Pete Sampras Tennis

aka: Tennis All-Stars
Moby ID: 8761
Genesis Specs
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Description

Play singles and doubles exhibition games, knockout tournaments or go on a world tour, it's all here in this tennis sim. You can choose to play as the (then) world seed 1, Pete Sampras himself or choose from 29 other players.

The action is viewed from the traditional third-person viewpoint. A tutorial mode is provided to help you get used to the forehand, lob and drop shots on offer. Several venues from all over the world can be played on, on Hard, Grass and Clay courts.

This was the first and one of the very few Genesis games to be released with a J-Cart, which meant that four-way gameplay was possible without the need of special adapters – the cartridge had two built-in joypad connectors. The Game Gear version was equally inventive, allowing two players to share one Game Gear, or four players to play doubles by linking two machines.

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Credits (Genesis version)

7 People

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 16 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 1 reviews)

A solid game, but far too short

The Good
Graphics are good and detailed and the players are well animated. The colours are pleasant to the eye, and the ball is always perfectly visible, not blending with the backgrounds. Sound uses the almost obligatory digitized score updates, with convincing effects for the ball hitting the court, raquet and players, and some crowd sounds of quality included. Playing the game is fun - rather than being an exercise of pressing the right button at the right time, it is one of forcing the opponent to move into tough positions. Only rarely a player will let easy balls pass by because he was two pixels too much to the right.

While playing the game solo does not make justice to it, if you join three more friends to play in a pairs match, things might just get very interesting - Like with Micro Machines, while the game is enjoyable played solo, it gains a new life when playing with/against someone.

Finally, there are two secret modes which give the game a lot more depth - Huge Tour is a season simulation with all major tournaments, Crazy Tennis is, well, crazy. Making a low passing shot? Get prepared to see it being bounced back by a popup hand with a raquet. wait longer, and Dizzy joins the party, imitating Humpty Dumpty.

The Bad
Overall, the game feels very short. I remember beating Sampras on the World Tour mode just 4 days after getting the game, and this without pushing the game at all - anyone who does, might well finish the game in one or two sittings. If the hidden "Huge Tour" mode was included and further enhanced (as far as password save would allow), the game would get higher marks in the longevity department.

While the gameplay is finely tweaked to avoid pointless frustration (granted, I can hear some of you say "dumbed down"), there are two major issues: First, the top spin and dive buttons are one and the same; by 1994 the six-button pad was pretty much common, so at least an option to choose between 3 or 6 button layouts would be welcome; Second, there is no difference in playing in grass, clay or hard court, which itself is a must-have for tennis games. Finally, the AI leaves a lot to be desired, as it can be fooled by the same tricks every time.

The Bottom Line
Pete Sampras Tennis is the typical game that could have used more time in the "oven". Off the box, the game itself is barely worth more than a rental as it can be quickly finished, but the hidden modes really give some life into it. The Huge Tour is quite appropriately named - with games with 5 or 3 sets (depending on the gender of the player selected), each round of the tour will surely take a share of anyone who fancied the short World Tour mode. Crazy Tennis is an interesting mode that could have well be featured on a game of it's own.

In the end, the game is fun to play, but due to the lack of solo variety, party-playing is the way to go - no surprise it was one of the few games with the special "J-Cart" cartridge.

Genesis · by Luis Silva (13444) · 2007

Trivia

Cameo

Dizzy (of the Oliver twins' series) makes a cameo appearance as a piñata in the hidden (see Tips & Tricks) Crazy Tennis mode.

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  • MobyGames ID: 8761
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Syed GJ.

Game Gear added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Luis Silva, Sunbeam.

Game added March 31, 2003. Last modified January 20, 2024.