making gameplay all or nothing. In other words, if you are playing single player, forget about playing any type of doubles match unless you have three other friends with you. Also, the player cannot pause the game or quit back to the main menu during a match. The lack of basic housekeeping features is rather unacceptable.
Smoots World Cup Tennis lacks any type of meaningful options or gameplay gimmicks to make playing with these fake Miis fun. With so many better tennis games easily available, it is difficult to recommend Smoots when it double faults nearly every point in a the match.
Just As Bad As: AO International Tennis (Xbox One)
Play It Instead: Wii Sports Tennis or the Table Tennis game with Motion Plus
Wait For It: More Mario Tennis Aces DLC