Super Tennis – SNES
Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Developer: Tokyo Shoseki
Release Date (NA): November, 1991
Genre: Sports, Tennis
Nerd Rating: 5 out of 10
Reviewed by: Nerdberry
It has been a long time since the day when sports games were given a simple title with a design to last year after year. I’m talking about games like Joe Montana Football, Blades of Steel, Madden 64, and Super Tennis, the latter of which we will be reviewing in this article. In today’s gaming landscape, it’s all about real licenses, real players, and true-to-life graphics/gameplay! Being released less than a year ago, FIFA ’15 is already nearly outdated and before summer’s end it will be obsolete. The good ol’ days of simple and straightforward sports games is all but dead, but that doesn’t mean you can’t relive the old times?
Super Tennis is a sports game developed by Tokyo Shoseki and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo in 1991. It amazes me how many people remember playing Super Tennis, which goes a long way in showing the popularity/demand for sports games in the early 1990’s. With no bells, whistles, or gimmicky cartoonish art, Super Tennis strove for greatness behind the concept of serious Tennis matches. The concept of “real-to-life” was still just a dream in 1991, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t give it a shot.
Super Tennis features three game modes: singles, doubles, or circuit. Singles mode allows you to play against a computer or play multiplayer with a friend via internet connectivity. Okay, that last part was a lie. But there is a 1P vs 2P option in the singles mode. Doubles mode is pretty fun and the inclusion of a cooperative doubles match option was very much appreciated. You can also do 1P/CPU vs 2P/CPU, which proves to be pretty intolerable when you watch your teammate let a ball go right through his legs. And the final mode allows players to go through a variety of tournaments earning points along the way, aiming for a first place ranking. Each mode offers a different scenario with the option of playing on 3 different surfaces: clay, hard, or lawn.
The graphics are decent but feature nothing that one would consider noteworthy or awe-inspiring. The look of the players is a bit underwhelming but not terrible either. Their swinging, diving, and running animations are moderately smooth for an SNES title. But the one thing I love most about the Super Nintendo is the system’s color palette. The green grass and clay surface have nice bright colors that pop right off the screen. But that’s about as far as I can go in a positive direction when talking about the look of the game. While not spectacular, the graphics are serviceable. However, the isometric perspective absolutely destroys the gameplay. But in their defense, did they have any other options? Technology was definitely a limiting factor for this kind of game, regardless of who made the game.
Despite crappy graphics, the music is actually better than expected… when it’s playing… which is ONLY in the introduction and menu screens. The only sounds you will hear during a session are the sound of the ball hitting the racket and the commentator saying “fault,” or “matchpoint,” and so forth. But there is no fanfare for anything exciting whenever you do something great like serving an ace.
Overall, Super Tennis is about as straightforward of a sports game as I’ve ever played. Actually, it is without a doubt one of the most boring sports games I’ve ever played. Perhaps too straightforward and too serious for anybody to actually enjoy. The lack of any noise or music while you play paired with the bland graphics and shoddy gameplay make for one terribly boring tennis video game. The isometric perspective causes issues with the gamer’s depth perception. Trying to time your swings feels completely pointless because it reacts more like random roulette than a perfectly timed swing. There are very few moments in any Super Tennis match that you’ll actually feel any excitement or joy. It’s not the worst game ever but it also does nothing to impress. Not worth your time folks.
Nerd Rating: 5 out of 10
Reviewed by Nerdberry
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