Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour FI

SNES A Day 131: Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour

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Approximate Release Date: December 1, 1992
Genre: Tennis simulation
Developer: Blue Byte Software
Publisher: Ubisoft

I couldn’t have had lower expectations for Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour. Another tennis sim on the Super Nintendo. Yawn.

I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. This game is great.

I’ve been beating up SNES sports games because they’re uninteresting. They feature the same ideas regurgitated over and over with little thought about how to advance the genre. This might not be an issue for most players, then or now, but when I’m playing so many SNES games in such rapid succession, it gets tiring and harder and harder to write about.

Here’s what impresses me about Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour: it takes best-in-class 16-bit tennis gameplay and puts it in a product that’s interested in being more accessible and welcoming to new players. Not only is there a robust training mode – it might actually be too in-depth for a tennis game of this era – there’s also an easy play control option, which lets the computer control your player’s movement so you can focus on returning volleys. I didn’t spend a lot of time with either feature, but I’m ecstatic that they exist.

No, instead I spent most of my time playing tennis in Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour just as I would in any other tennis game. It plays very similarly to Super Tennis, but I found the CPU opponents to be much more fair in Exhibition mode. Tour mode is here, too, and lets you choose the skill level of opponents which is weirdly missing from the other mode. The controls are solid, the graphics are fine, and I had fun. Hooray!

Because it focuses so much on beginners, hardcore tennis game pros might not find much novel in Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour. It’s a solid tennis game that tries some new stuff and tries to teach newbies about the genre. I’m just glad a sports game is trying something out of the ordinary.

Tomorrow: Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool needs no introduction.

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