Genre: Sports (Tennis)
Capabilities: Multi-Tap Compatible, Hard Drive Save Compatible
Just tennis, thats it. Where you hit the ball over and try to win as many games as possible. Pretty simple concept.
Well, I really dont consider these visuals taking power of the CD-is 32-Bit processor, but the most of the visuals are good nonetheless. Theres some FMVs of each opponent you go against, which looks really nice, I dont know if theyre pro players or not(I really dont follow the actual sport of tennis that much), but they look like it because it shows highlights of the tennis players with trophies and other awards. The games in game graphics are ok, but to me, dont look like a 32-bit tennis, but rather like a high-end sloppy running 16-bit game. The players on the court look great and all, and you can easily see the ball, and the umpire, and arena looks great. But there is some real sloppy animation here, with many skips between frames of you running to hit the ball, which causes many problems with game mechanics, resulting in lots of missed shots, and screwed up serves. A real down point in the game right there.
Well, all the tennis sounds are, here, you get racquet shots, and the sound of the ball hitting the net, so it all sounds like the real thing, but I dont hear any umpire shouts of fault which are usually in all the other tennis games. The game does have some voice over commentary, of two types, those being the deep, serious, voice announcing the score after each play, and every now and then theres announcers who commentate on how the players need to improve, or when they lost. They also do some nice voice over highlights of the four computer opponents, but the bad thing here is the quality of the announcers are really poor, and they sound quite muffled. I was expecting more from a CD system.
Well, the controls are pretty quirky, for serves you must move a tricky cursor into the right zone to select where you want your ball to land on your serve, but that cursor is really hard to position just right, which resulted in many faults for me. Also running around the court chasing the ball is pretty hard with the games control pad. You can set the game to run an offensive or defensive path for your player, so all you gotta do is the swinging of the racquet, but this option proves to be rather annoying, with your player running in the wrong direction of the ball, resulting in many missed swings.
There are three different modes of play: Training, Exhibition, and Tournament. In training you can attempt to perfect your game. And in exhibition you go a full three sets against one of only four computer opponents, you dont get to pick a tennis player, you only get to play as yourself. Then in tournament mode, you get to try and beat all four of the computer opponents to be champion. This game can also be played by two players, so if you have a CD-i multi-tap, you can have two people play this game.
Their really isnt much here to keep you playing this game forever. Because of the frustrating controls, and the lack of opponents, theirs not much at all to keep you hooked on this game. Once you beat the tournament mode thats about it. Heck, theres not even a doubles mode! The only interesting feature is that you can save at any time during a game into the CD-is hard drive, and pick up from wherever you left off. I wish all the new tennis games have this, because its really convenient to finish your game if something comes up.
+: Nice Save at any time feature, Some nice FMVs of the tennis players, announcers make the game more realistic
-: Really frustrating controls, Most of the sounds are muffled, lack of players and game modes
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 3.3
Replay Value: 2.1
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 4
International Tennis Open couldve been a great game, if the developers at Infrogrames wouldve spent more time on the controls and added more players, and a doubles mode, this game couldve been a classic, but it turns out to be pretty crappy instead. The tennis action is ok, and if youre a big sports nut, and just gotta have a sports game on the CD-i, then I guess you can pick up this title, and at least its 2-player, otherwise, avoid it all costs.