Amstrad Action


Pro-Tennis

Author: Bob Wade
Publisher: Loriciels
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #14

Pro Tennis

The only other tennis simulation of any note is Match Point. That was pretty good - its main problem was that it was just too tough. Pro-tennis can put up an equally good battle but is a bit more player-friendly, giving some helpful options.

The court is viewed from above one end, flanked by crowds who always get excited at the end of a game. You can play against the computer or another player or watch an exhausting demo game. On either of its two skill levels the computer is very difficult to beat since it doesn't make many unforced errors - you, however, actually have to hit winners.

You can play the game in two modes, which make the action easy to get into. The automatic mode just gives you the job of positioning the player to hit the ball so that you don't have to worry about the timing of hitting the ball - that's done for you. The manual mode gives you that extra job of timing the stroke and makes the computer that much harder to beat.

Pro Tennis

You can choose from three types of playing surface: clay, grass and hard court. The surface won't initially make much difference to you but affects the bounce of the ball and speed of the players. Matches can be played over one, three or five sets; these can last a very long while because very lengthy rallies are the rule.

The service occurs automatically but can be directed toward one side of the service court. Once the ball is in play the computer is quite happy to sit back and play from the baseline. This means that to win you need to get to the net and either hit outright winners (passing shots, and lobs if he comes in) or force him into lobbing the ball over the baseline. The danger is that he will hit a lob in and you won't be able to get back to it in time.

Although the rallies can be against the computer, they can also be quite exciting if you're on the net because of the continual effort needed to get the ball back and to try to hit winners as well. The two-player action is of course even more exciting with much more unpredictable play.

Pro Tennis

The graphics aren't particularly impressive: the players are small and the strokes indistinct. But the action is compulsive. The automatic option and the different courts bring a bit of variety. Most importantly, you'll get a good contest out of it.

Second Opinion

The automatic mode really does make this a simple piece of fun. It captures a lot of the atmosphere of tennis while staying very playable. I'm not really a fan of sports simulations, but this one's worth a look.

First Day Target Score

Take a set off the computer.

Green Screen View

Pro Tennis

All the courts look like grass, but otherwise there's no problem.

Good News

P. Tough computer opponent.
P. Helpful automatic option.
P. Ball speed varies a lot from fast drives to slow lobs.
P. More friendly and playable than Match Point.

Bad News

N. Rallies with the computer can be very long.
N. If you've already got Match Point, it doesn't offer much more.

Bob Wade

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