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|Title:||Jimmy Connors Tennis|
|Rating:||3 out of 5|
Jimmy Connors was the man! Tennis today has some phenomenal athletes who take to the tennis court and deliver amazing feats, but none of them have the character of Connors. He was a madman on the court. A celebrity athlete with tennis-whites and explosive charismatic energy.
For the mid-90s, Jimmy Connors was an easy choice for a celebrity sports game. Tennis seems like a gentleman's sport, but it's had it's fair share of colorful characters like McEnroe and Connors - which was actually good for the sport.
I love tennis and have always had an affinity for video games that tried to replicate it. Football, Baseball and Soccer have long histories in gaming, but Tennis always captured my interest. I had high hopes for tennis video games when the PlayStation and Saturn arrived, but the clunky polygons really turned me off - both visually and regarding playability. But leave it to the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System to pull off a version I really liked. So much for advanced polygon processors :)
One facet of the NES console's graphic capability can be seen in many games in the form of a "photo realistic" image on a start-up or set-up screen. In Jimmy Connors Tennis, there is a screen showing Connors swinging a racquet and it is clearly Jimmy - despite the 8-bit rendering. Nice!
Once you've determined whether you want background music, you and another player can either jump into a match or go into practice mode. There are 4 difficulty levels to adjust play as you improve. The difficulty setting also effects the cash prized for tournament play. I like the practice option as it gives you the ability (alone or 2-player) to get a feel for the mechanics & action or just have some fun hitting balls.
You can enter your name(s), up to 8 characters, to identify you and your opponent in a 2-player match. You serve with the A button and can control the path via the D-Pad. Once the ball is in play, the A button is for normal strokes ad the B button is your power shot. The longer you hold the button, the harder your shot. Similarly, the D-Pad allows you to direct or add "spin" to your strokes.
I'm not sure if this is a reality-check option, but you have the ability to bow out of a match. Press START & SELECT together and B-button to confirm and you will be disqualified. Quirk or added reality? You decide :)
For tournament play, you can choose between 1, 2 or 3 set-to-win variations. This gives you the ability to play a quick 1-set match or go for standard 2-set play or the Grand Slam 3 out of 5 set options. At the end of each tournament, a password will be displayed. Write it down and use it to resume the match later on.
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