International Tennis Tour

Options, options, options! These are the keys to unlocking the appealing International Tennis Tour for the SNES. While there are many similar tennis games, few offer as much as Taito's latest court game.

First-Class Service

"International" is an accurate part of the title. You play against 63 players from around the world in five modes: Training, Exhibition, Tournament, The Nations Cup, or Pro Championship. The Training Mode sets you up with a ball machine and also lets you practice serves. In the other modes, you play singles or doubles matches of varying lengths (one, three, or five sets) on four different surfaces (clay, hard, grass, and indoors). Add in the adjustable difficulty settings and the two-player option, and there's enough tennis in this game to wear out ten pairs of sneakers.

ProTip: Vary your serving strategy by positioning your server at different spots along the baseline.

Precise controls help ITT score an ace. Using all six buttons, you make the large character sprites run, slide, dive, and fire every shot, from a Low Backhand Volley to an overhead Smash. All that's missing is the four-player option available for Sega's Wimbledon Tennis, which still ranks as the top seed among 16-bit games.

When two players team up in Doubles, don't keep both players at the net simultaneously.

The Look of Lob

Graphic details add considerable delight to ITT. Nimble, muscular players make exciting head-first dives, colorful crowds cheer wildly, on-court onlookers turn to watch the passing balls, and impatient players anxiously tap their racquets. Plus, the four court surfaces provide attractive backdrops for the action. Sound in a tennis game, as in a golf game, is usually subdued to suit the nature of the sport, and that's tine here. There's no music during the match, a solemn announcer calls out the score, and the on-court grunts and hits aren't very emphatic.

Still, there's plenty of razzle-dazzle to make this a good game for the court. International Tennis Tour, anyone?

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