We've come a long way since two paddles and a ball were laughably called Tennis in order to skirt some copyright issues (no it's not Pong, it's Tennis!). Now not only do we have real players and an actual net, but a pseudo three-dimensional court as well! Now all we need are those cute little grunting noises the players on TV make and we'd be all set.
Although it came out almost two years later than Activision's Tennis cartridge, RealSports Tennis looks strangely similar. The players, the court dimensions, and even the gameplay are almost identical. About the only improvement Atari seemed to make were a slight update to the graphics and the addition of a scoreboard. Then again there's only so many ways you can depict tennis. You new feature is that you can put your name on the scoreboard which is nice. But was it $39.99 nice?
Other than being able to select the speed of
the game, the only other option available is manual or
automatic racket swings. When set to manual (this is
selected by the difficulty switches) the player must push the
button when the ball is near to hit it, otherwise when set to
automatic the computer will take care of this for you.
Although the graphics may have changed, tennis
still boils down to two paddles and a ball. Maybe we
haven't advanced as much as we thought? RealSports Pong
anyone? Speaking of RealSports, it's also interesting to
note that the game title screen simply refers to the game as
Tennis. Much like with the Atari 5200 version, Atari
thought up the RealSports series branding after the game had
been completed so only the manual and box refer to it as