The ball was in! Yes, just as you thought you'd heard the last of tennis for this year Image Works release Passing Shot. This conversion of a Sega coin-op recreates all the thrills and spills of that well known lawn game. The only thing it doesn't have is the strawberries and cream (yum!).
The first decision to make once the game has loaded is select which of the four world events you would like to compete in. They range from the easiest France, to the hardest England. Each event is shown as a map of the country involved. You have the choice of playing the game one player against the computer, two players against each other or two players in a doubles match against two computer players, so every taste should be catered for. There are two view points in the game, spectator level for service and an aerial view for rallies, so the player can keep up with the action all the time.
Most tennis games I've seen on the Spectrum before don't give the player a choice of stroke, which makes them hard to play and low in addictiveness. Passing Shot is different. Depending on which direction you push the joystick, you get one of four strokes - flat, slice, topspin and lob. The wide variety of strokes are no help if you are rubbish at tennis like me though, the computer trashes me everytime!
Graphics in Passing Shot have been kept very close to the arcade originals, with detailed close ups of each player, 3-0 courts and a strange sun type thing that pops up after every game and pulls faces! Strange. Colour is monochrome in the play areas with the odd bit of colour in the border to spruce it up. Music fans among you will be glad there is a tune in the game; the only trouble is it plays all the time (aaargh!). Of course, the normal rules of tennis apply with you being required to reach six games to win the set.
Passing Shot is one of the best tennis simulations going, whether you're a fan of the lawn game or hooked on the arcade machine, this is for you.
NICK ... 84%
‘Hey man, the ball was in! You could see the chalk dust!! Oh sorry, just getting into character... Wimbledon finished a fair while ago, but the software companies still insist on releasing these tennis games. The sprites, decked out in their natty sports togs, move around the screen very well, and the computer opponent certainly gives you a good run for your money. I've never seen the Sega original of this game, but tennis coin-ops are a bit of a rarity (I've not heard of that many), and judging by Passing Shot on the Spectrum there should be more.'
MARK ... 85%
A well programmed and very playable tennis game cum simulation.