Approximate Release Date: November 5, 1992
Genre: Tennis simulation
Developer: David Crane
Publisher: Absolute Entertainment
The impressive visuals of David Crane’s Amazing Tennis is also its biggest problem.
It’s important to remember that the Super Nintendo can’t do “real” 3D graphics, at least very well. There tends to be a lot of stuttering and general weirdness that modern eyes can’t ignore. Amazing Tennis’ attempt to simulate 3D is pretty good, though, mostly because of the lower-than-usual camera placement. Comparing Amazing Tennis to Super Tennis is striking because the former has huge sprites that are highly detailed; looking great and having more animation is pretty much a requirement given how literally front and center the foreground player is here.
Yeah, the character close to the screen is great. It’s the opponent on the opposite end that suffers. It’s hard to see where the tennis ball is when you’re back there! I struggled in Amazing Tennis because it was hard to time your hits. I’d do okay against the computer when I was in the foreground, but it would all fall apart in the back of the court. Sure, since the players switch sides often it’s not a competitive advantage in the aggregate. It does make sure that 50% of any match ends up being frustrating.
Amazing Tennis is otherwise what you would expect if you played Super Tennis, just with stiffer and less arcade-like controls and fewer options. I’m iffy on the controls, but I found myself adjusting to them pretty quickly. I was still fighting them, just less often. The lack of options is a little weirder. There aren’t a ton of characters to play against, and I don’t think you can change what character you play as!
David Crane’s Amazing Tennis doesn’t live up to its name, and is suffering from the decision to put graphics before gameplay. It’s not terrible, but I don’t feel much love for it.
Tomorrow: Remember when 2000 used to be shorthand for the future? Firepower 2000 does!