Smash, Serve, Volley...
Out of the many different third-party licensees currently developing games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, several are carving away a larger portion of the market by concentrating their efforts around specific themes.
Jaleco is one company that is beginning to have success on Nintendo screens. They have a limited but varied line-up of racing (City Connection), action (Robowarrior), and sports (Bases Loaded) titles under their belt, but the release of Racket Attack shows that Jaleco is making moves to corner the sports genre. If Racket Attack, a tennis simulation that captures just about every feature of the real game, is any indication of things to come, then Jaleco has just wrapped up this category for good!
Like Bases Loaded before it, Racket Attack completely simulates the sport on which it is based. From the opening sequences that allow you to review and select any one of eight male or female players on grass, clay, or concrete, to seven full matches of increasingly difficult play (against the computer), Racket Attack completely addresses every aspect of the sport in a fun and entertaining manner. Racket Attack is video tennis unlike anything you've ever seen before! This is no Pong!
Supporting the excellent game play are equally fantastic graphics, sounds, and vocal effects that vividly bring Racket Attack to life. The animation is sparse, limited to only two major characters running around the court. The foreground player is rendered in a particularly detailed fashion, however, occupying a large portion of the screen without sacrificing the visual appeal of the game. The background music is nice, albeit a bit repetitive, while the cheers of the crowd and the line judge's calls are beautifully spoken in plain, ungarbled English. This is another one of the game's strong suits that only Jaleco has been able to bring home so well.
Underneath the surface of Racket Attack lies a complex and easily engrossing battle of quick coordination and fast thinking. It goes way beyond earlier efforts like Nintendo's own Tennis, by including multiple matches, both male and female players, as well as an abundance of other options. Racket Attack is a truly addictive game that will appeal to everyone - particularly tennis fans!
...Racket Attack is a great game for those of you who like a constant, fast-paced challenge. It's easy to grasp and doesn't require an extraordinary knowledge of tennis to play. I'm not a big fan of the sport, and my background of the rules is sketchy at best, but I found myself satisfy-ingly addicted to the game's play mechanics...
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A terrific sports simulation that is fun to play whether you like Tennis or not.