Sequels are expected to be better, but often they’re not. That’s the case with Sampras Tennis ’96, which offered little improvements over the original. In truth, all it mostly adds is frustrating gameplay. There are much better tennis games on the Genesis than this series, so fans would be advised to politely decline Mr. Sampras’ invitation.
As the Sega Sports brand moved forward, it continued to improve on existing titles in different sports, such as tennis. The second offering from Sega is a definite step up over the original Wimbledon, but it still doesn’t quite obtain the heights most fans were expecting this late in the console cycle.
The Genesis is host to many quality tennis titles, and fans of the sport should count themselves lucky for this fact when they’re faced with the possibility of having to play a game as bad as this one. Shoddy programming and lackluster presentation are enough to make anyone go McEnroe and smash their controller while yelling “really?” at the television.
Interestingly enough, most tennis games on the Genesis are hit or miss. There’s a bunch from which to choose, and it can often be difficult to pick the best because each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Amazing Tennis, courtesy of programming legend David Crane, suffers from this dilemma as well but still manages to deliver (hah!) a solid experience for fans.
A longtime publisher of sports titles, Sega ramped up its simulations to compete with the wares of Electronic Arts and other companies. The Sega Sports brand was born and covered the gamut of sports, from football to racing. Tennis was also in the line up, but while it had an official license, it was still a step down from the competition.