10 years ago, I introduced powet staple $20 Game of the Week with a look at this game. After doing this column almost every week for 10 straight years, maybe now is a good time to revisit it. This is one of the few games that I still have in my collection, and it’s one of the few original Xbox games that are backwardly compatible on the Xbox 360. I remembering purchasing this game like it was yesterday. I had just paid off my tuition for fall of 2005, and I was looking for a game to keep myself occupied until school started. A trip to gamestop saw this title available for only $20. On a whim, I picked it up, and enjoyed it enough to use it as a stepping stone to start a weekly column. While it hasn’t aged well since then, Outlaw Tennis still retains its own unique charm.
Published by GLobal Star Software (or 2k Games as we call them these days) Outlaw Tennis is the 4th game in Hypnotix’s Outlaw series (the first three being Outlaw Golf, Outlaw Volley Ball, and Outlaw Golf 2). Hypnotix was a shovelware company that put out games such as Deer Avenger, Panty Raider, and a game based on the game show the $100,000 Pyramid. They were scooped up by EA in 2005 never to be heard from again. Their Outlaw sports series is their biggest franchise. Aimed at teens and adults, the Outlaw games feature a cast of diverse (if stereotypical) cast members such as Strippers, ex-convicts, and even a Jewish ninja. Outlaw Tennis is no different. The game features outlandish characters and courts, and the commentary is provided by Stephen Colbert. Along with classic tennis, Outlaw Tennis has several game modes that introduce variety in it’s scoring and gameplay. For instance, there’s a hot potato mode which causes the ball to explode if it’s on your side when the meter fills up. Like any good Outlaw sports game, Outlaw Tennis features a minigame where you can beat the shit out of your opponent. However, it’s simply a race to see who can hit the buttons the fastest rather than being a full on fighting game.
These days, I can’t recommend this game over Virtual Tennis or Top Spin, although back in 2005 you could do worse if you wanted tennis action. It’s kinda disappointing that we haven’t had a decent tennis game in a while. You would think that with the Kinect and Wiimote we could get the ultimate tennis game, but the tennis games included with WiiSports and Kinect Sports (respectively) are little more than tech demos. While we likely won’t see another Outlaw sports game, at least the series ended on a fairly high note. While tennis purists might have cringed at the game’s sexual innuendos and lame attempts at humor, the gameplay was still fun and on point.