#676 – Top Players Tennis


                                                                             The Asmik dinosaur slightly resembles poo.



                                                                                    Color scheme by Joker, out of Milan.


PLAYERS: 1-4 simultaneous



GENRE: Sports

RELEASE DATE: January 1990


Chris Evert and Ivan Lendl, two former World No. 1 tennis players, lent their good names to Top Players Tennis. I hope they were paid silly amounts of money. This has to be the worst tennis game on the NES, and the strange thing is, I don’t think Home Data, the developers, were half-assing the production. There’s a four-player option here, along with the ability to “create” your own character (all you’re doing is shifting their attributes – strength, speed, focus, etc. – but it’s still a welcome feature). After you build up enough points, you can perform special moves called Miracle shots that add an extra ridiculous dimension (multi-balls, disappearing balls) to the otherwise steady game of tennis.


Indeed, if the controls operated as they should, there would be much to be proud of in Top Players Tennis. But the controls are as broken as I’ve ever experienced with a game. It’s impossible to serve. Impossible. I tried for fifteen minutes with several different characters. I consulted an FAQ, the instruction manual. Nothing enabled me to get the ball over the net. The closest I came was a ‘Let.’ From what I’ve read from other reviews – Top Players who were able to serve – the controls aren’t much better throughout the game. Any person aged eight to eighty can turn on Tennis and serve properly. You might not be able to play as Chris Evert or Ivan Lendl, but you can play tennis, and tennis is all I want from a tennis game.


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