Company: Data East Corporation
Controller: Joystick with one button
Other names:Pro Tennis
Among the sports with simple rules and certain easiness to program in a videogame we got Tennis, after all, consist of hitting a ball with a racquet before the ball hit twice the court. However, that same simplicity can be a handicap, because it was hard to add something that would get the attention of videogamers. This sport was pioneer with gender equality as we saw in the original World Team Tennis. In Japan, the company Data East tried with a videogame in this sport, but that attempt hit the net although it sported nice features.
The game features the classic vertical view already saw in previous entries of this blog, but the multi-colored court catches the eye, it’s one of the elements taken from the original World Team Tennis and probably was thought would made more attractive a videogame of tennis. The player always control the virtual tennis-player at the bottom of the screen, even to serve or receive. At least to me, it’s interesting that an older tennis videogame, for an “inferior” console was perfectly capable of handling this feature allowing a player to alternate both sections of the court.
Controlling the virtual tennis player is easy, although the colors are a bit fancy and the speed of the match is good. It’s funny that is man vs woman, and you can only control the latter. Apparently in Japan, tennis is considered a mainly female sport. Even if the colors of the court can be a bit disorienting at first to get where the ball will bounce, it’s easy to getting used to. Even it catches my attention that the shots can get out of the court, not very frequent in the first videogames of this sport. I’m afraid all of these are the things I can cheer for this videogame.
The first thing that maybe won’t like fans of the sport, is the scoring is not in the traditional way (15-30-40-point), but is a score from 1 to 4 to win a set. Apparently this system was implemented by the World Team Tennis. Even if takes into account that the deuce, sorry, tied to 3, you have to win two consecutive points to get the game. The game is over if the player loses two games.
Then it’s the sound, it’s awful, annoying and I highly recommend to set the sound as lowest as possible because is quite disorienting, at least to me. Finally, it’s the situation of a two player game, because they don’t play each other, or in doubles against the AI. Instead, they take turns whenever one players loses a point of the game.
The company Data East also released the game for its “console” DECO Cassette, with the name of Pro Tennis but aside from a slight change at the title screen, the game is exactly the same.
Also, there was released a compilation, also for Arcade, with some sport titles from the company Data East, including this title. Among the changes, the color or the court changed and thankfully changed both the music and sound effects. Besides these changes, the game plays exactly the same.
The game is simple, maybe too much. It can be a bit frustating at first, but with practice it’s possible to beat the pump of the rival AI. The awful sound effects probably is what annoys me most of the game. It’s good for a quick match, but I recommend other games mentioned in this label.