Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Ah... Wimbledon! The thrill of rain-soaked days and expensive strawberries and cream. Then of course there's always the excitement of the game itself - the stunning rallies, the grunting Czechoslovakian female players, the breathtaking points and the swearing losers. All this and more can be yours with Sega's Wimbledon Tennis. Well, sort of
Wimbledon casts you as a young British tennis hopeful, out to prove to the world just how good you are at hitting balls over the net. To this end, you can use the Wimbledon tennis courts to practice in a series of exhibition matches or you can enter the world circuit proper and participate in the major tennis grandslam events. There's even the option to face up to another human player in a one-on-one tennis match, or play with them (or against them) in some doubles-related clowning.
But as Britain's number one (seeded 2,093 in the world), you've got a lot to prove.
When you choose to play an exhibition match at Wimbledon, you can select to play on a hard, clay or lawn surface. These different courts all effect the bouncing power of the ball to different extents. The lawn surface makes for a smaller bounce as opposed to the hard and clay courts. Not surprisingly, the hard court produces the highest bounces.
Two options are presented to you at the beginning of the game. EXHIBITION MATCH enables you to play a one-off three set match against the computer or a friend. GRANDSLAM TOURNAMENT lets you to participate in a series of ranking world tournaments, including (not surprisingly) Wimbledon!
At the beginning of the Grandslam tournaments, you are given 15 points to distribute through three categories for your player - speed, power and skill. As you progress through each tournament, you’re given extra points depending on your performance. Passwords are also presented at the end of each event, enabling you to continue where you left off with your own individual player. During exhibition matches you can choose from any one of the game’s in-built challengers, which include some very familiar names and faces...
Plenty of different types of shots are available in Wimbledon Tennis. Button one is a simple forehand/backhand (depending on the position of the ball when attempt the shot) return and its trajectory can be altered by using the D-Pad. Button two produces a massive lob, essential when it comes to foiling any of your opponent's near-the-net tomfoolery. Should you attempt to hit the ball before it has bounced, you produce a high-velocity volley or a devastating smash!
Low bounces abound on the lawn court.
The hard court in all its glory.
The clay court has many unusual qualities.
Oh no! It's out! Some of the players look a might peeved off at their ineptitude.
As a tennis fan, I really enjoyed playing this. Okay, so the players are a bit on the small side, but they’re detailed and very nicely animated. The presentation is outstanding, with a massive variety of play options and excellent stills and cameo shots of the players. But it’s the gameplay that kept me playing. The action is tough and fast, and although it takes a lot of practice to get used to the sheer speed, once mastered you can pull off some pretty spectacular shots. With its sheer variety of options and excellent two-player mode, Wimbledon Tennis is a game that’s highly recommended to tennis fans.
I didn’t really think that much at all of this when I first loaded it up. The players are like starved refugees from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids as they’re actually as high as the net and are positively dwarfed by the massive tennis court! More unrealistic still is super-powered pace the players run at. The thing is, because your players are so miniature, they have to run at that speed to get around the court and return some of the shots! Wimbledon also underwhelmed me with its soundtrack. The crowd noise is okay, but the awful aural din that is the in-game soundtrack is simply horrifying. As far as gameplay goes, Wimbledon is pretty good. It is actually quite a laugh to play - especially in two-player mode, and the masses of options (including singles and doubles matches with one or two-player modes) makes for some variation in the gameplay. Unfortunately, there's quite a lot wrong in the computer opponent’s game logic. Defeating him doesn’t seem to be down to skill - he always gets to the ball and it just seems to be down to luck as to whether he hits it or not. In the Grandslam mode, the three set matches just last too long. By the end of the first set I was just too bored to continue. However, I imagine that once you’ve got your character up to scratch and start playing against more experienced opponents, it should get a whole lot better. The Master System is woefully lacking when it comes to tennis games, and although it has its faults, Wimbledon is worth consideration.