Size: 32 Blocks
First Released: 1989
There’s a certain appealing weight to the word: Tennis. Say it with us now: “Tennis.” On its own, that simple two-syllable title is perhaps the best description for this racket-swinging retro romp. One of two athletic-themed launch titles to accompany Game Boy’s debut, Tennis is a straightforward take on the sport that leaves the bells and whistles at home. It’s an addictive diversion, but something is missing.
Playing solo, you’ll whack the ball back and forth across the court in an effort to defeat your generic AI-controlled opponent across a standard game of Tennis under the watchful eye of Mario. Four different difficulty levels let you speed up the pace and intensity of matches. Holding the D-Pad in different directions adjusts the angle and intensity of each hit, making the task of psyching out your opponent and playing to their weak zones a satisfying effort. It’s easy to dive back into the pleasant rhythm of exchanging hits between the chunky challengers over the course of lengthy matches, but the lack of two-player support saps much of the game’s competitive energy.
We have fond memories of linking two Game Boys together and dueling human opponents in vitriolic Tennis matches back in the good old days. For some unexplained reason, the game’s two-player competitive mode isn’t accessible. The ad-hoc wireless capabilities of the 3DS are perfectly suited for local play; that this apparently isn’t supported on the virtual console is rather absurd. While there’s enough meat in the game’s solo experience to make it worth the download, the missing multiplayer cuts out a big chunk of the fun.
Jul 15, 2011