Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Every home console system, whether the Atari 2600 or the Xbox 360, has generic sports titles: Those quickly developed, no-name half-attempts at a respectable major-league sports simulation, prepared to provide quick satisfaction for a quick buck, yet never approaching the quality of name-brand Madden, Live, or other flagship franchises.But despite the video game landscape being endlessly dotted by hundreds of examples of these mediocre or even straight-up inferior titles, occasionally one comes along that, if we are to be honest, really is not even so bad; maybe, just maybe, even enjoyable. One of these examples is the tennis match for Super Nintendo called, appropriately, Super Tennis.
The idea is simple, that of being able to play tennis. Racket-handlers will already be familiar with the rules that are faithfully rendered on-screen, and newcomers will catch on easily. There are serves, returns, volleys, overhead smashes, and close baseline calls. You can progress through a tournament in one-player mode, practice, or play multi-player matches, which is, as usual when offered the opportunity to play against other human beings, the highlight of the game.
The graphics are not great. There is not much to say about them. Although different characters have slightly different looks, and you can tell a clay court from a lawn one, the appearances are still crude, basic, and unimpressive.
There is no music! Perhaps the effect was intentional, but this can sometimes lend a rather imposing, intimidating, intense feel to the matches as the only noises are the sounds of the game, with no background tracks to speak of. One highlight, though, is the pitch-perfect recreation of tennis ball bounces and impacts with all the elements at work.
Creativity and Innovation
There are two notable innovations that save this game from flat play and a thoroughly unenjoyable experience: The button-specific hits, and the differing courts. Each of the four primary buttons on the face of the Super Nintendo controller hits the ball a different way; X hits a hard downward smash, Y lifts the ball into floaty lobs, B is a standard firm hit down the court, and A is a slightly softer hit. These, in addition to being able to hit forehand and backhand, lend plenty of possibilities to every volley, which adds to the strategy and competition quality involved. Then, there are three different kinds of courts, and each impacts the ball a different way, which adds even more variety to the play.
Overall, this is actually a solid sports game, with lots of competitive edges available for use in multiplayer matches. For tennis fans and tennis newbies alike, it earns a solid, respectable three and a half stars out of five.