Tuesday 12 August 2014

Match Point (C64 review)

Developer: Jm van Laethem, G. Poropat
Publisher: Psion
Released: 1984

I was ready to slate Match Point for being a slow & boring game but then I spotted some obscure options that solve most of its issues.

There are three options when the game starts - you can choose Quarter Final, Semi Final or Final. I immediately tried the Quarter Final and was greeted by what I can only describe as 'tennis on the moon!' Shots took forever to reach the other side of the court and it was incredibly dull sitting through a 5-set match. However, if you select Semi Final (fast, my preferred mode) or the Final (fastest, too fast in my opinion) the gameplay improves as the ball moves much quicker making for some exciting matches. The controls are tricky to get used to but there's definitely some depth here as the direction of each shot depends on your position, motion and timing. Once you've played a couple of games you'll start to get the hang of things and find it easier to pull off drop-shots, top-spins and lobs. However, the game does try to auto-adjust between backhand and forehand which can occasionally cause issues with lining up your shot. There's little in the way of sound effects apart from the ball bouncing and hitting the racket, and the graphics aren't too exciting due to the lack of detail. The ball boy animation is hilarious though as he looks exactly like Diddy Kong from the Donkey Kong Country series!

Match Point is a decent tennis game that rewards players who are willing to stick with the controls and learn to master them. Just make sure you avoid the sleep-inducing Quarter Final mode!

Random trivia: If you hold down CTRL on the keyboard before you serve the CPU will move to the opposite corner of the screen. This allows you to serve a perfect ace every time!

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