International Tennis (Commodore) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

International Tennis
By Commodore
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #23

International Tennis

Commodore has a well-earned reputation when it comes to sport simulations. International Soccer set the standard for everybody else, and their recent basketball game demonstrated that the style was still way ahead of all the opposition. Supersoft's brief to their programmer when they were producing a cricket program was for it to be the equivalent of Commodore's Soccer. So with a new release from Commodore you'd expect them to stick with what is, after all, a successful format. Wrong.

Gone are the chunky figures of old, gone is the smooth movement and definition there once was. Gone is programmer Andrew Spencer. In place of all these attributes is something that is not awful, but merely average. The major problem lies in the gameplay. As before, the ball has a 3D effect shadow, but because the rest of the game is rather two dimensional and the shadow is so small, it is very difficult to pick up the path of the ball. You're likely to be standing on one side fully expecting to receive the ball on the backhand and end up having to run across court. This is a major obstacle to enjoyment.

In contrast to Activision's On-Court Tennis you have to move your player to the ball and play the stroke. The eight different joystick directions allow eight strokes such as 'short cross down' and 'medium cross up'. You will not master this game immediately. It is very difficult to hit a ball on the run, because you are moving the joystick in one direction and as soon as you hit the Fire button you will hit it in that way.

Serving is reasonably simple but that is where it ends. You need to be able to rally well and to do that you are going to have to spend a lot of time mastering the controls. I get the impression this has been a rush job to get it out for the Wimbledon bug that grips the country for two months every year.