Genre: Sports Developer: High Score Productions Publisher: Electronic Arts Players: 1-4 Released: 1994
It took me long enough to get back into things again since Sega-16 returned but I’ve finally made my triumphant return to unfortunately bring you review of yet another dull game. A few weeks ago I had a video game party, and in the weeks before that I was perusing my collection looking for four-player games. I saw that IMG International Tennis Tour’s box said that it supported the four-player adapter, so I decided to sit down with it and put it through the paces and see whether it was worth bringing out when I had my friends over. I’ll spoil it for you right now and admit that this went back on the shelf, and I decided to settle for Micro Machines Military instead. Is IMG International Tour Tennis a bad game? No definitely not but it ends up being another rather mediocre sports game at best and though it’s worth some play time and fun can be had, it ultimately will get forgotten due to how many better games are out there.
When you start the game up you’re treated to the standard menu and options fair. There’s practice, exhibition, tournament and options. Let’s talk about the practice. You can practice and get tips from the “Legendary Vic Braden,” who gives you the basics of how to hit the ball. The back cover really hypes this up, but it ultimately ends up being pretty basic and trivial as it just teaches you the vital basics and nothing about real strategy. After you’re done with that, there are a total of 17 tournaments to compete in, with the final being the EA Sports Open. I found myself playing the exhibition mode instead as the tournaments just took to long to finish and got real boring real fast. I found that singles was the best way to play, since the CPU A.I. is very hit or miss on doubles, and it was just luck when I won.
I think that the sketchy A.I. is the thing that hurts this game the most. There are several times that the CPU would be relentless and beat me several games in a row, and I couldn’t do a thing to win. The next several games I would easily beat the CPU with the same type of swing over, and over and it wouldn’t even chase the ball many of those times. Buttons A, B, and C each perform two different types of hits depending on whether you tap or hold the button, but I found that often times you didn’t need but only a few types of hits to endlessly fool the CPU. The serves work the same way, but the hard serve always seemed to work the best overall.
Another interesting inclusion in this game is the ability to argue with the referee. At certain points in the match (usually if the game calls a questionable play) an icon will pop up allowing you to run over to the ref and argue. If you argue over a poor call and win you get an energy boost temporarily, and if you lose the argument then you will handle poorly for a bit. It’s always amusing to watch a player yell gibberish and shake his fists at the ref all 16-bit style and definitely adds some
charm to the otherwise dry game.
The visuals are pretty bland in this game, maybe understandably so. There are several different types of courts to play on but each one is still ugly to look at, and there’s just not enough detail in the players; they all seem to look the same for the most part despite some color changes between them. There also isn’t a lot of music here either aside from what’s present in the intro and the menus. The few tunes that are present do actually sound like they belong in a sports game but are really nothing to get excited about and are ultimately forgettable. There is an announcer, but it’s just a man’s harsh and gravelly voice with an European accent that simply calls the score before each serve and announces the winner. It doesn’t say much else at all, and it also got rather hard to keep listening to.
IMG is far from a bad game, and it can even sometimes be enjoyable for short sessions here or there. Ultimately, it would be nothing to write home about aside from one redeeming feature that makes it a good game to break out for a classic gaming party, and that’s the ability to play with four players with a controller multi-tap. On top of that, the game is pretty easy to pick up and learn how to play quickly, so if you own the game or are looking for another four-player game then this may be for you. If you aren’t into that type of thing or can’t get that many like-minded people together at the same time, then all this game will offer you is unexciting visuals and audio and a CPU that’s hit or miss in the single-player mode. If that’s all you have to look forward to, then you should pass.
SCORE: 6 out of 10