ATP Tennis Tour (Sega) Review | Mean Machines Sega - Everygamegoing

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ATP Tennis Tour
By Sega
Sega Mega Drive (EU Version)

 
Published in Mean Machines Sega #30

ATP Tennis Tour

What the good game of tennis really needs to spice it up is a bit of hooliganism. Imagine newspaper reports of tennis thugs rioting at Wimbledon. Picture accounts of people in Farah sacks fighting running battles with private security guards whilst ripping up rows of wooden seats, all because Jeremy Bales loses a set.

It's a chilling possibility, because people only riot in this country when they're losing. With tennis we'd be in a perpetual state of law-breaking. However, the situation is not like that at all. Tennis spectators sit and clap politely, as they do in Sega's new ATP Tennis Tour. Neither the farting sounds as the ball bounces, nor the dalek-voiced umpire can raise them to a frothy, lawless fury. Composed, genteel, bums-firmly-on-seats and fingers-on-lips. God, isn't tennis boring?

Origin

A revamped version of Sega's old Wimbledon Tennis, incorporating new presentational features.

Game Aim

In each match, force the opponent to hit the ball into the net or out of court. Win successive tournaments and improve your ranking.

Spit And Polish

At its heart, ATP is Wimbledon Tennis - not the freshest tennis simulation around, it debuted on the Megadrive some two years ago. The game engine is basically sound, with small player sprites and the action displayed in a no-nonsense 2D format.

We Know About You

ATP deals comprehensively with its players. The 40 standard characters have biographical details of age, nationality and playing characteristics. A digitised pic of each is provided. The ability roster is the most important part of player information. Skills in aspects of power, accuracy and speed are allocated points. There are four blank spaces in the field for your own players, which you have freedom to customise.

Shot In The Arm

There are no complaints about the range of shots. Serving is easy, and comes in three levels of speed (shown by a serve speedometer). Lobs, topspin and dropshots are achievable. Lobs are particularly fascinating as the ball sort of bloats as it rises to give a sense of extreme height. Coo!

Speak And Spell

Extra memory has gone towards the umpire's contribution. This is the first tennis game we can remember when the umpire pronounces the player's surnames rather than just 'player one' or 'server'. Sadly, this proves such an effort for the poor man that all his utterings sound like a Dalek getting an enema.

The Daily Globe

Two tournaments are offered. The 'Global' one seems to spend a lot of time in America. But then they are the world (they are the children). The US events have sponsors and loads of prize-money. The Senior event, on the other hand, is for a selection of celebrity fogets. Play Rod Laver and Rod Newcombe and watch out for coronaries.

Steve

Revamping their old Wimbledon game may have seemed like a smart move if Sega had their eye on EA. But Wimbledon was no Madden's and doesn't benefit from being 'put down' for a few years.

No, this is no chateauneuf that matures into a glorious vintage. It's a wonky old Hirondelle that's been stuck in a fancy new bottle. The graphics are unimpressive and all the extended options are merely icing on a cake. With Sampras on the scene, there was really no need.

Gus

A dull and unremarkable release for an equally dull part of the calendar. Anyone who releases a tennis game in miserable March hasn't a great deal of enthusiasm for the sport. Just to look at, ATP is depressingly like its ancient progenitor Wimbledon. The sprites are pretty weedy and the backdrops dull as dishwater but it's okay to play, especially at the higher lunatic speed settings!

With all the stats malarkey, I do think this serves a section of the gaming population, but Sampras is infinitely more fun.

Verdict

Graphics 65%
P. Crisp, clearly defined courts and players, with adequate animation.
N. A distinct lack of variety or visual thrills and spills.

Sound 67%
P. An impressive range of sampled speech. A good 'thwack' noise. The bouncing sounds flatulent and the umpire has a problem.

Playability 78%
P. Easy to work out the controls, the sprites are responsive, there's enough player options.

Lastability 73%
P. The backing to the game is as comprehensive as it gets.
N. Not as challenging as some other Megadrive tennis titles.

Value For Money 70%
N. It's not really on to charge for an old game scrubbed down with peripheral attractions.

Overall 76%
ATP Tour sits firmly in the second rank of tennis games, but we're not talking about a total waste of time.