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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: July 31, 1997
In the past decade there have been only a few tennis titles to hit the PC market. The only one worth remembering would have been Jimmy Connor’s Tennis, which came out a number of years back and would most likely be considered the only one worth playing. This year, out of nowhere, a company called GOTO has released a tennis game called Tennis Elbow. GOTO is a software company located in France and has released some other titles such as online backgammon.
Tennis Elbow gives you the option of either playing the game from the CD-ROM or installing it to your hard drive (basically just copying the files). The game will run in either DOS, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. If you decide to copy the files to your HD, it will take up a little over 10 MB of disk space. When you have decided which way to install the game, it is very easy to get into the game.
Once inside the game, you are introduced to a menu screen that allows you either to enter into a match, practice, set options, or look at current standings. There are different match options, giving players the opportunity to play either singles or doubles as well as the option to choose which player they would like to control. Before going onto the court, you can decide the type of court to play on. The different courts are grass, clay, synthetic, and cement. In theory each court is supposed to have different effects on the way the game is played. After deciding on which type of court to play on, you can decide if you want to play singles, doubles, dirty up, or dirty down. There are also 5 different levels of difficulty to allow the game to become more challenging. For each character within the game, there are attributes associated with them. Players can have different styles of play such as defenders, punchers, varied, or volleyers. Apart from these different styles are different attributes or skills that make up the player. When playing in tournament mode, you have the ability to distribute a certain number of points to different skills, in essence making your player stronger.
Tennis Elbow includes many nice-to-have features. The crowd actually follows the ball and the line judges react like real line judges. At first glance the graphical detail is very good. The detail of the crowd can been seen very well. Depending on which surface you are playing on, the surroundings will be different. This takes away from the monotony of always looking at the same screen. The players are sprites that have been animated and pasted onto the actual scan of different courts.
The game comes with a pretty comprehensive tournament mode that tracks more than 250 players in rank. You can review any of the standings from the menu system found with the game. There is a team cup that you can play for, along with more than 95 different tournaments.
When you actually get into the game, you control your tennis player by either using a joystick, keyboard, or mouse. Each one pretty much will play the same, with the joystick being the easiest way to play. There are different strokes that you can hit during play and the opportunity to position the ball into the corners of the court. You also have the ability to slice, lob, and hit drop shots. Depending on the player’s skills, they may have a more difficult time of hitting the ball harder and keeping it in the court.
Tennis Elbow comes with the ability to play in a multiplayer mode either via a null modem connection or through an IPX network. When playing in multiplayer mode, players have the option to play against one other player in a singles match or with three players in a doubles match.
For the time being there really isn’t any competition to Tennis Elbow on the market. Blue Byte software is presently developing a tennis game, but that is a few months away from production and more recently a game named Pete Sampras 97 has shown up. So for now, it looks as if Tennis Elbow is one of the only choices for people looking for a recent tennis simulation.
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