Grandslam Tennis review - Sega Megadrive
For we British, the game of tennis conjures up the scent of strawberries wafting across a Wimbledon lawn, the dulcet tones of Dan Maskell and the inane ranting of spoilt rich kids. What it doesn't conjure up is the memory of British competitors holding the cup. Gits! It's always the same old story; a first round triumph, a second round humiliation!
Now there's the chance to put the Great back into Britain! Well, erm, maybe not, but there is the chance to serve, volley, slice and lob in an attempt to win the Grandslam tournaments. Competitors have a number of options open to them. They start by creating a player and giving them certain strengths and weaknesses. Then it's off to the training ground to practice a few shots before entering an exhibition match. When players feel they've sussed out both racket and opposition, it's time to enter the Grandslam circuit.
Grandslam Tennis has both singles and doubles action, and of course the essential two player mode. All players are seeded according to their abilities. In exhibition mode the opportunity to choose opponents gives newcomers the chance to see what they're up against. Could you be the soul that saves Britain from international ridicule? One thing's for sure - we need new balls please!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Super Tennis on the Super NES is one of the office all-time faves, so it was with great trepidation that I loaded up Grandslam Tennis. Thankfully, it's a high quality sports sim with accomplished graphics and gameplay. The sound isn't bad either with digitised speech for the umpire as he keeps score (although his voice sounds decidedly strange). As far as playability goes, Grandslam Tennis scores pretty highly. Just like Super Tennis, control of the ball is very intuitive, leading to some exciting rallies. But as Rob said, your player sometimes doesn't seem fast enough to catch the ball (just like the real game I suppose). Although it lacks that magical edge that made Super Tennis an instant classic, Grandslam Tennis is well worth adding to your cartridge collection.
A tennis game on the Megadrive is long overdue, and when one finally arrived, my expectations were high. It was a relief then that Grandslam Tennis is a success! This has got everything the budding racket fanatic could ask for. The options are vast, with useful ideas like the training mode and player make mode and the chance to compete in one-off matches or the whole Grandslam circuit. Most importantly thogh, the game manages to capture a sense of realism, this is down to well-programmed game logic. The ball responds perfectly to topspin and backspin, lob and smash, making the gameplay very believable. Getting into the feel of the game takes practice, but once I was comfortable with my newly-acquired skills, the challenge of the game kept me coming back. One small criticism I'd make is that the characters are just a little bit slow, and this can frustrate when you know where a ball is going but can't reach it. But where this game is doubly a success is in two-player mode. Playing a living opponent inevitably leads to furious arguments, whinging, jeering and plenty of fun! Stock up with strawberries and cream now!