RealSports Tennis

Original System: Atari 5200

RealSports Tennis is a rare instance where a game originated on the Atari 5200 and was slightly improved upon when ported to the Atari 400/800.  In the case of RealSports Tennis, the Atari 5200 version is missing the trophy screen at the beginning and end of the game.  However the 5200 version contains the hidden 'Sean Special' mode which allows for four players at once and better controls.  Call it a draw?

'Better' might be in the eye of the beholder, different controls might be a better way to describe them.  In the 5200 version the player used the two fire buttons to chose between a forehand shot or a backhand shot, while on the 400/800 version the player actually has to position themselves to point forwards or backwards and press the fire button to achieve this due to the controller only having one button.  Also, the 5200's keypad allows the player to choose where they want to try and serve the ball whereas the player has to push the joystick in a certain direction when serving.  The 5200 also supports the trackball for what it's worth.  Which control scheme is better?  Depends on who you ask.

Interestingly this game has quite an identity crisis.  The 5200 version simply calls itself Tennis in the game and RealSports Tennis on the box and manual (the RealSports moniker was created after the game was made) while the 400/800 version calls itself Atari Tennis in game and just plain Tennis on the box and manual.

Atari 400/800

Atari 5200




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