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juli 21, 2013

Final Match Tennis for Pc Engine


UPDATE 2013-08-11: video

In the last few days I have played Final Match Tennis on my Pc Engine.
I am one of those people that play Racing and Tennis games. That is good for me. Most people buy the Pc Engine for its many shoot'em up games that I sell at a higher price. I get to keep the cheap games.


This is our AV modded Ten No Koe 2. It is like an AV Booster, but you can save in the games that have a save feature. An AV Booster is also harder to come by.

We can also RGB mod it, but it is more expensive (300 SEK extra, or 50$). I don't personally have demand for RGB, but we constantly get requests from customers who request the best possible picture and sound. Even some that don't play their games, so as to not cause scratches and marks. To each his own, as they say.

I made a video (2013-08-12) of some gameplay. You can set the difficulty with a code in the beginning, and Level 3 is appropriate for me. I am not very good though. I am Lendl (white shorts, starting on the downside of court). Lendl is the hardest hitter of the game.
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Here is a second video where I am Edberg (blue shirt) playing against Becker, as it happens.
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The game has a simple structure. You can play exhibition game, tour, or practice. I think you can play up to four players with a multitap, but I don't have a multitap to try right now.

As I have written before, I enjoy tennis video games on any console. I have some experience by now , I think, so I know what a good and bad tennis game is.
How would I rate this one?
  • The controls are simple. One button for normal shot,  one for a slice shot, and press Start for lob. This works excellent. The lob isn't useful though, because it is short and the opponent can often smash it.
  • There are no strange additional moves. No dubble-tapping, or button combinations, or holding the button to hit harder. You just press the button to make the shot. Use the arrows to place the ball.
  • The direction of the ball depends on how close you are to it when you hit it, and if you hit it early or late. I can't explain exactly. It requires some practice to learn, but most tennis games are made this way anyways.
  • I liked the difficulty level. The ball easily goes outside court, so you have to learn exactly how to hit it to place it inside the court. It can be annoying, but reasonable.
  • You can chose between 16 different players. Their names are in Japanese, but it is the players from around 1988 such as Edberg, Lendl, McEnroe and Chen. They are well adjusted. The baseline players who can run fast left and right, but move slowly up and down. They are also not very good at making stop balls at the net. Other players are net players, and move fast up and down, but are slow left and right. Some players hit the ball harder and so it more easily goes outside the court, and other players hit it loose. Some have top spin, etc.
  • A good thing is that the opponents are never too hard. They always hit the ball in a normal way and they can be beaten if you play well. So far I also wouldn't call the game too easy either. Since you are game over as soon as you lose a match, it can be challenging, especially if you only play 1-set matches. In each game you can chose between 1 set or 3 set, and I think I should start playing 3 set in the more difficult matches.
  • A nice feature that I appreciate is that there are no long pauses between balls. Some 2-3 seconds after the last ball you can start playing the next.
  • I also liked that it is well possible to catch smashes if you stand in the right place, so a smash doesn't "kill" the ball. And you can usually return the opponents serves , unlike some more realistic tennis games where this can be impossible.
  • You will throw yourself automatically if the ball is far to reach. This is nice.
  • It is a bit annoying though that when you play in the Tour, you are game over as soon as you lose a match. You start with Australian Open, and then French Open. I made it to the final of the French, but then I lost and was game over.
What I think could be improved is that the slice and lob are useless as soon as you move from the baseline, because they always go too far. The slice button can be used as a stop ball for the baseline player type. Unfortunately the baseline player is almost useless by the net because his stop balls always hit the net, at least on grass. On clay, he plays better by the net because the ball bounces higher.

Well, that's about it I think. You might tell that I enjoy playing this game. I looked at some youtube clip and they all love it too, some say it is the best tennis game ever. It has its own website, www.final-match-tennis.com, with info about the players and so on.

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